By Todd Burgener PT, DPT, CBIS, DOR, Mount Ogden Health and Rehabilitation, Ogden, UT
Mount Ogden has traditionally been very proud of their low readmission rates, high employee retention rates, and 0% agency utilization. As Mount Ogden has emerged from the COVID-19 era within the last year, the situation has changed. As with the rest of the industry, Mount Ogden found itself dealing with a staffing crisis, including with CNAs and nurses. While experiencing ever-increasing turnover rates in all departments and increased agency usage, the resulting readmission rates began to soar. It became very apparent that certain systems such as change of condition reporting needed an overhaul. The Mount Ogden Therapy department recognized that we had an opportunity to support our nursing partners and play a more active role in this effort.
After several strategy sessions, operation “Change of Condition” was born. The Therapy department made a few critical strategic changes, which included moving therapists’ weekly schedules to four 10-hour shifts to allow them to attend morning and afternoon nursing huddles. During those huddles, high-risk change of condition patients were identified. These patients would be a focus during therapy sessions, where detailed vitals would be taken and reported back to Nursing. Therapists would have more supervision and monitoring of these individuals to be able to prevent any changes of condition or at least be able to intervene more quickly if a change of condition occurred.
Since these changes have gone into effect, we have seen significant changes in our readmission rates, from 28% in July of 2022 to 8.3% in October. Our staffing has stabilized, as we have been able to focus on recruiting and retaining nurses and CNAs.