Transition to Practice Academy

Register now for the final Transition to Practice Academy conferences.

This free two-day training provides valuable information to newly licensed RNs and LVNs and nurses who are transitioning to a nursing facility from another practice setting.

Due to inclement weather, the Corpus Christi conference was rescheduled.

Remaining Dates and Locations:

  • Feb. 28-March 1, 2018 – San Antonio
  • March 20-21, 2018 – Corpus Christi

More information about the conference is available on the Register for Transition to Practice. Email questions to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Texas OASIS Home and Community Based Services Dementia Training Academy

Registration is still available for the Texas OASIS HCBS Dementia Training Academy. During this free two-day training participants will receive in-depth information on dementia care and the Texas OASIS HCBS Training Academy manual. All participants will receive a flash drive with the training materials; participating licensed/contracted organizations will also receive the DVD “Bathing Without a Battle

The training is available to staff from a variety of community-based programs, including ALFs, DAHS, PACE and others who provide care in the home for a licensed entity. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to teach the curriculum to other staff.

Remaining Dates and Locations:

  • March 21-22, 2018 – El Paso
  • March 27-28, 2018 – Edinburg
  • March 29-30, 2018 – Laredo
  • April 18-19, 2018 – Houston
  • April 25-26, 2018 – Abilene
  • May 9-10, 2018 - San Antonio
  • May 16-17, 2018 - Corpus Christi
  • May 23-24, 2018 – Fort Worth

More information about the conference is available on the Texas OASIS Home and Community Based Services Dementia Training Academy Registration. Questions can be emailed to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

PASRR in the NF: Putting the Pieces Together

Register now for PASRR in the NF: Putting the Pieces Together. HHSC is sponsoring this free, two-day training event that will provide nursing facilities with information and resources that detail the complexities of caring for residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness or both.

Participants will learn to identify the requirements of the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review tool, describe the individuals that PASRR affects, list the laws related to PASRR, and describe the different types of settings that can serve individuals affected by PASRR.

Remaining Dates and Locations:

  • March 7-8, 2018 - Abilene
  • March 21-22, 2018 - Austin
  • March 27-28, 2018 - San Antonio
  • April 3-4, 2018 - Tyler
  • May 1-2, 2018 - Fort Worth

More information about the conference is available on the PASRR in the NF: Putting the Pieces Together. Email any questions to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care – Nursing at Its Best Award

The Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care is seeking nominations for the “Nursing at Its Best Award.” This is an opportunity to recognize and share with others the outstanding work performed by nursing staff every day in long-term care settings across Texas. 

Nominations will be accepted for CNAs, LVNs, RNs and APRNs who have provided excellent person-centered care to residents in a long-term care setting, particularly in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home. The nominee must meet the following criteria:

  • Work in a long-term care setting in Texas
  • Be at least one year in their position
  • Demonstrate past or present person-centered care

Award winners will receive a certificate and will also be featured on the Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care website and social media pages. In addition, the winners will have the opportunity to have the Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care conduct a continuing education workshop at their facility.

Submit a written nomination of 250 words or less on the Center for Excellence in Long-term Care awards webpage, telling us why your nominee deserves to win this award. Nominations for the first awards will close March 9, 2018, and the winners will be notified on April 11, 2018. Awards will be presented quarterly. Any submissions received after March 9 will be held and reviewed during the next award cycle.

For more information, visit the Center for Excellence.

Music and Memory Update

QMP staff have reviewed the past 2 1/2 year’s activities with the Music & Memory program have written an article reporting program success stories and anecdotal findings.

Next Steps

Due the positive results, QMP applied for and received another CMP grant to fund an additional 200 facilities for the program. Nominations for Phase IV of the program closed Feb. 9, and the facilities selected to participate will be notified soon.

In addition, The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing Center for Excellence in Long-Term Care is launching a study of the M&M program to examine the use of individualized music playlists for people with dementia who reside in nursing facilities. Results from the six-month study will be released by the end of 2018.

Visit the QMP Music and Memory web page for more information. Email questions to QMP@hhsc.state.tx.us.

Influenza Update

Influenza activity continues to increase around the state, with many reports of influenza-like (ILI) or influenza-associated outbreaks from long-term care facilities, including nursing homes.

What is reportable, and to whom?

  • Per Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97 in the Texas Administrative Code, report all outbreaks to your local health department immediately. Contact information for your local health department, based upon the county the facility is located in, can be found at Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
  • Nursing facilities have additional reporting requirements per 40 TAC §19.1923(b)(1)-(2). NFs are required to self-report outbreaks to the HHS Consumer Rights and Services. For more information about self-reporting incidents to CRS, please see Provider Letter 2017-18. The report must be made to CRS within 24 hours.

How is an outbreak defined?

DSHS recommends the use of at least one of the following:

  • A sudden increase of cases over the normal background rate
  • Three or more cases of AFRI (acute febrile respiratory illness) or ILI among residents or healthcare workers who are in close proximity with each other (e.g., same area of the facility) within 72 hours
  • AFRI: An illness characterized with onset in the past 4 days of fever and at least one of the following: cough, sore throat, rhinorrhea or nasal congestion
  • ILI: An illness characterized with a fever greater than or equal to 100˚F plus a cough and/or a sore throat in the absence of a known cause other than influenza
  • Two or more cases of AFRI or ILI among residents when there is at least one confirmed influenza case in the facility.

Use of Antiviral Medications

Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and DSHS are as follows:

  • All long-term care facility residents who have confirmed or suspected influenza should receive antiviral treatment immediately.
  • All eligible residents in the entire long-term care facility (not just currently impacted wards) should receive antiviral chemoprophylaxis as soon as an influenza outbreak is determined.
  • Antiviral chemoprophylaxis can be considered or offered to unvaccinated personnel who provide care to persons at high risk of complications.
  • For additional information about antiviral treatment and chemoprophylaxis, visit the CDC website:

Managing an Outbreak

Additional resources that can be used to help manage an ILI or flu-associated outbreak at a nursing facility and stay aware of influenza activity in the state include:

For any additional questions, please contact your local health department or DSHS at flutexas@dshs.texas.gov.