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New Law Improves Caregiver Training Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act into law, which will require hospitals to provide patients the opportunity to designate a caregiver and provide that caregiver with a discharge plan and aftercare instructions. The caregiver must be kept informed about the patient’s status and provided with an explanation and demonstration of the medical tasks they will need to perform at home after leaving the hospital. “Caregivers are performing more and more complex medical tasks that used to be provided by an at-home nurse,” said Seth Boffeli, communications director of AARP Minnesota. “If we’re going to ask them to do more, we need to better prepare them.” The bill passed the Senate last year and passed the House in early May this year with a unanimous vote. It will go into effect in 2017 and affect more than 670,000 unpaid family caregivers, according to AARP. More than 20 other states have passed similar legislation. The Minnesota Hospital Association worked with the bill’s


authors — Sen. Kent Eken (D-Twin Valley) and Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) — to add verbiage to the bill that protects hospitals from litigation for care provided by a designated caregiver and an ability for hospitals to deny the caregiver designation if it is determined that they are unable to perform the duties called for in the discharge plan. It also omitted the requirement of procuring a second written consent for sharing the individual’s health record information with the designated caregiver.

Allina to Combine Mercy and Unity Hospitals Allina Health System has announced that its Unity Hospital in Fridley and Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids will operate as one hospital starting Jan. 1, 2017. The two will share the name Mercy Hospital and Unity Hospital will be known as Mercy Hospital– Unity Campus. The goal is to strengthen specialty services and reduce unnecessary duplication at the hospitals. Allina Health is calling the plan “One Hospital, Two Campuses.”


The health care system plans to spend about $103 million on construction projects at both hospitals. Plans are still being finalized and will take place over the next several years. At Mercy Hospital, projects could include renovating the parking ramp and intensive care unit as well as expanding operating rooms and emergency departments. Projects at the Unity Campus include expanding the emergency room and inpatient mental health clinic, as it will merge with Mercy’s mental health services unit. Consolidating the mental health care unit at Unity alone will cost Allina Health about $17.5 million next year. According to Allina Health, more than 60 percent of the hospitals’ mental health patients also struggle with addiction issues. The move, meant to help improve access to care for these patients, will take place in early 2017. “We are making a significant investment to improve access to mental health professionals and services,” said Helen Strike, president of Unity Hospital. “Improved access in our primary care and mental health clinics will help to avoid a crisis.”

Mayo Clinic Joins National Microbiome Initiative Mayo Clinic has announced it has joined the new National Microbiome Initiative sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and has committed to opening a new clinic based on microbiome science as part of the project. The $1.4 million clinic will focus on improving patient care through diagnostics, therapeutics, and education based on microbiome science. Diagnostics at the clinic will include whole-genome sequencing, antibiotic-resistance profiling, metagenomic profiling, targeted environmental testing, and 16S rRNA-gene based tests to individualize treatment of undiagnosed infections and conditions, as well as to perform hospital surveillance, according to a fact sheet about the initiative. Therapeutics will include Mayo Clinic’s established fecal microbiota transplant program, and new therapies emerging from clinical trials and education will focus on helping patients navigate the complex options that promote

MN Physician June 2016  

Volume XXX, No.3 2016 Health Care Architecture Honor Roll | Targeted temperature management: Improving outcomes in neurocritical care By...

MN Physician June 2016  

Volume XXX, No.3 2016 Health Care Architecture Honor Roll | Targeted temperature management: Improving outcomes in neurocritical care By...