Education Center

Health care-focused resources for seniors and medical community.

‘Nightmare’ Bacteria Spreading in Nursing Homes, Hospitals

heidi Hospital Discharge, Resources for Physicians Comments Off on ‘Nightmare’ Bacteria Spreading in Nursing Homes, Hospitals

Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from CRE germs are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. About 18 percent of long-term acute care hospitals and about 4 percent of short-stay hospitals in the United States had at least one CRE infection during the first half of 2012, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read entire story here.

Health Care Providers Can:

  • Know if patients in your facility have CRE.
    • Request immediate alerts when the lab identifies CRE.
    • Alert the receiving facility when a patient with CRE transfers, and find out when a patient with CRE transfers into your facility.
  • Protect your patients from CRE.
    • Follow contact precautions and hand hygiene recommendations when treating patients with CRE.
    • Dedicate rooms, staff, and equipment to patients with CRE.
    • Prescribe antibiotics wisely.
    • Remove temporary medical devices such as catheters and ventilators from patients as soon as possible.


Recommended Guidelines

The CDC’s 2012 CRE Toolkit provides CRE prevention guidelines for doctors and nurses, hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, nursing homes, and health departments. It gives step-by-step instructions for facilities treating patients with CRE infections and for those not yet affected by them.

Patients Benefit From In-Home Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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Benefits of home-based therapy include stronger clinical outcomes, reduced emergency care need, and increased compliance to physician’s orders.

Do you care for patients who have COPD, chronic lung disease, or who have conditions that make it hard for them to breathe? Your patients may benefit from a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to their door. These programs are often provided by skilled home health agencies. Patients who receive specialized treatment in their home have better clinical outcomes and a reduced need for emergency care.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an intervention that can combine exercise, education, and behavior modification strategies in an effort to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. A multidisciplinary program is individually tailored to optimize a patient’s physical and social functioning and increase their autonomy. Patients are taught how to manage their symptoms and reach their maximum functioning level. Read more

Resource Helps Families Choose Best Home Care Agency

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Home Health Care Choices

Choose the best home care agency.

Medicare-sponsored online tool Home Health Compare helps consumers research home care agencies based on quality care measures and patient satisfaction.

If you are considering home health services for yourself or a loved one, be sure to consult Home Health Compare, an online tool provided by, to help you choose a suitable agency that offers the services you need with superior ratings in the care it provides.

Home Health Compare contains information about the quality of care provided by “Medicare-certified” home health agencies throughout the nation. “Medicare-certified” means the home health agency is approved by Medicare and meets certain federal health and safety requirements.

A quick browse through the website and you’ll find competing agencies’ scores on various quality measures such as:

  • How well home health agencies care for their patients.
  • How often each agency used best practices when caring for its patients and whether patients improved in certain important areas of care.
  • What other patients said about their recent home health care experience.


For instance you can search for the home health agency in your area that had the highest scores in helping patients get better at walking or moving around, or how often the home health team checked a patient’s risk of falling.

Home Health Compare
Find out more about Home Health Compare | Get started using Home Health Compare

The Home Health Compare website was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

NOTE: Medicare will not cover home health services provided by a home health agency that has not been Medicare-certified.