Nursing Homes Can Improve Care When Given Incentive (Forced) To Do So

nursing_home_improve_with_incentiveMany nursing homes have horrendous track records when it comes to proper care of their residents. Most of these take their citations and criticisms in stride and only make the changes they need to keep their doors open. However, there are some that have proven that if enough incentive is given, they can change their policies and make their facilities better for their patients.

Turn Around At Maple Ridge

A nursing home in Lincoln, IL has shown what can be done when the spot light is left on long enough and bright enough on deficient care. The Maple Ridge Care Center had been the center of several articles published in a local newspaper, the Journal-Register, over the last few years. The articles uncovered many deficiencies at the home, including mistreatment, health concerns, unsanitary conditions and other issues. The most recent article was on August 26th, which may have been the final straw that made the for-profit facility make some changes. Maple Ridge changed its name to Symphony of Lincoln, but that is not all that it changed. In October, they also hired a new administrator and additional staff needed to care for the patients. As part of the Illinois statewide Operation Guardian nursing-home compliance initiative that Attorney General Lisa Madigan has put in place, the facility underwent an inspection by a group of 16 officials. The group consisted of staff from the Attorney General’s office, state and local police and officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Coincidence Or Real Improvements?

The inspection went better than expected. There were no grievous violations and there was vast improvement in the cleanliness and staffing levels. According to the facility’s spokesperson, the changes were in part due to the negative publicity and it served as motivation to improve the care they were providing. The owners are also planning to upgrade the facility and have announced a $500 thousand renovation project that is scheduled for the facility. Although it still remains to be seen whether Maple Ridge a/k/a Symphony of Lincoln has really changed for good or if it was only a temporary improvement, they did show what can be done when put to the fire. This demonstration should be incentive for both nursing homes that have been subject to criticism to clean up their act and those who want to see change in nursing home care to turn up the heat. Although it should not take years of publicity to make needed changes, it shows what can be done if there is enough incentive to do so.

For more information on nursing homes in Chicago look here. For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

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