Erica Holt graduated from college with a degree as an occupational therapy assistant degree knowing she wanted to make a difference in long term care.  After several years working as a staff clinician, she wanted to learn about operational and clinical management.  At this time, her clinical manager began to teach and mentor her. In February 2018 Erica was moved into the role of interim clinical manager.  Within thirty days, it was clear that Erica was a perfect fit and officially moved into a permanent position as the CM.

At the time of her promotion, her facility had a low case mix index (CMI) for their long-term care.  Their CASPER report reflected issues related to falls, falls with major injury, incontinence and psychotropic drug use.  Erica identified her clinical champions and started working on the Functional Pathways Program of the Quarter clinical initiatives.

Erica identified several key points which have lead to her success as a new manager (still less than 6 months in the position!).   These include:

  1. Upon receipt of a nursing referral, therapy completes a thorough evaluation. Previously, they would only screen the resident.  Frequently, the CNAs would report the resident was “the same”. However, the nurse was seeing something significant which warranted the therapy evaluation. After this process was started , the therapists were able to see the significant changes which were occurring. They began to understand the role therapy plays in guiding nursing care and restorative/maintenance plans.  Therapy care plans were more comprehensive in nature and included a strong caregiver training and environmental modification components.
  2. The therapy and facility clinical leads were guided into the structured roll out of the Pathways to Engagement and Pathways to Fall Prevention Nursing in-services were scheduled for current staff and is now a component of the new employee orientation.
  3. Community exposure about their Pathways to Engagement program continues to grow. New referrals are being received based on their strong reputation for dementia care management. A community open house is scheduled for August to promote understanding dementia.
  4. Staff morale has increased without any turnover. Open positions are in place due to the continued growth of our therapy programs.

Erica received the most recent CASPER report from her administrator last week.  In addition to a significant improvement in the CMI, the facility now below the state and national averages for falls, falls with major injury, incontinence and psychotropic drug use.  We are so proud of Erika’s achievement in making a difference.

Beth Reigart
Clinical Operations Specialist