The April 2021 issue of Alliant Quality Cares & Shares: A monthly newsletter highlighting events and resources for those caring for Medicare Beneficiaries Email not displaying correctly?
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A monthly newsletter highlighting events and resources for Nursing Homes & Community Coalitions

In This Issue:
Alliant Quality Report Card: How Are We Doing?

During the LAN events, we share ideas to "use tomorrow" to affect change. We are curious to hear if you were able to apply the knowledge and skills shared.

Nursing Homes, the March LAN event, What is an Adverse Drug Event (ADE)? Let’s Look a Little Deeper included the following "use tomorrow" intentions, click here if you are now able to:
  • Examine patient cases to identify ADE high-risk medications.
Community Coalitions, the March LAN event, Data Deeper Dive -- One Coalition's Experience Using Data to Reduce Readmissions included the following "use tomorrow" intention, click here if you were able to:
  • Identify strategies for using data to build referral confidence and support funding requests.
View Previous LAN Recordings  |  View Upcoming LAN Events
The Latest News from CMS
CMS Updates Nursing Home Guidance with Revised Visitation Recommendations
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency (PHE).  Learn More  |  Read Fact Sheet

MDS Section GG Training Materials & Video Tutorials Available
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers the following Section GG web-based trainings:

COVID-19 Essentials​​

Our team is collecting and curating the essential trainings, events, resources, and vaccine updates about COVID-19 on our website so you can visit one page to find the information you need. We've also outlined the essentials below. 
View All COVID-19 News & Resources

Training & Resources

Vaccine Updates


Leadership Lessons
​​​Words of advice from leaders on the front lines.

This month’s leadership lesson is from Melody "Mel" Brown, Patient Safety Aim Manager at Alliant Quality.

Agile Leadership

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we should expect the unexpected and change is inevitable. Over the course of the last year, I’ve watched as friends and colleagues have been called to action in new and different ways. Many pivoted rapidly to take on new roles to meet the needs of those we serve under changing, and at times, scary conditions. I’ve thought a lot about how it feels to be in that place and what has made the difference for me… a good leader and a cohesive team.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, there are 10 characteristics of a good leader. Two of which have been called upon more so this past year than under normal circumstances: the ability to delegate and learning agility. 

In times of stress or crisis, a leader may feel that they must do everything rather than delegating tasks. Letting go and delegating gives others the opportunity to grow in their positions and become stronger team members. I’m reminded of the saying in the Navy SEALS: “People do not rise to the occasion. They sink to the highest level of their training.” If as leaders we are not delegating and giving others the opportunity to hone their skills – we are failing them and ourselves when it matters most.

Once delegation is commonplace, learning agility, the ability to know what to do when you don’t know what to do, can then be tackled within teams that now have more responsibility. Working together for problem-solving and forming cohesive relationships can be key components of strong, effective, and productive teams. From the words of Maya Angelou, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

May we all learn from the pandemic that it is powerful to ask others for help, delegate to others, and work together for the betterment of those we serve.

Read On Our Website

Best Practice Corner
Each month Alliant Quality collects exemplar practices from organizations across the seven-state region. Thank you for your leadership, creativity, and perseverance. 

"Sleeves Up NOLA” Public Service Announcement
In New Orleans (NOLA), the City created the public service announcement “Sleeves Up NOLA” to encourage residents to get vaccinated. This effort spotlights multicultural individuals providing their reasons for getting the COVID Vaccine featuring a Mardi Gras theme. These reasons include family protection and being with their family members for normal events again. Watch the "Sleeves Up NOLA" Video

Kentucky Initiative to Expand Internet Access to Urban, Rural, Underserved Communities
Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet believes that every home and business in Kentucky should have access to affordable, adequate, and reliable internet access in order to fully participate in a digital economy and society. The Kentucky Broadband Initiative is a network of public and private partners working to expand internet access and build a stronger digital infrastructure in urban and rural communities across the commonwealth. ​​​Learn More

AARP Develops a COVID-19 Guide/Vaccine Distribution Plan for Alabama
Hats off to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for developing a COVID-19 Guide/Vaccine Distribution Plan for Alabama. This guide was updated March 4 with new information on the federal pharmacy program providing vaccinations in long-term care facilities. Learn More

Do you have a promising practice to share? Please reply to this email and we will feature you in an upcoming issue.

