Category Archives: Blog

All posts for the blog.


Announcing INTERACT™ Center of Excellence Designation

We are pleased to announce that Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center has achieved INTERACT™ Center of Excellence status.

To achieve this status, the organization committed to a rigorous certification program that promotes reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions utilizing the INTERACT™ Quality Improvement Program (QIP), including:

  • Delivering leadership and direction for embracing full INTERACT QIP implementation.
  • Identifying best practice approaches for utilization of the INTERACT QIP.
  • Maintaining INTERACT™ Certified Champions.
  • Monitoring data and clinical outcomes to identify areas for performance improvement.
  • Providing ongoing training and support for your care delivery team.

Learn more about achieving the INTERACT™ Center of Excellence designation.



Complimentary Webinar on SNF-VBP and Readmission Outcomes

Join Pathway Health’s Director of Consulting Services, Colleen Toebe, RN-MSN, CWCN, RAC-MTA, RAC-MT for the upcoming complimentary webinar, SNF-VBP and Readmission Outcomes.

About the Session:
Considering the recent readmission outcomes due to SNF Value-Based Purchasing (SNFVBP), our industry is challenged with some significant readmission penalties. Starting this year, CMS implemented measures to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions with financial incentives or penalties by each facility’s readmission rates for the current FY resulting in nearly 11,000 providers receiving a reduction in Medicare payments due to high readmission rates. Understanding the SNFVBP, the SNF readmission measure (SNFRM), current CMS data and the impact to your organization is key to success. Join this session to learn more about SNFVBP, SNFRM and leadership tips and strategies to improve operational, clinical and financial outcomes.


  • Understand the impact of SNFVBP and the readmission measure
  • Review the quality expectations related to SNFVBP and the readmission measures’ impact on strategic partners
  • Describe key leadership strategies to reduce unnecessary readmissions, fostering improved operational outcomes

*Approved for 1 CE for Administrators and Nurses



Connect with Pathway Health in September

As clinical leaders, it is our goal to stay abreast of the latest information and resources to better care for the aging community and support the long term care space.

This month, our Pathway Health experts are looking forward to connecting with fellow leaders, virtually and in-person, during our industry’s September events.

Make sure to connect with us and attend our sessions at the following events:

2021 Global Ageing Network Virtual Summit
September 7-8 (Virtual)

Illinois Health Care Association Convention and Expo
September 13-16 (Springfield, IL)
Come and See Susan LaGrange at our booth. 

LeadingAge Iowa 2021 Fall Conference & Solutions Expo
September 15-16 (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Attend Karolee Withers’ (formerly Alexander) session on 9/15:
12:30 pm – Let’s Get Back to Quality Data and Outcomes

WI Director of Nursing Council Long-Term Care Nursing Workshop
September 16-17 (Sheboygan, WI)
Attend Lisa Thomson’s session on 9/17:
12:30 pm – Facing Leadership Challenges Post Pandemic

LeadingAge Missouri 2021 Annual Conference
September 20-22 (St. Louis, MO)
Attend Lisa Thomson’s presentations on 9/21:
10:45 am – A Leaders Approach to Infection Prevention Today and in the Future and
3:45 pm – Reducing Readmissions-Clinical Strategies for Operational Success.
Also visit her at our booth in the Exhibit Hall. 

LeadingAge Minnesota Annual Meeting & Leadership Forum
September 22-24 (Virtual)

MHCA 2021 Annual Convention
September 26-29 (Billings, MT)
Attend Lisa Thomson’s session on 9/28:
12:00 pm – Individual Service Plans: The Key to Delivering Resident-Centered Care in Assisted Living

Iowa Health Care Association 2021 Convention & Trade Show
September 27-29 (Des Moines, IA)
Attend Louann Lawson’s sessions on 9/27:
8:30 am – Unique Challenges of the Health Care Workforce
10:15 am – Use Quality Measure Data to Improve Clinical Outcomes
3:45 pm – Can We Prevent Falls – Using QAPI to Do Just That

For questions or to make an appointment with our experts, contact us.



Register Now: Regulatory & Compliance Webinar on documentation Essentials

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations will be hosting a webinar on September 7, at 1 pm CT, where Pathway Health’s Kim Stenzel, RN, will cover documentation essentials.

This information packed session will cover the importance, the details, and operational strategies for accurate and adequate documentation for success, quality and compliance.


  • Describe the basic requirements of charting resident condition to substantiate care and services
  • Verbalize the importance of objective vs. subjective documentation
  • Identify specific charting elements for critical resident conditions, pressure ulcers, falls, and condition changes
  • Describe documentation essentials for quality communication and regulatory compliance
  • Describe how to manage charting effectively under time limitations

Learn more and register >>





Enjoy Our Labor Day Savings

To celebrate Labor Day, Pathway Health is providing a special savings offer on our streamlined tools and resources – designed to quickly assess a specific system and provide leadership strategies, resources and tools for performance improvement.

