What is a Care Conference?
Care Conference, Resident Care Conference or Interdisciplinary team meetings are all forms of meetings designed to communicate the care plan to the patient and their family. Nursing Homes are required to hold a care conference for the senior and their family either on a regular schedule or at the patients request. These meetings are a key structure of communication with nursing home staff and should always be attended.
Who Should Be There?
The patient (or resident’s as nursing homes call them) should be in attendance and permitted to ask questions. The patient can also have a family member or advocate in attendance to help facilitate communication and understanding.
The nursing home staff in attendance should include: The charge nurse, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Activities Director, Dietary Director and Social Worker. If the resident is receiving treatments like wound care, hospice or respiratory therapy they should also be in the meeting.
Every aspect of the residents care plan should be reviewed at care conference.
List of documentation that should be reviewed include:
- Care plan
- Nursing notes
- Therapy notes
- Labs results
- Clinical assessments
- Medication list
How Often Are They Held?
If the resident is there for short-term sub-acute rehabilitation, care conferences are scheduled near the end of their stay. If the resident is receiving long-term care, conferences are scheduled at 14, 30 and 90 days. Special care conferences can also be scheduled in the event of a change in condition. Check with the social work office for the care conference schedule.
Don’t Skip The Meeting
The nursing home often schedules the care conference meetings as part of a system of compliance. However just because a meeting is scheduled at a time in which you cannot attend ask the to reschedule. Care conferences are a very important and state mandated function to the nursing home communication process. If you skip a meeting you are in danger of missing some very important information.