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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

ProMedica Purchase of Nursing Homes Shows Need for Disclosure & Apology in LTC

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ProMedica, a Toledo-based hospital system, recently purchased a large chain of nursing homes.  The acquisition will make ProMedica one of the 15 largest non-profit hospitals systems in the United States. 

ProMedica CEO Randy Oostra shared the following quote with the Aging Media Network:  “We want to take down the wall between traditional hospital and post-acute care services in an effort to enhance the health and well-being of our aging population. The lines are blurring between where health care begins and stops. This acquisition provides us the platform to think differently about health and aging."

Vertical integration coming to a hospital system near you. Not only are hospitals scooping up every physician practice in site, but also nursing homes, assisted living, and anything else that provides healthcare.  Are the veterinarians next?  Ha, ha!  

The ProMedica CEO is correct that "walls" and silos in healthcare are being broken down every day, except with disclosure & apology (so far).  Almost all disclosure training and content focuses exclusively on acute care, including the AHRQ tool kit.  Long term care and assisted living are basically ignored in the disclosure movement, except for Sorry Works!  We are the only disclosure training organization that has extensively trained in nursing homes and assisted living centers, and
all of our content is written for both long-term care and acute care. 

The rest of the disclosure world needs to get on board with the program.  It's great that we are teaching hospitals, doctors, and nurses to say "sorry" at the bed side for any number of adverse events, but what about the nurse or CNA in a nursing home who is facing down an angry family due to a fall, or dosing error, or Mom's favorite slippers have gone missing??  The philosophy and the approach is the same for Sorry Works! no matter what setting (acute, long-term care, assisted living, etc), but there are differences and unique circumstances in elder care.  From terminology (resident versus patient), to the length and depth of the relationships, role of the family, and types of case, there are differences between acute and long term care.  I would never dream of walking into a nursing home and using acute cases and terminology to train leadership and staff -- that would be insulting to my audience.

Moreover, how often do we see patients (residents) and families bounce back and forth between physician office practice, hospital, and nursing home or rehab?  The hospital might have a great disclosure program, but if the nursing home (which the hospital bought two months ago) hasn't received any disclosure training, then the whole post-event communication process may break down with the family. 

Again, Sorry Works! is the only disclosure training organization to include both acute and long-term care verbage, cases, etc in all of our training content, including written content such as the popular
Sorry Works! Tool Kit and Little Book of Empathy.  We hope others join us.

Sincerely,

- Doug

Doug Wojcieszak, Founder, Sorry Works!
618-559-8168

Doug Wojcieszak