LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- With an increasing number of seniors in need of long-term care as America ages, SCAN Health Plan has launched a new online continuing medical education course focused expressly on pain management in long-term care settings. The course is designed for physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals and is the latest addition to www.scancme.com, which offers a catalog of online programs in the management of chronic disease and common geriatric conditions.
“Long-term care settings need to establish a comprehensive program that creates a systematic approach to pain management,” said Timothy Schwab, M.D., chief medical officer at SCAN. “A good pain management program needs to be resident focused and include pain assessment, interventions/treatments, monitoring, quality improvement and education for patients, families and staff. By establishing a systematic and comprehensive program, long-term care facilities can ensure that residents have their pain goals met and do not suffer needlessly.”
Issues surrounding long-term care have taken on heightened significance as America ages. Last year the first of 77 million baby boomers turned 65. Today about 11 percent of the country is age 65 or older, and every eight seconds someone in America is aging into Medicare. Couple that with the fact that Americans are living longer than any prior generation – thanks to sophisticated medical technologies, healthy lifestyle habits, and new drug discoveries – and it is predicted that by 2030 one in every five Americans will be elderly. By the midpoint of this century, there will be one million Americans over the age of 100.
Dr. Schwab said that management of pain is challenging in any setting but particularly in long-term care where many residents have some type of cognitive impairment that keeps them from readily self-reporting pain. “This is complicated by the myth that pain should be expected in older adults and the hesitancy by many seniors and their families to ask for pain medication for fear of potential addiction,” he says. “Similar concerns and beliefs by nurses and physicians often also contribute to poor pain management and resident suffering.”
Through this online course, SCAN hopes to improve the quality of healthcare delivered to not only SCAN members but to all seniors in the community. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and social workers who want to improve their knowledge, competency and performance in the care of older adults may all access the SCAN online CME courses.
In addition to the pain management module, www.scancme.com offers online course topics in palliative care, chronic kidney disease in the elderly, stroke prevention and management, and prevention and management of atrial fibrillation. The website also provides clinical guidelines, assessment tools, and literature regarding common geriatric medical conditions, all designed to assist healthcare professionals in better managing their older patients. SCAN also publishes an e-newsletter that focuses on performance improvement education in geriatrics and features monthly interviews with experts in geriatric care.
For more than 30 years, SCAN Health Plan has been focusing on the unique needs of seniors and is now the country’s fourth largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan. For more information, visit scanhealthplan.com.
SCAN Health Plan
Michelle Hokr, 818-597-8453, x-5
KEYWORDS: United States North America California
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Seniors Education Continuing Health Training Consumer Nursing Family Managed Care