A New Resource for Finding Information about the Quality of Nursing Homes
Posted Nov 26 2012 9:00am
I recently came across a resource for family and friends
faced with having to find a nursing home for a loved one. The Informed Patient Institute (IPI) is
a non-profit organization that has identified and evaluated all of the nursing
home report cards in the country.
IPI doesn't rate individual nursing homes, but they'll tell you who
What is a nursing home report card? They are online reports that provide
comparative information on how well nursing homes do on a range of topics such
as state inspections, quality of care, complaints, staffing and in some
states—resident or family satisfaction and charges. The report cards are sponsored by state governments, the
federal government or non-profit or commercial organizations.
IPI has developed a rating system that tells you which
report cards are better than others, saving you time and effort as you research
your options. They grade the
report cards on a scale of A to F and also tell you what is good about each
site and what could be improved.
Over 60 national and state sites have recently been reviewed.
States vary in how many resources are available, though the
federal government's Nursing Home Compare (rated a “B” by IPI) is available
nationwide. In California, for
example, residents can also access CalQualityCare.org ( http://www.calqualitycare.org/ ) an IPI
top-rated site that offers a wide range of information about nursing homes in a
consumer-friendly fashion. The
California site also tells you which homes are superior and which homes are
In some states, visitors to the site can also find a “Tip
Sheet” that outlines what to do if you have a concern about quality in a
nursing home. In plain language,
the Tip Sheet walks you through the steps to take, from talking to the nursing
home staff about your concern, to going to the local Long Term Care Ombudsman,
to filing a complaint with the state or other oversight bodies. Tip Sheets are also available about
concerns with hospitals and doctors.
They are currently available in California, Maine, New York, and
Pennsylvania and IPI is working on developing them in other states before the
end of the year.
Finally, the site also includes links and short descriptions
of a range of national and local organizations that provide consumer
information about quality and patient safety in a variety of health care
settings— including nursing homes.
The Informed Patient Institute is a Maryland-based
non-profit organization that provides credible online information about health
care quality and patient safety for consumers. For more information and to see their nursing home report
card ratings, visit: www.informedpatientinstitute.org.