September 3, 2019

Nominate Your NF for Phase VI of the Music & Memory Program

Is your nursing facility participating in HHSC's Music & Memory program? If not, here's your chance. HHSC is expanding the initiative to 131 more nursing facilities, so nominate your facility now by completing this survey. Nominations will close on Sept.15.

2019 Quality in Long-Term Care Conference Wrap-Up

Texas Health and Human Services’ Quality Monitoring Program held its annual Quality in Long-Term Care Conference in Georgetown, Texas in August 2019. Based on feedback from conference attendees and presenters, this was one of QMP’s most successful conferences yet, with over 600 people attending each day.

Formerly known as the HHS Geriatric Symposium, the 2019 Quality in Long-Term Care conference featured nationally and internationally-recognized speakers. They discussed evidence-based best practices, current health care trends, and cutting-edge advances in long-term care, aging and disabilities. The conference’s two days featured over 60 breakout sessions, panel discussions and keynote presentations, and provided continuing education credits for more than a dozen long-term health care professions including nursing and social work.

HHS and the Quality Monitoring Program would like to thank all conference volunteers, attendees and presenters for making this year’s conference a success.

Your feedback is critical for our future conference planning. Please complete our online conference evaluation. Log in to your Learning Portal account to complete the survey. After completing the evaluation, you can receive a certificate of completion.

Planning for next year’s conference will begin soon. We hope to see you again in 2020!

Nursing at Its Best Award

The Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Long-Term Care recently announced the recipients of the 2019 Nursing at Its Best Award:

  • Ray Bermudez CNA, from Vernon Texas
  • Regina Camacho RN, from Bartlett, TX

Nominations for the award were submitted by their peers, and both were honored at an awards ceremony at the 2019 Quality in Long-Term Care Conference.

Nominations for next year’s awards open in May 2020. Visit the Center’s website for more information.

Register Now for the Quality Assurance, Performance Improvement and Resident Safety Training

Beginning October 2019, QMP’s new two-day training program will be at eight locations. This provides nursing facility staff with the knowledge and skills to develop, initiate and evaluate different approaches to quality assurance, performance improvement and resident safety. Topics include:

  • Introduction to Quality Assurance, Performance Improvement and Resident Safety
  • Regulations and Standards related to Quality Management in Long-Term Care
  • Quality Management Tools
  • Patient Safety and Infection Control
  • Quality in Action
  • Change and Organizational Culture
  • Evidence-Based Practice to Improve Processes and Practices
  • Putting the Pieces Together: An Integrated Approach to the Quality Program

Participants will be able to initiate new quality processes in their NFs, build upon current quality processes and teach the curriculum to other staff members.

Dates and Locations:

Oct. 16-17, 2019 - Fort Worth
Oct. 30-31, 2019 - Abilene
Nov. 13-14, 2019 - Austin
Dec. 4-5, 2019 - El Paso
Dec. 18-19, 2019 - San Antonio
Jan. 8-9, 2020 - Edinburg
Feb. 5-6, 2020 - Corpus Christi
Feb. 19-20, 2020 – Houston

Register now for this free, two-day training. Visit the conference web page for more information. Email questions to

Project Update: Providing Advanced Practice Nurse Services in NFs

The Quality Monitoring Program’s joint Civil Money Penalty project with The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Providing Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Services in Nursing Facilities, has begun.

In this program, UT School of Nursing employees nine APRNs. They are placed in five central Austin nursing facilities selected by HHS to participate in the program. During the program, the NFs are closely monitored by HHS. UT School of Nursing will administer the study to determine if employment of full-time advanced practice nurses as part of an NF care team reduces the rates of adverse events and improves the quality of care for NF residents.

To prepare for this program, the APRNs completed a comprehensive four-week training. Training was on a broad variety of regulatory and evidence-based best practice topics. It was conducted by QMP staff and faculty from UT Nursing, who matched the APRNs with participating NFs at a kickoff event at UT’s School of Nursing on Aug. 9. Participating NFs include: Will-O-Bell Nursing Home, Meridian Care, Bridgemoor Transitional Care, Austin Retirement and Nursing Center, and Oakcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The program is expected to last between 1-3 years and is not open to additional participants. Send questions about this program to

CDC Recommendations for Tuberculin Skin Tests During Nationwide Shortage of APLISOL®

The manufacturer of APLISOL® notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they expect a nationwide shortage of the 5 ml tests beginning June 2019, and of the 1 ml tests by November 2019. APLISOL® is one of two PPD tuberculin antigens licensed by the FDA for performing tuberculin skin tests. See this CDC Recommendations handout for more information and recommendations for conducting TSTs during the shortage.

PASRR Hotline to Be Inactivated Aug. 26, 2019

Effective Aug. 26, 2019, the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review technical assistance hotline (855-435-7180) will be inactivated. Providers that call the hotline on or after Aug. 26, 2019, will receive a recorded message requesting they send their question by email to Using email allows HHSC to maintain a record of the inquiry and the response.

More information is available on the TMHP website.

New Online Training Coming Soon to the HHS Learning Portal

Two new training opportunities will soon be available through the HHS Learning Portal:

  • Advanced CNA Academy - This course provides comprehensive training for nursing facility certified nurse aides about caring for the geriatric population.
  • Meaningful Activities to Enhance Quality of Life - Designed for nursing facility activity directors, licensed nurses, certified nurse aides and ancillary staff, this online training explains evidence-based best practices to help staff develop meaningful and relevant person-centered activity programs and implement individualized activities that reflect each resident’s preferences, customary habits and lifestyle.

Email questions to

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