A catalyst for innovation – right in our own backyard

Heather Herlyn, director of quality and safety for the Good Samaritan Society, spoke at the 2023 AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit about the collaboration between the Society and Sanford Health.

Over the past few years, the Good Samaritan Society has identified and implemented opportunities with parent company Sanford Health that include new care delivery models for residents and clients. These models have led to increased access to services, reduced disruptions and better care.

Heather Herlyn, director of quality and safety for the Good Samaritan Society, spoke at the 2023 AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit about the collaboration between the Society and Sanford Health.

“The needs of seniors are comprehensive and evolving, so finding innovative ways to deliver care and sharpen performance is key to providing the best possible experience and outcomes for residents and staff,” says Heather.

The Society’s new care delivery models include a clinic without walls, a hemodialysis den and virtual care.

Convenient access to hemodialysis

In 2021, the Society opened a hemodialysis den at its long-term care center on the campus of Good Samaritan Society – Sioux Falls Village in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is the only skilled nursing-based hemodialysis den in South Dakota.

The den makes it possible for residents to receive dialysis without leaving home and includes recliners and dialysis machines. A staff member from Sanford Health assists with the treatment.

Since opening, the den has had a significant impact on residents. They spend less time at dialysis which means less disruption to their daily schedule, including meals and activities, and improved health and energy levels.

The model of staff-assisted home hemodialysis is groundbreaking and one of the few programs like it in the nation.

Clinic without walls

In addition to the hemodialysis den, the Society and Sanford Health created a clinic without walls to help make quality care more easily available to residents.

Transportation and access are often the biggest barriers when patients are looking for primary care. The clinic without walls model delivers care to residents in their homes – whether their home is assisted living, independent living or long-term care.

Residents can stay in their comfortable surroundings and see a physician, a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. Society nurses work side-by-side with providers.

This clinic model benefits those who can’t leave their homes easily. Residents can receive primary care, acute care, wound debridement, advanced care planning, medication management and most other services offered at a clinic.

Electronic innovations

While the clinic without walls allows residents to see a provider in-person, virtual care gives residents the option of seeing a provider electronically through a tablet or computer.

Long-term care staff members can dial into 53 specialties at the click of a button to help residents get the treatment they need. Those in rural areas see a noticeable benefit from this convenient option, often saving hours on transportation.

The Society can receive electronic records from Sanford Health as well. Patients who have been discharged from the Sanford Health acute care setting can have their records transferred electronically to the Society, making for a smooth transition that allows caregivers to spend more time with residents.

All of these new care delivery models are examples of a collaboration that sets the Society and Sanford Health apart.

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