A study published in the November 2018 edition of Health Affairs looked at the association between performance on a set of patient safety measures and star ratings of nursing homes on CMS’ Nursing Home Compare (NHC). The authors concluded: “Although Nursing Home Compare captures some aspects of patient safety, we found the relationship to be weak and somewhat inconsistent, leaving consumers who care about patient safety with little guidance. We recommend that Nursing Home Compare be refined to provide a clearer picture of patient safety and quality of life, allowing consumers to weight these domains according to their preferences and priorities.”
CMS responded to the study on January 31, 2019 in Health Affairs, stating, in part: “Patient safety is a key focus, as the Agency applies several policy levers to drive down rates of harm within health care facilities … We do believe that NHC contains additional measures that either directly capture harm or are highly correlated with harm that were not evaluated by the authors — such as the measure for inappropriate use of antipsychotics, which is strongly linked to falls and other adverse events. Nonetheless, we agree that NHC captures only a subset of harm, and a broader set of harm measures may be beneficial.”
“To that end, CMS is considering the development of a composite measure of healthcare acquired infections that could be incorporated into NHC star ratings, and will continue to explore additional facets of and measures associated with safety in nursing homes going forward.”
“CMS also recently developed measures of transfer of health information between healthcare providers and/or the patient, which focus on transfer of information such as a list of reconciled medications … CMS intends to propose to adopt them for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program. We believe these measures will address the important safety issue of improving the hand-off of medication information during critical care transitions.”
“While we view patient safety and quality improvement as a continuum, we agree that specifically “calling out” facility performance on patient safety can resonate with and be beneficial to consumers.”
“Most importantly, we believe that there continues to be a strong and persistent need for ongoing improvement efforts around patient safety and quality of care in nursing homes. While considerable improvements have been made, health and safety surveys continue to identify significant harm in some homes, and improvement on some measures of health outcomes has been slow.”
While CMS continues to slowly wrestle with creating and implementing efforts to improve the safety of nursing home residents in the United States, nursing home residents continue to be unnecessarily harmed by negligent nursing home care and woefully inadequate nursing home services.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
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