IL Health Care Assoc – Featured Focus – “SNFists”
4 Reasons You Should Consider a SNFist Program
It might take a little time to get familiar with all of the new health care acronyms, but
SNFist is one that should be moved to the top of your list.
The SNFist/Post-Hospitalist is a new genre of primary care specialist
–one who works specifically within the four walls of a post-acute care facility and specializes in geriatric care within the context of that facility. The SNFist/Post-
Hospitalist specialization is still young, having emerged in response to the projected “boom” of post-acute care residents and the general dissatisfaction with the system of care within the current model. There are only a few thousand SNFist specialists in the United States, and there are even far less SNFist/Post-Hospitalist programs.
So if you are interested in improving patient care and saving money on hospital readmissions, I advise that you get your organization on the SNFist wagon soon.
Although there are tremendous benefits to employing General Medicine’s SNFist program in particular, this article is meant to be an introduction to the benefits of implementing the SNFist/Post-Hospitalist model in general.
1. SNFists provide higher quality patient care
models because they were formed to meet the special needs of patients in post-acute facilities. This means that the physicians can gain a more detailed understanding of the nuanced functions and procedures not only specific to post-acute care, but those that are specific to your post-acute care facility. Intimate relationships are also formed between resident patients and medical caretakers, making way for more informed illness management. Further, a SNFist/Post-Hospitalist program upholds the values of patient-centered care, helping resident patients develop high levels of
personal agency so they can participate in their recovery and stabilization.
2. SNFist Programs make continuity of care a breeze
Simply put, having a SNFist program just makes communication more convenient. Physicians and clinicians are on site, so there is no need to coordinate communication with external parties. SNFist/Post-Hospitalist programs significantly
reduce the issue of patient transportation both by taking appointments on site and by seeing patients more frequently to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations. Without a SNFist program in place, resident patients may only be seen by their physician on a monthly basis, or if medically stable, every 60 days. Tasks such as scheduling and
coordinating appointments are reduced from volatile communication hubs to accessible on-site services. Since the SNFist/Post-Hospitalist is familiar with the limitations of the facility, they can suggest ways that resident patients can
participate in the management of their health care using the resources that are available to them.
3. SNFist/Post-Hospitalist Programs are proven to reduce hospital readmissions
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission reports that 25 percent of hospital readmissions for post-acute patients are avoidable and caused by negligent care in a post-acute care facility. Because SNFist physicians and clinicians are on
site, they are more apt to catch illnesses and unforeseen problems earlier in their development before they require emergency treatment. While some experts suggest that geriatric care is best given inside the patients’ homes, the
post-acute care industry should pride itself on providing high-quality professional care, and bringing in a SNFist /Post-Hospitalist program is a proven method for showing impact based on hospital readmission data. For instance, in a
recent case study by General Medicine, the 30-day hospital readmission rate was reduced by 56 percent when compared to the national average for dual-eligibles.
4. SNFists can help improve the public’s perception of long-term care
In spite of all its difficulties, working in long-term care is a labor of love. This is true for everyone involved, from volunteers to SNFists, all the way up to directors of large organizations. Unfortunately, our compassion and life’s work has a less-than-desirable stereotype. Each of us wants to do whatever we can to improve
the public’s perception of long term care facilities –particularly nursing homes–
to alleviate fears and negative feelings that may happen to develop in potential patients and their families, not to mention medical students who are considering geriatric medicine or long term care as an area of specialty. SNFist/Post-Hospitalist programs allow physicians to have the time to truly care for their patients and understand all of the nuances and particularities of working in post-acute care. By
incorporating a SNFist program into the structure of your post-acute care organization, both the staff and the residents will do their best, and the public will see that.