Mini Business Plan: Proposed New Alzheimer’s Unit for Illini Restorative Care
The proposed addition is of a new Alzheimer’s Unit for the Illini Restorative Care in Silvis, IL. This will initially consist of a 10-bed unit created by devoting 10 of the existing beds in the facility to Alzheimer’s care patients. The unit provides additional services including acces to active therapy and behavioral management, focusing on “failure free” activities. The beds in this unit will be isolated by a special door, allowing patients to move about freely within the unit while being secured from wandering without supervision.
Rationale for Implementation
Alzheimer’s care is a growing need, with one out of every eight Americans over 65 with the disease, and as the population over 65 increases, the need will keep growing; nearly half of those over 85 have the disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2011, p. 12). By 2025, Illinois is expected to have 30 million more cases of Alzheimer’s than in 2010, a growth of 14% (Alzheimer’s Association, 2011, p. 18). The need for Alzheimer’s care units is clearly growing.
In the local community, no Alzheimer’s care facility currently exists. In addition to providing care for patients, such a care community offers an opportunity to study and research Alzheimer’s treatments with an eye to developing improved care protocols and other treatment improvements.
Impact on Patient Care
The Alzheimer’s unit will include a geriatric physician specialist who will evaluate patients and confirm that medications, therapies, and other treatments are appropriate at all times. Staff members will also receive special training on dealing with Alzheimer’s patients, including communications techniques, assistance with daily living tasks, and similar special needs skills. Nurses will have specific patients assigned to them regularly to reduce confusion in the patients. Rooms will be color coded for easy location by the patients, floors will be matte surfaced to reduce confusing reflections, the lighting will be assured that it is non-glare, and a safe indoor and outdoor walking area will be created to provide access for the patients. Staff nurses will be increased by one FTE to provide a higher staff/patient ratio.
Impact on Revenue
The average cost of Alzheimer’s care in nursing homes in 2010 was $228/day ($83,220/year) for a private room, and $206 ($75,190/year) for a semi-private room (MetLife Mature Market Study, 2010). These costs include all specialized care; only supplies (as for incontinence) would be charged extra. In a 10-bed Alzheimer’s care unit, operating at full capacity, it could be expected to generate between $750,000 and $832,000 in revenue per year. The average nursing home bed in the Silvis area is $183/day ($66,795/year) for a private room and $153/day ($55,845/year) for a semi-private room (MetLife Mature Market Study, 2010). Thus, a 10-bed Alzheimer’s unit, if operating at full capacity, would generate an additional $165,000 to $192,000 per year in revenue over normal nursing home care. One additional FTE nurse will cost approximately $85,000/year (estimated), leaving an estimated net increase in overall revenue of at least $80,000 per year.
Strengths: The Illini Restorative Care is a member, has a sterling reputation for quality patient care. It receives the highest possible rating on Nursing Home Compare, with a 5-star rating for its health inspections, staffing, and overall quality of care. The basic expertise for dealing with Alzheimer’s patients is already in house and available to be tapped, but further training on dealing with dementia patients will be provided for all staff working the unit.
Weaknesses: The greatest weakness is the need to provide 24-hour security for Alzheimer’s patients to keep them from wandering off. Current facilities are set up more to provide security from outside elements rather than keeping patients in-house. Since many Alzheimer’s patients have excellent physical mobility, but great mental confusion, this means that adaptations to facilities will be needed to allow these patients to be properly looked after.
Opportunities: The great opportunity here is in providing an important service to a community which has a growing lack of care facilities for these patients. The increasing population of 65-and-older people will provide a growing source of patients for this proposed unit. The increase in revenue in the first year should cover the necessary construction costs for adapting the beds for Alzheimer’s patients, plus the additional training for the unit. A gerontologist is already available for the existing nursing home patients, so no substantial increase in medical care costs will be required.
Threats: An Alzheimer’s unit is subject to additional state regulations including admission criteria, assessment and care planning, staffing, dementia training (minimum of 4 hours per staff person), elopement risks, and combative behaviors. In addition, the unit must have electronic door alarms, locked unit doors, a secure outdoor space, and visual monitoring of both indoor and outdoor activity areas.
The mission statement of the new Alzheimer’s Care Unit will be to provide compassionate, quality health services to Alzheimer’s patients, treating them with dignity and respect while assuring that their physical, mental, and emotional needs are met. The vision is to create an Alzheimer’s unit which is recognized as one of the best such units in the nation in terms of patient care and patient safety, recognized as the provider of choice in the region for Alzheimer’s care.
Alignment with Current Organization’s Mission Statement
The Genesis Health System Mission (of which Illini Restorative Care is a part) is to provide compassionate, quality health services to all those in need. The organization’s vision is to be a national leader in health care quality and safety, recognized by all as the best place in the region to receive care, practice medicine, and work (Genesis Health System Mission & Vision – Genesis Health System, n.d.). The mission of the proposed Alzheimer’s unit meshes with that of the overall Genesis Health Systems with the focus on patient quality of care, patient safety, and excellence in work environment for doctors, nurses, and staff.