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AMC-Uihlein praised in latest Health Department survey

SARANAC LAKE - The Adirondack Medical Center has learned that the staff at AMC-Uihlein in Lake Placid has made critical gains in providing high-quality residential care.

In July, the state Department of Health conducted surveys at the Lake Placid residential nursing facility. The results of those surveys are in, and AMC is getting positive reviews, according to hospital spokesman Joe Riccio.

"The DOH conducts unannounced recertification surveys on an annual basis," Riccio said. "Long-term care facilities like AMC-Uihlein must be certified by the Department of Health in order to receive Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements. So that accounts for about 85 percent of our residents who are covered by Medicaid and Medicare and in order to receive those reimbursements you have to be certified by the health department."

The nursing home staff at Uihlein has implemented a number of quality improvement measures.

Riccio said those actions were taken after the Lake Placid facility and AMC-Mercy in Tupper Lake both signed up with the Advancing Excellence Initiative.

"It's a national campaign and it seeks to accelerate the rate of quality improvement in nursing homes by promoting excellence in care giving for nursing home residents," he said. "We do this by monitoring key indicators of quality in nursing homes and acknowledging the critical role staff plays in providing high quality care."

At AMC-Uihlein, quality improvement efforts include ongoing staff education on policies and procedures as well as the continual process of reviewing policies and procedures to make sure resident care is generating positive feedback.

Michele Byno is the chief officer of Long Term Care at AMC. She says staff at Uihlein has worked hard over the past year to make positive gains in the quality improvement process.

"This latest inspection is a clear indication we are moving in the right direction," she said.

According to the health department report, surveyors were impressed with momentum that's building at the nursing facility.

"It was a very good survey and the staff worked very hard," the report reads. "The staff is dedicated to the residents and the residents are very fond of the staff."

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