Skilled nursing: The continuing quest for quality

A recent report by PointRight for the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care (AQNHC), a coalition of 10 post-acute and LTC organizations, finds that while skilled nursing quality measures (QMs) have improved significantly since 2003, there is room for improvement.

The analysis showed improvements in pain management, activities of daily living and prevention of pressure ulcers for both post-acute and long-stay residents. The report also revealed that the 30-day rehospitalization rates declined for post-acute skilled nursing residents.

Other QMs that showed improvement from 2003 were activities of daily living, weight loss and the use of restraints. However, declines were noted in long-stay incontinence and flu immunizations.

Overall customer satisfaction is at 88 percent. Most residents and family members would recommend their facility as either a “good” or “excellent” place to receive care.

Clinical staff (DONs, nurses, CNAs, aide trainees and technicians) are working more hours per resident day, while the “percent of contract staff” decreased from 2003 to 2011. These scores and survey results help managers to build and maintain a satisfied staff, which correlates to improved customer satisfaction.

In an article in Healthcare Finance News, Alan Rosenbloom, president of AQNHC, said:  “[The report] shows some kind of steady state with no real fall back, which I think is really a very, very good accomplishment. Having said that, it obviously showed that there is room for improvement whether it be on the quality side or the satisfaction side.”

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