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INTERACT: A Protocol for Delivering Better Care
CARR's mission is to improve resident care in assisted living by educating consumers and providers. One of the ways we can achieve that is by promoting tools providers can use to elevate the quality-of-care they deliver, while educating consumers that they should be asking providers whether they use the INTERACT protocol. And if not, why not?
INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) is a quality improvement program that is a product of a contract between the Georgia Medical Care Foundation and the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Funding for adaptation of INTERACT for assisted living and home health settings was provided by a CMS Innovation Award.
The fundamentals of the program include early identification, assessment, documentation and communication about the changes in a resident's condition with the goal of "improving care and reducing the frequency' of avoidable trips to the hospital. As assisted living facilities in California continue to admit residents having higher acuity levels into a non-medical setting, it becomes increasingly important for providers to 'amp up' their caregivers' professionalism, training, and ability to quickly and accurately identify a resident's change of condition. INTERACT Assisted Living Version 1.0 Tools is easily accessible, free, and can be immediately implemented in any assisted living setting. So its up to you providers. Be proactive for your resident's care: Step up your game by insuring your facility is applying the latest in effective techniques to monitor, document and make interventions when a resident's change of condition warrants action.
And consumers: If you are shopping for an assisted living placement, be sure to ask the administrator of the facility you are interviewing whether they are actively and consistently implementing the INTERACT protocols. If they are, ask to see how that plays out within the facility; if they aren't - ask them why they haven't taken advantage of this quality improvement tool. You may decide to keep looking for a RCFE provider who DOES use the INTERACT Procotols, for your loved one's sake.