Podcast: AHSCAST - Making Health Care Better

graphic of AHScast logo and recent episodes Everyone deserves quality health care.
Tune into the Alliant Health Solutions Making Health Care Better podcast every other Thursday as they interview guests committed to making health care better. If you are a health care consumer, provider, insurer, system, or consultant, this is the podcast for you. View All Podcast Episodes


Upcoming Learning & Action Network (LAN) Events
  • Nursing Homes: A Deeper Dive Into Opioid and Antipsychotic Medication Adverse Drug Events
    ​​​​​Tuesday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT (30 min call)
    The is Learning Action Network event will take you through the most common ADEs and their risk factors for opioid and antipsychotic medications. Case studies will be discussed to help hone your skills for identifying ADEs.
    Register Now View Agenda
  • Community Coalitions: UAB Ticket to Ride: COVID and Vaccine Communication Across Care Continuum
    Thursday, April 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT (30 min call)
    Join our conversation as we talk about one community coalition’s journey to create a care continuum structure to support congregate living facilities in developing prevention and mitigation plans in response to COVID-19.
    Register Now | View Agenda
Register for Upcoming LAN Events | Watch Previous LAN Events and Bite-Size Learnings

Upcoming COVID-19 Events
  • Alliant Quality COVID-19 Vaccination Update: New Data, Knowledge, and Resources from the Front Lines
    Wednesday, April 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. CT (45 min call)
    During this 45 minute event, leaders from the community will review the latest updates in data and knowledge about COVID-19. Join us to learn about the “Community Spread” campaign that is increasing the number of shots in arms in one community in Tennessee. We’ll also hear why patients and partners on the front lines were initially hesitant about the vaccine and then later changed their minds.

    ​​​​​Register Now​​​​​
Last Month's COVID-19 Events
  • Alliant Quality Special Event: COVID 19 Vaccination – Myths, Misconceptions and Medical Mistrust
    Recorded on March 24, 2021
    View Recording

Upcoming Infection Prevention Shop Talks
  • April 2021 Shop Talk Call
    Thursday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT (60 min call)
    Find out about updates and support for surveillance, tracking and infection prevention in nursing homes using National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). This WebEx is focused on submitting COVID-19 data, but may include other components such as C.diff, UTIs, and hand hygiene.

    Register Now
View all previous Shop Talks

Join the Alliant Quality NHSN Group!
Joining the group and conferring rights to Alliant Quality to view NHSN data allows for seamless support and technical assistance.
View the Step-By-Step Guide


Upcoming Partner Events
  • Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day​​​​​​
    Thursday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET (full day event)
    National Council on Aging (NCOA) is proud to host the 4th annual Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day Symposium. This event is co-sponsored with the U.S. Administration for Community Living and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Registration is free and includes a full day of sessions on how to best meet the mental health needs of older adults.

    Register Now | View Agenda 


Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Stacy Hull

  • Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) Overview One-Pager
    This new material developed by Alliant Quality provides a quick overview of key definitions, high-risk medication classes, facts, common causes, and ADEs. Download One-Pager
  • National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel Releases Deep Tissue Pressure Injury Guide
    The National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) is a multidisciplinary group of experts in pressure injuries and serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure injury prevention and treatment through public policy, education, and research. NPIAP just released a practice guide to aid in the diagnosis of Deep Tissue Pressure Injury (DTPI). Titled, “Deep Tissue Pressure Injury or an Imposter”, the guide depicts the early appearance and evolution of DTPI from intact, deep red/maroon or purple skin to epidermolysis and "blood blisters." The guide also includes the differential diagnoses (imposters) of ischemic and traumatic injury that can mimic DTPI. The NPIAP guide and poster-size copies of the guide can be printed directly at no cost from the NPIAP's website. Download the DTPI Practice Guide
  • Updated Infection Control Training Opportunities for Nursing Homes
    Check out these educational opportunities for nursing home leadership, infection preventionists, and staff. Details including continuing education credits, and time required are listed on the handout. Learn More​​​​​


Essential Resources to Help You Navigate NHSN

  • New to your facility? Click here to gain access. Have your 5-digit NHSN OrgID and previous NHSN user’s email to complete the form.
  • Leaving and need to reassign access to your facility? Click here for instructions. 
  • Data submission for Point of Care Testing began November 20th. Click here for training slides.
  • Click here for instructions on Adding Users to your NHSN account.
  • Contact Marilee Johnson for support.

