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As with all our geriatric services, our approach to long-term care is focused on the quality of care and the quality of life for our patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Our medical team includes a nurse practitioner who is at the facility at least 40 hours each week. This both ensures rapid access to care and enhances its quality. We engage the patient and the family caregiver to assure that the patient’s goals, values, and wishes are incorporated in the care plan.
The most common problems treated at long-term care facilities include:
When a patient needs acute care, we evaluate the situation to see if we can effectively manage the condition in the long-term care setting. This results in quicker care and fewer transfers to the hospital. But if the patient does require hospital care, our own geriatricians will provide care if the patient is admitted to UPMC Shadyside. In addition, if we do not normally practice at the hospital where our patient has been admitted, we will make every attempt to co-manage the care with a physician from that hospital.
A geriatrician is a physician who is board-certified in either internal medicine or family practice medicine and who has an additional one to two years of training and board certification in geriatric medicine.
Nurse practitioners (NP) are registered nurses who have completed specific advanced nursing education and training in the diagnosis and management of common as well as a few complex medical conditions. As advance practice providers, our NPs are trained in gerontology and work in partnership with our geriatricians to provide a broad range of health care services. They treat both physical and mental conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, and ordering tests and therapies for patients. NPs also serve as a patient's "point of entry" into our program if immediate attention is needed.
Our physicians serve as medical directors in many long-term care facilities. All our physicians are fellowship-trained geriatricians with either a certification in the medical director program of the American Medical Director's Association or significant experience in long-term care practice. Our physicians recognize the dual clinical and managerial roles of the medical director and have proven competency in clinical medicine and medical management in long-term care.