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New Program Focuses On Staffing To Improve Patient Care In Nursing Homes

I recently read about The Critical Access Nursing Home Project, a program initiated to help ‘at risk’ nursing homes in urban areas in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia improve the quality of their care.

Though participation in the program is voluntary facilities must meet criteria applicable to the composition patient demographics such as: operating in an urban area, a large percentage of minority patients on Medicaide and a large percentage of patients with serious health problems.

Improve Patient Care In Nursing HomesThe primary focus of the program is to focus on staffing retention and morale to improve patient care.

All nursing homes are understaffed.  We’re trying to work with a group of loyal employees through a better pattern of communication and scheduling to manage more effectively so residents get everything they need, acknowledged John Grimm an administrator of a nursing home participating in the program.

While improving staffing levels may be  a start, it is not the end to all staffing issues.

According to Carol Benner executive director of Commonwealth Fund to the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (the sponsor of the program) “Over the course of a single day 22 people may work with one resident to feed, bathe or administer medication.  I’d be cranky if that happened to me.”

Certainly programs such as this should be commended for acknowledging a widespread problem facing nursing homes.  However, until nursing home owners and operators begin to place a financial premium on retaining quality staff members, I fear most of these problems will persist.

You can read more about The Critical Access Nursing Home Project here.

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