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Nursing Home Impressions From A Healthcare Marketing Expert

Nursing Home ImpressionsToday’s glimpse into the world of nursing homes comes from Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, a leader in healthcare marketing and patient management.  Learn more about Anthony and his important work at his website and blog, Who Moved My Dentures? Thanks for these great responses.

Who are you and what type of work do you do?

I am a strategic healthcare marketing and patient/resident experience management professional who fell into a mission for seniors when I went to sing in a nursing home. My mission is to bring respect and dignity to seniors while educating everyone about aging issues before they become a
crisis.

What are some positive trends (if any) in the nursing home industry?

The introduction of F tags around dignity has at least made organizations start to pay more attention to resident experience. The Green House and Eden approaches are commendable but really out of reach of most.

What are some negative trends (if any) in the nursing home industry?

Most are only giving lip service to experience management. The industry does little to call attention to the positive it work it does or reach out to the community as a vital partner. That adds to the already bad
perception they have. Reimbursement is declining. And worse, most of the aging industry seems to want to will nursing homes out of existence. When you see that we are 37th in the World Health Organization and plagued with chronic conditions, it is quite clear we will need nursing homes.

What correlation do you see with respect to the national trends in the nursing home industry and the impact on patient care?

I am not sure I can make that correlation unless perhaps you can list 2-3 trends and I can respond. CMS calls the shots here so much is driven by F-tags. I do not see any consistency nationwide for how nursing homes are surveyed. Five Star Ratings, while controversial, will be here to stay and nursing homes need to be able to tell their story around them because the public will be paying attention to them. Transparency will be key because consumers have more and more information at their fingertips to research organizations.

How would you compare the nursing homes of today vs. those of 20 years ago?

Honest to goodness, they have not improved much. There is still rampant fraud and abuse. Activities have progressed slightly. Many residents are lonely and depressed and have no visitors. The biggest change has been a focus on rehabilitation work, which contributes to the bottom line but also contributes to organizations paying less attention to the full time residents who are living the final chapters of their lives inside these homes.

What suggestions do you have for families when it comes to selecting a facility for their loved ones?

I have an entire resource section in my book, Who Moved My Denture, regarding this. Would be happy to share.

Three words to describe nursing homes:

sterile, lonely, depressed

Three words to describe what nursing homes should be:

home, compassion, healing places

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