Business plan becomes innovative, cost-saving measure for caregivers

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Ron Ordona found that schoolwork does pay off, and sometimes, literally. Lincoln resident Ordona is a registered nurse who received a Master of Science in nursing degree from Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2010. Ordona’s schoolwork in one of his classes for the master’s study was a business plan that he’s now successfully using to develop a new model for residential-care homes. Ordona developed the Care Home by RNs business and care model as a classroom project as a student at Drexel. Ordona said Cheryl Portwood, an assistant clinical professor and director of the leadership track, was a major influence who encouraged him “to think out of the box” in striving to become health care systems leaders. The idea has gone from the classroom to the real world with excellent results – growing from one California home in 2008 to five homes in 2011, with two more in the pipeline. Ordona, along with other nurses who partner with him, owns the business and helps supervise the care in a growing number of California residential facilities, including the first one in Lincoln, two in Granite Bay, and one each in Sacramento and South San Francisco. The homes are supervised by RNs/LVNs, an innovation in this category of the health system where the majority of care homes are owned and operated by non-medical professionals. Another major innovation that Care Home By RNs has pioneered was the pilot study led by Ordona in the use of a smart-bed technology – the first facility to use the technology in the U.S. Mats are used to measure heart rate, respiratory rate and detect movement. The technology, called Touchless Life Care (TLC) and owned by BAM Labs, Inc., allows Ordona and his team to monitor bed exits (helps prevent falls), bed turns (helps prevent and manage pressure sores) and overall monitoring of trending in heart and respiratory rate (allows the on-call nurse to see data over time that may reflect a change in a resident’s condition). Ordona is a consultant to care facility owners and staff members, and helps monitor the residents. Ordona also works part time as a patient care resource nurse at UC Davis Medical Center, while studying to be a nurse practitioner at San Francisco State University. “I would like to see more nurses get involved in community-based long-term residential level of care,” Ordona said. “I believe that this is where the future care of our seniors is headed – home-based care. Nurses being actively involved in this care will help assure that the care given in long term residential care is safe and of high quality.” ~ Staff report