FastFacts for Directors of Nursing

Resources for Nursing Home Professionals


This is archived content; for historical reference only.

Dementia Care (April 2006)

In the United States, dementia affects about 4.5 million people. Half of nursing home residents have dementia disorder. Nursing home staff can help dementia patients sustain their quality of life by providing residents relief from pain, monitoring proper food and fluid intake, and attending to appropriate social activities.

Effective Strategies for Medication Safety (December 2007)

Inappropriate medications are a serious problem for the elderly, increasing the risk of adverse effects and causing dramatic medical, safety, and economic consequences. One estimate holds that at least 350,000 adverse drug events occur every year and that more than half are preventable. This FastFacts focuses on strategies to reduce the use of potentially inappropriate medications in nursing homes.

End-of-Life Care Planning (December 2007)

Many nursing home residents do not have end-of-life care plans such as advance directives or durable powers of attorney for health care. Advance care plans protect residents by allowing them to take responsibility for their care and ensuring that their wishes are followed. This FastFacts focuses on improving the use of end-of-life care planning in nursing homes.

Fall Prevention (March 2006)

Falls for elderly people are a common cause of injuries and hospitalizations. In a typical 100-bed nursing home, there are about 100 to 200 falls per year, and many go unreported. Residents who fall may lose confidence, become depressed, or suffer from social isolation. This FastFacts reviews key evidence-based fall prevention strategies.

Geriatric Care Principles (April 2006)

Health care staff should be trained in the basics of geriatric care to provide the best care possible. This FastFacts outlines key principles such as continuing education, positive patient communication, an examination of staff attitudes and perceptions, and consistent diagnosis and treatment goals.

Physician Notification of Laboratory Results (May 2006)

Notification guidelines for communicating with physicians about abnormal lab results can reduce the risk of communication failure, increase efficiency, enhance teamwork, and decrease staff frustration. This FastFacts provides a framework for reporting abnormal results, as well as tips to facilitate communication between nurses and physicians.

Pressure Ulcer Documentation (December 2007)

The quality of nursing documentation regarding pressure ulcers is often inadequate. Better pressure ulcer documentation can improve overall care, reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers, and lower health care costs. This FastFacts offers ways to improve pressure ulcer documentation and reduce pressure ulcer rates.

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Disclaimer: FastFacts provide educational information. This information is not medical, legal, or management advice. Long term care providers should exercise their own independent judgment when using this information.