Joseph G. Ouslander, Alice Bonner, Laurie Herndon, and Jill Shutes
J. G. Ouslander, A. Bonner, L. Herndon et al., “The Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) Quality Improvement Program: An Overview for Medical Directors and Primary Care Clinicians in Long-Term Care,” Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, March 2014 15(3)162–70.
Unnecessary or avoidable hospitalizations of vulnerable long-term care residents can lead to serious medical complications—even death in certain cases. Such “acute care transfers,” as they are known, also result in millions of dollars of excess health care expenses. With support from The Commonwealth Fund, researchers and experts developed Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT), a publicly available quality improvement program that helps nurse aides and other direct-care staff at long-term care facilities identify, evaluate, and manage acute changes in residents’ medical conditions. The program’s goal is to safely manage clinical situations on site whenever possible, and thus avoid the substantial risks associated with hospital admission.
The INTERACT program has four primary components:
Facilities that have successfully implemented INTERACT share three characteristics: support from executive leadership, a champion who engages direct-care staff, and a culture of quality improvement. More information on INTERACT is available at http://interact2.net/.