MU nursing program

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COLUMBIA - One MU Nursing School program has reduced the number of nursing home patients from hospitalization by nearly 50 percent.

The Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes (MOQI) applies to advanced care, new technology and places Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in nursing homes.

Curators Professor of the Sinclair School of Nursing Marilyn Rantz said the program is very effective.

"The types of things people go to the hospital with, they can be done very timely within the nursing home," Rantz said. "And with the training from the APRN the staff gets better."

For example, urinary tract infections are very common for people living in nursing homes, but if the infection is not detected early it can create more serious problems, said Nursing Professor Greg Alexander.

APRNs help guide and mentor nursing home staff to provide better treatment.

"They help build a community of caregivers that are confident in the care they are giving and are able to be a support person," Alexander said.

The program provides people better treatment inside the nursing home. Rantz said this is important because transferring a patient to the hospital is stressful and cause cause them confusion.

Alexander said avoiding hospitalization saves Medicaid and Medicare up to $54 million a year. 

Sixteen nursing homes in Missouri use the program but Rantz hopes this will expand statewide or even nationwide. 

In the future they look to reimburse nursing homes that use the program.

Alexander hopes the compensation is used to improve and enhance care through, "increase staffing, maybe hire their own APRN someday, invest in technology and programs."