CenterLight Health System's CNR Recognized for Reducing Hospitalizations

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The Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Brooklyn, New York, part of CenterLight Health System, has been awarded the 2014 Quality in Healthcare Outcomes Award by the American Medical Directors Association. CNR was recognized for its work to reduce hospitalizations for short- and long-stay residents.

“Keeping residents out of the hospital and in their own homes was an opportunity for us to impact and improve, not only the quality of care our residents receive, but their quality of life.” -- Arlene Latimer, RN, Director of Clinical Services

Dr. Saka Kazeem, Medical Director – Long-Term at The Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (CNR) in Brooklyn, New York has been awarded the 2014 Quality in Healthcare Outcomes Award by the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA). The facility was honored for improving the quality of care for their patients through an innovative and collaborative approach focused on the reduction of re-hospitalizations for their short- and long-stay residents.

Introduced in 2012, the QIHO award recognizes three medical directors who implemented programs that have demonstrated quality improvement and enhanced quality of life for their long-term-care facility residents.

“I’m honored to receive this award from the AMDA Foundation,” said Dr. Kazeem. “It is a testament to the excellent team we have at CNR, and our commitment to improving the lives of those we serve.”

Located in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, CNR identified hospitalizations as a focus area through its ongoing quality improvement process, according to Arlene Latimer, RN, Director of Clinical Services. “In that process, we are always asking ourselves, ‘How can we improve? What can we do better?’ ” Latimer said. “Keeping residents out of the hospital and in their own homes was an opportunity for us to impact and improve, not only the quality of care our residents receive, but their quality of life.”

The goal was to reduce hospitalizations by 20 percent among both short-term rehabilitation patients and long-term residents of CNR. The results surpassed this goal, as 30-day readmissions were reduced for short-stay patients by 41 percent and the long-term hospitalization rate plummeted 52 percent.

The project team started by mining CNR’s data to identify trends, patterns and the top reasons that short- and long-term residents were being hospitalized. The team reviewed the facility policies and protocols to identify ways to improve. As improvements were identified, Drs. Saka Kazeem and Emil Baccash, CNR’s Medical Director-Short Term/Sub-Acute Unit, educated staff members to improve core competencies and effect change. In addition, the facility actively seeks partners in the community who are committed to improving the quality of care of the patients they serve.

For example, CNR has worked with outpatient blood transfusion centers to develop a protocol for patients with complications. With better awareness of the follow-up care CNR can provide, the staff at the transfusion centers send fewer patients to the hospital.

“This award demonstrates our constant drive to make the lives of everyone we care for better by enabling them to thrive wherever they call home, whether it is a nursing center or in the community,” said Paul Rosenfeld, CenterLight’s Executive Vice President for Long-Term Care.

The project team consisted of Dr. Saka Kazeem, Medical Director- Long Term, Dr. Emil Baccash, Medical Director Short-Term/Sub-Acute Unit, Arlene Latimer, Director of Clinical Services, Dorette Smith, Neighborhood Director, Annett Ford-Amaye-Obu, Neighborhood Director and Igor Kiprovski, Associate Administrator.

Dr. Saka Kazeem, along with Arlene Latimer and Dorette Smith, presented CNR’s winning piece during AMDA’s LTC Medicine-2014 in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 28.

About Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation
Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, a member of the CenterLight Health System, is a multi-faceted, 320-bed skilled nursing facility. CNR’s residential unit uses a “neighborhood concept,” setting new standards for person-directed care and giving residents greater independence in matters of daily living. CNR’s state-of-the-art rehabilitation center offers physical, occupational, speech and virtual rehabilitation to people of all ages recovering from physical or cognitive disabilities.

About CenterLight Health System
CenterLight Health System is a leading non-profit provider of rehabilitation and long-term healthcare services. The broad scope of comprehensive programs is as diverse as the communities it serves. With deep roots in New York neighborhoods for more than 90 years, CenterLight currently cares for more than 15,000 individuals daily. Programs include: managed long term care, short-term rehabilitation, residential nursing homes, music therapy, home care and adult day care. Learn more at centerlight.org.

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Lisa Cesarano
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