Watch our New Shop Talk Shorts!​​​
​​​​​We know you're busy. Our new video series answers the most common questions we receive regarding navigating NHSN in a brief way. Available videos cover the following topics:

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Melody Brown

  • April is National Minority Health Month
    HHS Office of Minority Health has announced #VaccineReady as the theme for National Minority Health Month this April.​​​ Learn More

  • Community Chronic Conditions Health Equity Guide
    Communities and municipalities can make a difference in improving chronic conditions management for everyone in the community. This guide “A Practitioner’s Guide for Advancing Health Equity: Community Strategies for Preventing Chronic Disease” from the CDC offers recommendations for improving chronic conditions and overall health for all. Download Guide
  • Your Kidneys and You: Brief Video About Chronic Kidney Disease
    About 33% of adults have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) but don't know it. Often, kidney disease is discovered a few months before dialysis is needed. If discovered early, CKD can be treated, halted and even reversed. Those with hypertension and diabetes are more likely to have CKD. The screening is done through urine testing. Jill Dubss, of the Nation Kidney Foundation, shares information on CKD during this brief video. Kidneys don't talk, so we have to. Watch Video
  • 2021 Adult Immunization Schedule
    Recently, COVID-19 vaccine has been taking the immunization spotlight. However, adults need other vaccines. Many delayed vaccines over the past year and now is a great time to assess need and catch up on all CDC recommended vaccines. The website features tables based on age and other indications. There is also an app! View Schedule
  • ​​World Immunization Week is April 24-30 
    World Immunization Week – celebrated every year in the last week of April – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need, and many miss out on vital vaccines during adolescence, adulthood and into old age. Using the theme ‘Vaccines bring us closer’, World Immunization Week 2021 will urge greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life. Learn More​​​

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Libby Massiah

  • New COVID-19 Self-Management Zone Tool
    The COVID-19 Self-Management Zone Tool is now available to assist providers across the continuum of care in the education and preparation of patients and their families for safe self-management of COVID-19 illness. Download Zone Tool 
  • CMS Announces Final participants in Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model
    On March 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the final list of participants approved to take part in CMS’ Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model, a payment model that aims to provide greater flexibility to ambulance care teams to address emergency health care needs of Medicare Fee-for-Service beneficiaries following a 911 call. The list of final participants includes 184 public and private ambulance providers and suppliers representing 36 states. CMS is also issuing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) of up to $34 million over two years for local and state governments to expand emergency and non-emergency medical triage services in locations of model participants. Learn More
  • The Critical Role of Area Agencies on Aging in Addressing the Health-Related Social Needs of Older Adults
    Growing attention on the importance of social determinants of health has led to recognition of the vital role AAAs play in addressing health-related social needs in their communities, as well as opportunities for partnerships between health care entities, AAAs, and other aging and disability community-based organizations (CBOs). Learn More
  • New Inter-Facility Infection Control Transfer Form Includes COVID-19 Info
    This updated Inter-Facility Transfer Form includes new fields for hospitals and receiving facilities to document and communicate COVID-19 infection history and date of diagnosis, COVID-19 treatments received, and COVID-19 vaccination status. This form also includes important details surrounding current infections or colonization with drug resistant organisms or pathogens of interest, antimicrobial therapy, and invasive devices. Please consider using this form to enhance communication regarding patients as they transition between facilities. Download Form
  • ​​National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN)​​​​​
    Alliant Health Solutions is partnering with Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) on a national initiative to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. As an NCRN community partner, we invite everyone to join, engage, and subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates and information. It will take a collaborative effort to combat the negative impact of this pandemic. Subscribe Now​​​​​​
​​​​​ Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Carolyn Kazdan

  Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Pauline Kinney

Members of the Beneficiary & Family Advisory Council are our partners in making healthcare better. To join us in this important work, contact Mel Brown or submit this referral form.

Browse resources our council has worked on below: 

Anticoagulation (Blood Thinner) Zone Tool
This Anticoagulant (Blood Thinner) Zone Tool was designed in collaboration with those prescribed medications as well as those that are prescribing and administering anticoagulants. The intended use is to educate patients/residents and family caregivers as they are being readied for discharge back home. Additionally, this serves as a reminder of what to do in case of a possible adverse event to have the very best outcome with quicker responses. Download Tool

Understanding Resident Rights & Visitation
Contributed by Rhonda Allenson, an Alliant Quality BFAC member. 
​​​​Residents residing in a Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified nursing home have certain rights and protections under federal and state law. These rights and protections help make sure residents get the care and services they need and specify that residents have the right to dignity and self-determination.

One essential resident right is visitation: the right of access to visitors of his/her choosing at any time, specifically:

  • Personal physician, representatives, state survey agency, and ombudsman
  • Relatives, friends, and others
  • Organizations or individuals providing health, social, legal, or other services
  • Right to refuse visitors​​​
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic combined with the vulnerable nature of the nursing home population, strict visitor restriction policies were implemented by federal, state, and local leaders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Learn More
Contact members of the BFAC via Melody Brown

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This material was prepared by Alliant Quality, the quality improvement group of Alliant Health Solutions (AHS), the Medicare Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organization for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy. Publication No.
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