Shop and Save >>

*Offer excludes AAPACN, LEAD, INTERACT®, and Restorative classes, Pathway Learning Network


Coming Soon: INTERACT® Version 4.5 Tools

Mark your calendars to log in on 9/01/2021 to download the new INTERACT® Version 4.5 Tools!

The new tools are complete with important updates including COVID-19 and other clinical information. Essential to improving patient care, these tools will provide your care team members with helpful information and the latest on quality improvement, communication, decision support and advanced care planning.


September & October Sessions Available: Virtual | In-Person | On-Demand

Register now for our available training sessions in September and October and support your team’s success.
VIRTUAL TRAINING (all sessions are listed in CDT and held via Zoom)
  • Sept., 9-10 | 12 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Sept., 14-17 & 21-24 | 9 am – 12:30 pm
  • Sept. 28-30 | 8 am – 12:30 pm
  • More sessions are available!
  • Oct. 4-8 | 11:30 am – 4 pm
  • More sessions are available!
  • October 11-13 | 11 am – 3:30 pm
  • October 14 & 21 | 8 am – 12:30 pm
  • Oct. 18-22 | 12:30 am – 4 pm
  • More sessions are available!
The Pathway Health Virtual Classroom:
  • Live instruction experience with an industry expert.
  • Engaging virtual classroom and dialogue.
  • Participate from your own personal environment.

Dates/Time: Sept., 8,9,15,16,22,23,29,30 | 8 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Holiday Inn Express, 1240 Dement Road, Rochelle, IL 61068
Dates/Time: Oct., 19,20,21,22,26,27,28,29 | 8 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Hilton Garden Inn, 3100 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703
Important Notice: For all sessions, we will follow all CDC, State and individual location requirements, up to and including being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


INTERACT® | Credit Courses | Free Content | eBooks

Contact us if you would like to schedule specific training for your organization.
877.777.5463 |


Pathway Perspectives: Competency-Based Training


Designing a Competency-Based Training Program


The complexity of the health care environment requires staff to participate in educational programs that ensure they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide individualized care.

Recently, we connected with Lisa Thomson and Sue LaGrange to discuss the importance of competency-based training to support clinical outcomes. Below is a highlight from our conversation:

Q: Lisa, what is competency-based training?
A: Training that is focused on specific competencies for a single key skill. Multiple skills are combined into modules. This type of training may also be called outcome-based learning/training or skills-based learning/training. This structured approach to training and assessment is directed toward achieving specific outcomes. With competency-based training, the learner knows exactly what is expected and trainers know the precise training and learning that is required to achieve the expected level of competency.

Q: Sue, why is competency-based training important for LTC leaders?
A: As we all know, there are competencies required by federal and state regulations and other governing organizations for health care employees. There are also other entities or organizations that may impact our decision as leaders when determining the competency needs for your team. These other organizations may include, Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA), Medicare and Medicaid integrity programs, state and federal labor laws and building codes, and practice rules for licensed, certified and registered professionals. Simply put, competency-based training is essential in order to maintain regulatory compliance and meet facility and individual licensing requirements.

Q: Lisa, where is the best place to start when developing a competency-based program?
A: Start with a comprehensive organizational assessment. It is important to gather all of the facts and gain a further understanding of the education and competency needs of your organization before developing a plan. This begins by identifying the core elements or determining factors that impact staff competency needs and what is needed to include in your training program.

Q: Lisa, from a market positioning view, what are a few of the core elements?
A: The first element includes strategic initiatives and priorities, which encompasses the overall strategic initiatives or priorities for your organization. This may include priorities such as, implementing a respiratory recovery care program taking COVID-19 patients, providing services for higher acuity individuals, specialty programs such as cardiac rehabilitation, or memory or dementia care that require additional clinical stabilization prior to going home with their loved ones. Another core element is marketplace trends and initiatives. This focuses on the expectations of the local marketplace or impactful market shifts, such as partnerships, new networks, payment models. As leaders, it is imperative to understand what is happening outside of our organization’s “walls,” not only for sustainability, but also for determining the skill level expectations of staff in order to achieve those outcomes.

Q: Sue, what are a few of the important core elements from a clinical perspective?
A: It is important to understand all of the regulatory requirements. There are a number of F-Tags related to competency expectations including:
F725 – Sufficient Nursing Staff
F726 – Competent Nursing Staff
F727 – RN 8hrs, 7 days/week, Full-Time DON
F728 – Facility Hiring & Use of Nurse Aide
F729 – Nurse Aide Registry Verification, Retraining
F730 – Nurse Aide Performance Review – 12 hours/year In-service
It is vital to have a pulse on how your team is meeting the regulatory requirements.

