Coalition Launches National Nursing Home Improvement Campaign

| August 22, 2013

A nationwide campaign has developed new clinical goals to improve quality initiatives among nursing homes nationwide.

The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign is a collaboration of private and public partnerships that includes senior care industry trade groups, labor and consumer advocate organizations, as well as regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

With a mission statement of not only making nursing homes better places to live, work and visit, according to speakers during an Advancing Excellence (AE) webinar on Tuesday, the campaign also strives to create sustainable changes in the quality of long-term care moving forward.

“Sustainable change does not only happen at an administrative level, but when staff throughout the organization knows they have access to the materials to become the doers, shakers and movers within their nursing home communities,” said Cheryl Phillips, MD, senior vice president for advocacy at LeadingAge, during the call.

Part of creating these sustainable changes involves creating a set of clinical goals members are encouraged to achieve.

These include the appropriate use of medications, increasing resident mobility, preventing and managing healthcare-related infections, as well as reducing pressure ulcers and decreasing symptoms of pain among nursing home residents.

Speakers during the webinar also emphasized the importance of measuring performances and outcomes by aligning AE’s campaign with the Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) program initiated by CMS.

Designed to improve the quality of life and quality of care and services delivered in nursing homes, the QAPI program and the AE campaign stresses the need data collection and performance measurement and tracking as critical factors in improving nursing home outcomes.

“What can’t be measured, can’t be improved,” said Mary Jane Koren, MD, MPH, vice president for the Picker-Commonwealth Fund Long-Term Care Quality Improvement Program.

With about 60% (9,455) of the nation’s nursing homes already included in AE’s campaign, the organization is looking to increase nursing home participation, which webinar panelists suggested is more than just simply signing up for the campaign.

“It’s not just telling people how to do it and then pushing them to achieve certain goals, but rather giving them a structure that starts with the ability to focus on a goal, focus on resources, set a target and measure your progress,” said David Gifford, MD, MPH, senior vice president for Quality & Regulatory Affairs at the American Health Care Association.

While there are no financial incentives for joining AE’s campaign, there is a financial impact tied to joining the quality goal movement, according to Gifford, as improvements in staffing and quality of care result in higher satisfaction levels among nursing home residents.

“The financial impact affects the number of people who are going to want to come to your facility,” he said. “You will do better and you will see dividends down the road.”

Written by Jason Oliva


Category: Nursing Homes, Senior Housing, Senior Living

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