Ms. Annaliza Garcia, RN, holds a unique position in The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) as our Nursing Home Liaison. Ms. Garcia holds many responsibilities within her department, as she is, essentially, the entire department! As the person responsible for establishing and maintaining liaison activities between TBHC and all the nursing facilities within the community, Ms. Garcia explains, "I work closely with social work and case management representatives to facilitate safe and appropriate discharge planning, and also with the nursing department." Ms. Garcia added that TBHC has increased the number of physicians that work within our hospital and the facilities we work with. "This is beneficial to our patients, because it promotes continuity of care - whether they are being cared for in the facility or admitted to TBHC, they have the same doctor and in turn, the same quality care."
Explained Ms. Garcia, "We provide the nursing facilities with physicians for any consultative services that they may require. Internally, we are putting processes in place that will improve the quality of care for this specialized geriatric population. Most of our efforts focus on the decubitus ulcer (bedsores) prevention & treatment; we also focus on fall & restraint prevention." In addition, Ms. Garcia explained that TBHC invites the nursing homes that it works with to attend the Wound Care classes that are offered at the hospital. TBHC also sends representatives out into the field to further education and partnership efforts between the two facilities to ensure uniform care is received on both sides.
"The hospital participates in health fairs, open houses and other activities - there is a cooperative effort in place between TBHC and the nursing home facilities so that we are working in unison towards the same goal. TBHC is now in the process of developing a geriatric unit to further serve the needs of the community & enhance the quality of care to the elderly population," says Ms. Garcia.
In addition, the hospital implemented new mattresses throughout the facility after a rigorous "Prevalence & Incidence" study held over the last year. This study was conducted to measure the percentage of elderly who have decubitus ulcers, and was carried out with the leadership of Ms. Deborah Wright, RN, ANP, Wound Care Specialist. The search was successful in finding appropriate mattresses for TBHC's geriatric population, particularly for the elderly nursing home patients.
Said Ms. Garcia, "For the year 2004, we had 1,636 patients admitted from the nursing facilities. So far, (up until August 2005), we 1,157 patients - the improvements that we have been experiencing have been reflected in our numbers."
Since Ms. Garcia's background includes working with the elderly population for over 12 years, she understands the needs and special requirements of TBHC's geriatric/nursing facility population. She works alongside nursing staff to ensure that they receive the quality care that TBHC is renowned for throughout the Brooklyn community. Adds Ms. Garcia, "Our administration provides us with immense support in our endeavor to elevate TBHC's quality of care to the forefront. Our ultimate goal is to be the preeminent geriatric healthcare facility in New York ."