Lancaster online had an interesting article on Goods Run, one of the Mennonite Home’s new skilled "households."   These homes were designed to create a more homelike and less institutional environment for residents.

The change has helped many residents become more social.  Mennonite Home’s conversion to households incorporates a person-centered approach.  This approach is and should gain in popularity across the country.   It’s a key component of a $13 million physical renovation and "culture change" at the 105-year-old continuing-care community.

While the skilled-nursing area is being turned into nine households with up to 28 people each, the exterior of the brick building along Harrisburg Pike in Manheim Township is being transformed as well.   Other recent improvements include an all-season room, a café serving Starbucks coffee, a library, a country store and a new elevator tower.

In total, the households will consist of 190 beds, six fewer skilled-nursing beds than Mennonite Home had before.  Though Goods Run, which opened in March, has room for 28 residents, the rest of the households will accommodate 16 to 22 people.

Each household has a front door, which opens to reveal a living room with fireplace and flat-screen TV; a parlor; a dining room and residential-style kitchen; a washer and dryer; and even a spa with whirlpool. The traditional nurses station also has been eliminated, Sauder said, and replaced with charting and medication rooms tucked away from the main living area.

Resident rooms are configured and furnished differently, too, he said. Before, most skilled-nursing rooms were semiprivate, Sauder said. Now there are more private rooms, along with "modified" private rooms, where two people each have their own space (separated by a wall) but share a bath.

According to her Web site,, "Action Pact Inc. is a company of trainers, consultants and educators who assist nursing homes and other elder-care organizations in becoming resident-directed.


The May 4 death of a local nursing home patient has been ruled a homicide.  However, no criminal charges will be filed in the case.   Elsie Powell is suspected of pushing Edna Shaw to the floor at Encore Senior Village on University Parkway. Shaw hit her head on the floor.  Both were residents at a nursing home.   The Medical Examiners Office ruled that the blunt impact to Shaw’s head contributed to her death and ruled the death a homicide, the report said.

Powell’s condition has continued to deteriorate, Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer wrote in the report.   “It is doubtful that she was even mentally competent when the incident occurred,” Rimmer wrote. “Therefore, in my opinion, no criminal charge should be filed against her for the unfortunate death of Miss Edna Shaw.”,  a news website from Oklahoma City, had an article about a resident being physically abused with video evidencing significant bruises.  The article states that the resident’s family is looking for answers after a woman was found covered in bruises while she was staying in a Norman nursing home.

The workers at the Whispering Pines Nursing Home said Carol Crow, 60, was injured when she fell but did not provide any details to support this conclusion.  The family doesn’t believe the injuries could come from a fall. The family is offering a reward for information because the Department of Human Service has refused to investigate.

"It was very traumatizing. She just cried the whole time," said Julie Glass, Carol’s daughter. "She had bruising all the way around her face, all the way completely down her chest and around her neck."

"Her story is that a man knocked her down, got on top of her and beat her unconscious," said Jack Crow.  The family said they took their story to DHS, which sent them a letter saying that it wouldn’t open a case because there was no indication of abuse.

The Crow family offered a $2,500 reward for information. They posted signs around Norman and in front of the nursing center. The sign posting led to a confrontation with Whispering Pines representatives.

"I’m angry at the fact that I don’t know what they’re covering up," said Glass. "The people that are left there have no one. They have no one to protect them."

The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an article about how many errors in health care settings do not get reported.  These errors or mistakes, whatever you want to call them, need to be disclosed so we can figure out how to prevent them in the future.  These health care businesses are more worried about getting caught then preventing them.

The article describes several incidents where patients were not given proper care but the hospitals failed to report the problems such as two patients at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia required additional surgery after objects were negligently left inside their bodies or three patients at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital had to be sent back to the OR last year to stop excessive postoperative bleeding or  At Abington Memorial Hospital, an elderly woman recovering from surgery for a broken hip in 2005 was left on a bedpan for at least 41/2 hours. She developed two open bedsores as a result.

For several years now, hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been required to report medical mistakes and serious complications to state agencies charged with reducing medical errors. But most hospitals aren’t complying, undermining efforts to improve patient safety.  In New Jersey, five of the state’s 80 hospitals failed to report a single preventable mistake last year. In Pennsylvania, some facilities didn’t report any serious events or even the near misses that might have harmed patients.

James Bagian, head of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for Patient Safety, said: "Anybody that is supposed to report close calls and has zero reports is clueless; Management is asleep at the switch and just waiting until they kill someone."  The public can only learn that a hospital isn’t reporting mistakes in those rare instances when the health department cites it for failing to comply with the law.

"There is still some underreporting, and we are working directly with the hospitals to understand why," said Eliot Fishman, policy director of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.  Consumer advocates want more transparency so patients can make better health-care decisions.

The numbers suggest underreporting is more than just a passing problem.   Calvin Johnson, the Pennsylvania secretary of health, said only people with their "head in the sand" would fail to see the problem of uneven reporting by hospitals. But he noted that with about 200 hospitals and millions of patient visits each year, it is impossible for the state to check every chart.

While it’s important to study each of those reports, it is at least as crucial to identify hospitals that are not participating at all, said Conway, of the health-care improvement institute.   "We cannot improve care unless we understand the problems," Conway said. "There can’t be safety without transparency."