Last month, there was an overhaul of Nursing Home Compare. Then, in a more sweeping means of providing information to the public, last week ProPublica announced the release of Nursing Home Inspect, an easy-to-use database that makes it simple to search through all U.S. nursing homes by specific criteria, including deficiency levels from their inspections. Looking through the news from the last few days, it appears that newspapers across the country have taken the time to run a scan on their local nursing homes and publish the results. Here’s a few things we see happening:
- Expect more scrutiny.
- You should be expecting more knowledgeable questioning from families and representatives of your current residents. They’ll make a point to review your facility’s recent deficiencies to ensure their loved ones aren’t in a potentially harmful situation. Depending on the results, this could mean they end up transferring their family member to another facility that appears to be providing better quality of care
- Enhanced admissions interview questions by family/designated representative
- In line with the families and representatives of your current residents, potential resident interviews will probably also be peppered with specific questions on recent deficiencies and what you’re doing to address that to make sure that their loved one is not entering less than optimal care situation.
Hopefully your facility has an excellent survey history, but if you don’t, here are some important reminders for getting better survey results:
- Prevention, prevention, prevention
- You may have had some issues last time around, but now you should be doing everything you can to improve the quality of care your staff is providing. That means providing education and training for any problems areas, and making sure your policies and procedures reflect current acceptable practices.
- Culture of openness
- Foster an environment where your staff feels comfortable discussing issues as they are arise so they can be proactively addressed before they become a pattern.