Volume XXX, Number 3,
March 2015

“Maintain a Competitive Edge – Enhance Clinical Capabilities”

Submitted by:
Paul Gerharter, RN, C,
Director, Post-Acute Services,
Touchstone Communities,
San Antonio, TX

Spring is just around the corner (although the last few days have certainly not felt as such)! The landscape is starting to show more signs of life, the days are getting longer, and there is generally more energy in the air!

Change is also evident in our work environment. Much preparation, negotiation, education, and anticipation has prefaced the arrival of Managed Medicaid. Additionally, the Five-Star Measures published by CMS will soon include facility re-hospitalization rates.   If you’ve not already done so, now is the time to focus on internal clinical capabilities to help maintain a competitive edge in this changing market.

One of the fundamental “must haves” for enhancing clinical capability centers is solid physical assessment skills. Where do you (and your staff) line up in this regard? What are your immediate resources should issues arise? Assessment skills (or lack thereof) are often cited when reviewing re-hospitalization root cause analysis. Use of on-site physicians and extenders (advanced practice nurses, physician assistants) can definitely help, but one of the best solutions may be an advanced course in physical assessment. THCA’s Spring Conference is here to nurture that growth!

The THCA Nurse Council is very excited to have Mona M. Dawson, DNP, GNP-BC, RN back to do a focused session geared towards nurses working in skilled nursing care titled “Physical Assessment – Advanced Stethoscope Assessment Skills”. Mona is a very dynamic and engaging speaker. She employs a number of simple tools and tricks to mimic sounds that are otherwise difficult to duplicate. The three-hour session is very interactive and attendees leave with a newfound confidence and appreciation for the art of auscultation.   Mona will guide the participants through an assessment/evaluation applicable to LVNs and RNs. Practices used for decades will be displaced and updated with current evidenced-based modalities.

Upon course completion, attendees can feel more confident in their ability to catch signs and symptoms indicating potential need for interventions. Actions may then be initiated before a significant change in condition occurs.  The result of these efforts has been duly noted in numerous studies to reduce re-hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes.

Register today; this course will be in high demand and space will be limited! See you there!!

President’s Report

Legislative Update

State News

Federal News

THCA Membership Contribution

Announcements & Recognitions


Region News


If you have suggestions for education sessions or questions about THCA education, please contact Sue Wilson at the THCA office swilson@txhca.org.