Speaking of team, workforce trends are also key. When designing a competency-based training program, it is important to assess the skill level requirements and needs of the current staff along with how skills align with their job descriptions or specific responsibilities. Another part of this equation is identifying future needs based upon the marketplace needs as well as the types of care and services your organization provides today and in the near future. It is important to look beyond what has always been done in as it relates to who does the training, what training is conducted and how to engage more people to conduct training and complete competency verification for the team. Facility-specific training program objectives play a foundational role. It is important to identify any other specific training program objectives that need to be considered for your overall master plan.

Five Strategies for Creating Meaningful and Competency-Based Training
Both Lisa and Sue mentioned that once the education and competency needs assessment is complete, leaders should map their organizations’s overall education journey by addressing five key steps.


Step 1: Understand the overall needs and requirements which includes your resident population which means identifying your overall population demographics and needs.

Step 2: Identify the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that your team members need in order to care for your residents/patients.

Step 3: Prioritize the specific competencies that are needed and determine how to verify that your staff can move their knowledge into action.

Step 4: Develop your overall training plan. Step 5: Evaluate the outcomes of the journey.

The overall process for the determination of competencies and training needs cannot rely on one individual within an organization. Utilizing a team approach to evaluate and determine the competency and training needs will engage team members in the process and will provide additional insight for successful outcomes.

Contact us to discuss how Pathway Health can support your staff competency training needs.




Pathway Health’s Peter Schuna to Present at the CHAASE Fall Forum

Pathway Health’s President and CEO Peter Schuna will be a panelist at the CHAASE Fall Forum, “Perspectives about Leadership During and After COVID-19 in the Senior Care Field” on September 9.

The Forum will cover the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of health and aging services, which was challenged in many ways and was in the forefront of the public eye.

When: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at UWEC-Davies Center-OJIBWE

Panelists and participants will explore the following:

  • What is the current environment and what challenges exist in the field today?
  • What impact has COVID-19 had on leadership and organizational performance?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities ahead and how might we address them?
  • What are practices or new partnerships that you see carrying forward?
  • What are the new skill sets and talents required based on the pandemic for emerging leaders?

 Learn more >>




PATHTalks Episode 2 Available: Navigating the Emergence of the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Episode 2 of PATHTalks is now available. Tune in below to hear from Lisa Thomson, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, and Susan LaGrange, Pathway Health’s Chief Nursing Officer, as they discuss the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, considerations for clinical leaders, resources and more.

Access the episode below:

(Lisa) Our topic for today for clinical leaders is the overall emergence of the Delta variant and how we respond as clinical leaders, knowing what is happening in our community as well as the impact to our residents and staff. Sue, there are many things that clinical leaders need to consider as we respond to the reemergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, however, what are your thoughts on what clinical leaders need to consider as steps for risk mitigation?

(Sue) Yes, Lisa!  That is a great question because this Pandemic is really putting us through a roller coaster type of environment, right? We are now unfortunately on the upside.  The data from national statistics show that in the last 2 weeks daily new cases have increased by approximately 100% and daily deaths by over 65%. Our industry has done a great job with reducing the caseload with our staff and residents however, we need to be concerned with the Delta variant within our communities and potential outbreaks within our facility.

(Lisa) Sue, that is a great point that you brought up – the potential for new outbreaks in our facilities.  What strategies do you recommend that clinical leaders should consider as this variant continues to spread across our country.

(Sue) Strategies that leader can take include:

Continue with what you have been doing with those core principles of COVID-19 Infection Prevention that CMS has outlined:

    1. Screening
    2. Hand Hygiene
    3. Masks
    4. Social or Physical Distancing of at least 6 feet
    5. Cleaning and Disinfection
    6. Appropriate staff use of PPE
    7. Proper cohorting
      1. Standard and Transmission-based precautions
      2. COVID-19 positive
      3. Quarantine
    8. Resident and staff testing in accordance with guidance

Observations and ongoing coaching – with the Delta variant spreading so rapidly even with fully vaccinated individuals, many who are asymptomatic, with schools starting within a month, it will be important today more than ever to protect our resident population and our staff.

(Lisa) Sue, thank you for the great reminder in the core infection control principles for COVID-19.  Reminding ourselves of these very important principles in reducing the risk for a potential outbreak in our organization. If there is one thing that you think that clinical leaders should start now as they prepare for the potential emergence of the Delta variant.

(Sue) Vaccination is the #1 mitigation strategy. Certainly, vaccinations for all—unless medically contraindicated.  How do we reduce vaccine hesitancy in our settings? There are many resources available to work with staff on vaccine confidence. Questions to ask include, is your facility ready for mandates if they have or are talking about them? We are now seeing state requirements for vaccination of staff

(Lisa) Are there other national or industry related resources that clinical leaders can reach out to what suggestions do you have?

Access the resources discussed in the episode:

Access educational resources from Pathway Health:

(Lisa) Sue If clinical leaders would like to learn more information about this topic today, and how to reduce vaccine hesitancy, how can they contact you?

(Sue) Please feel free to contact me at

Thank you, Sue for joining us on PATHTalks. Until next time, this is Lisa Thomson. Keep on your path to success!