How Skilled Nursing Communities Achieve ‘High-Performance’ Ratings

Posted by The Goodman Group on May 12, 2021 12:45:00 PM

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Understanding how skilled nursing communities achieve high-performance ratings within their industry can be helpful as you evaluate options, formulate your questions, and determine the best care community for you or the senior in your life.

There are several reputable industry lists available and worth exploring. To shed some light on this process, we chose to focus on one well-established resource, U.S. News & World Report “Best Nursing Homes,” to show which factors contribute to their awards.

About the Annual U.S. News "Best Nursing Homes" AWARDS

Since 2009, U.S. News & World Report has been aggregating public data from over 15,000 skilled nursing facilities, or nursing homes, in the United States. Those data sets provide information about staffing, safety and security, health inspections, and more to help individuals make informed decisions. Much of the data comes from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services through a program called Nursing Home Compare. Additionally, the report incorporated industry research and recommendations from experts to isolate which factors should be considered when comparing the best senior care options.

What Factors Contribute to Ratings

Short-Term Rehabilitation Factors

U.S. News & World Report looked at 10 factors to assess short-term rehabilitation communities, the majority of which focus on health and safety factors as well as overall outcomes.

  • Consistent nurse staffing - Having properly staffed communities in line with federal requirements and standards is directly linked to better safety and outcomes for residents.
  • Emergency-room visits -  Having a low number of patients who needed to visit the emergency room suggests attention to safety and indicates a higher quality of care.
  • Flu vaccination - Especially because patients often live in close proximity, receiving a timely flu vaccination is a crucial disease-prevention protocol. 
  • Patient-centered rehabilitation therapy - Exceeding the minimum amount of recommended therapy for a patient’s condition suggests an appropriate level of care. 
  • Patients able to return home - Rehabilitating successfully means being able to return to one’s own home or residence after being discharged.
  • Physical therapist staffing - Being able to go home on time and avoiding injury requires having the appropriate number of physical rehabilitation therapists per resident, per day. 
  • Prevention of falls - A low number of falls that resulted in a major injury, such as a dislocation or bone fracture, suggests higher quality of care and safety.
  • Rate of substantiated complaints - Having a low number of complaints is linked to better safety, satisfaction, and a positive culture.
  • Registered nurse staffing - Registered nurses are the highest trained level of nurses. Having enough registered nurses is correlated with successful rehabilitation.
  • Use of antipsychotic drugs - Having an above-average percentage of patients given antipsychotic drugs can indicate inappropriate use. These drugs should be used for medical treatment, not behavior control.

Long-Term Care Factors

U.S. News & World Report uses the following nine factors when evaluating long-term care, which focus on measures taken to improve and maintain quality of life for residents.

  • Ability to self-care - Having a consistent percentage of residents over time who maintain the ability to do common activities like stay active, eat, and use the bathroom without help indicates that a community is committed to ensuring sustained wellness for residents.
  • Emergency-room visits - Having a low number of patients who needed to visit the emergency room suggests attention to safety and indicates a higher quality of care.
  • Hospitalizations - Having fewer hospitalizations (per thousand resident days) suggests attention to safety and indicates a higher quality of care.
  • Nurse staffing - Having enough nursing staff (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing aides) per resident, per day is correlated with better quality and safety.
  • Pneumonia vaccination - Since residents often live in close proximity, receiving a timely pneumonia vaccination is a crucial disease-prevention tool. 
  • Prevention of pressure ulcers - Reducing and maintaining a low rate of resident pressure-related bedsores low indicates an attentive, well-staffed team. 
  • Rate of substantiated complaints - Having a low number of complaints is linked to better safety, satisfaction, and a positive culture.
  • Registered nurse staffing ratio - Employing registered nurses, the highest-credentialed nursing degree, increases the ratio of trained nurses and suggests a high level of care.

    U.S. News & World Report uses the following nine factors when evaluating long-term care, which focus on measures taken to improve and maintain quality of life for residents.

  • Use of antianxiety and hypnotic drugs - Having an above-average percentage of patients given antipsychotic drugs can indicate inappropriate use. These drugs should be used for medical treatment, not behavior control.

Once U.S. News & World Report has collected the data, these factors receive a statistical weight, and U.S. News & World Report awards its Best Nursing Homes rating from 1 to 5. (You can learn more about the statistical methodology here.) Those organizations that receive a 5 on the scale are ‘High-Performing’; 3s are rated as ‘Average’ and, and 1s are rated ‘Below Average.’ The top performers within these categories are named “Best Nursing Homes”.

The Goodman Group’s Commitment to Excellence

New Call-to-actionThe Goodman Group’s managed communities pride themselves on their commitment to ensuring the health and safety of residents and on being an industry leader across the country. As a result, The Goodman Group is proud that U.S. News & World Report has named 2020-21 Best Nursing Homes to the following managed communities:

“We are grateful for this recognition and are proud of our five managed communities that have received the Best Nursing Homes award,” said Kim Te Brugge, vice president of senior living and health care at The Goodman Group. “We would like to thank all of the team members for their focus and commitment to improving the lives of residents at the managed communities.”

Topics: Senior Living, Caregivers, Learning

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