Therapy/Nursing Partnership at Cedar Health

By Cathy Champlin DOR, Cedar Health and Rehab, Cedar City, UT

I’m Cathy Champlin, the DOR here at Cedar Health and Rehab in Cedar City, UT. My counterpart is Trent Neilson, the DON here. Cedar was a new acquisition on Jan. 1, 2019. I initially came on board at that time to assist with the transition, with the intention of returning to my home facility after a few months. The DON at acquisition had already given her notice prior to Jan. 1, and the position was temporarily filled by Jeremy Wood, our resource until May when Trent came on board. By the end of January, I had decided to transfer here as DOR and was working closely with Jeremy (and Spencer our ED) on helping to bring CAPLICO to Cedar.

When Trent came on in May, it was a very smooth transition. Perhaps because neither Trent nor I had a long history at the building and were both new in our roles, we were able to help each other without any territorial disagreements. We just put our heads together, bounced ideas off each other and got to work. We have worked hard to ensure that there is no “That’s Nursing’s job” or “I’m the therapist — I don’t do that.” The nurses here are very open to listening when Therapy notices a change in condition, and Therapy does not hesitate to toilet and answer call lights when able.

When asked what our “secret” was, I truly didn’t know. Perhaps, like I said, it was that we were both new to our roles and did not feel the need to “defend our territory” or that we had a similar vision for the building as shared by our ED. I will point out, though, that Trent and I carpooled to work most days for the first six months (45 minutes each way). That much one-on-one time definitely gave us a chance to talk, exchange ideas and get to know each other in a way that just time at work does not offer. So maybe that is the key.

As far as PDPM goes, I feel like we do well working as a team. Trent, Robert (MDS coordinator) and I look at all of the patients together. Trent and Robert have access through iCentra to all of the acute care records for most of our referrals, and I bring in the patient report piece as well from the therapy evals. We hand out assignments and use a color-coded tab system to keep track of where we are on each patient so we don’t waste time re-looking at things. Red is for new and not yet really started, yellow is for still looking for NTAs, but GG, BIMs, etc., are in green for “ready for fine tuning” and white is for sent. We often tease Robert, who gets nervous going to green, that it’s not easy being green!