Medical Services

Dr. Venzela Slade-Hartman of Physicians Eldercare Services. The medical director is responsible for the coordination of medical care in the facility. The coordination of medical care means that the medical director helps the facility obtain and maintain timely and appropriate medical care that supports the healthcare needs of the residents, is consistent with current standards of practice, and helps the facility meet its regulatory requirements. In light of the extensive medical needs of the long term care population, our physicians have an important role both in providing direct care and in influencing care quality. The medical director helps coordinate and evaluate the medical care within the facility by reviewing and evaluating aspects of physician care and practitioner services, and helping the facility identify, evaluate, and address health care issues related to the quality of care and quality of life of residents. “A medical director should establish a framework for physician participation, and physicians should believe that they are accountable for their actions and their care.” The medical director addresses issues related to the coordination of medical care identified through the facility’s quality assessment and assurance committee and quality assurance program, and other activities related to the coordination of care. This includes, but is not limited to, helping the facility:

• Ensure that residents have primary attending and backup physician coverage;

• Ensure that physician and health care practitioner services are available to help residents attain and maintain their highest practicable level of functioning, consistent with regulatory requirements;

• Develop a process to review basic physician and health care practitioner credentials (e.g., licensure and pertinent background);

• Address and resolve concerns and issues between the physicians, health care practitioners and facility staff; and

• Resolve issues related to continuity of care and transfer of medical information between the facility and other care settings. Throughout this guidance, a response from a physician implies appropriate communication, review, and resident management, but does not imply that the physician must necessarily order tests or treatments recommended or requested by the staff, unless the physician agrees that those are medically valid and indicated. In addition, other areas for medical director input to the facility may include:

• Facilitating feedback to physicians and other health care practitioners about their performance and practices;

• Reviewing individual resident cases as requested or as indicated;

• Reviewing consultant recommendations;

• Discussing and intervening (as appropriate) with a health care practitioner about medical care that is inconsistent with applicable current standards of care;

• Assuring that a system exists to monitor the performance of the health care practitioners;

• Guiding physicians regarding specific performance expectations;

• Identifying facility or practitioner educational and informational needs;

• Providing information to the facility practitioners from sources such as nationally recognized medical care societies and organizations where current clinical information can be obtained; and

• Helping educate and provide information to staff, practitioners, residents, families and others.