Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes

MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media , July 6, 2009

As the long-term care industry moves toward a resident-centered approach to care, the quality of life provided to nursing home residents is facing increased scrutiny. Although most SNFs are eager to improve the quality of life in their facility, many do not know where to start. Fortunately, the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign is here to help.

The Advancing Excellence Campaign aims to help nursing homes make a difference in the lives of nursing home residents and staff by monitoring key indicators of nursing home care quality, promoting excellence in care giving, and providing free, evidence-based resources nursing homes can use in their own quality improvement efforts.

"The campaign promotes partnerships between nursing home residents and staff and strives to help facilities help themselves by improving the quality of care they provide," says Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the Advancing Excellence Campaign.

Participation in the campaign is voluntary and open to nursing homes, caregivers, consumers, and other quality of life advocates. Participating nursing homes commit to at least three of the campaign's eight goals and their progress towards meeting these goals is regularly monitored.

The eight goals of the Advancing Excellence Campaign are:

  1. Reducing the prevalence of pressure ulcers
  2. Reducing the daily use of physical restraints
  3. Improving the management of pain in long-stay residents
  4. Improving the management of pain in short-stay residents
  5. Setting individualized targets for clinical quality improvement
  6. Measuring resident and/or staff satisfaction and incorporating this information to quality improvement activities
  7. Decreasing staff turnover and developing action plans to improve staff retention
  8. Increasing use of consistent staffing assignment

"We are tracking the results and are able to show that the participants are actually improving faster and further than those who aren't involved in the campaign," Koren says. "Nursing homes can really benefit from participation in the campaign so, if your facility is not yet a participant, I encourage you to join. If you've already joined, keep working to improve the quality of life at your facility."

Nursing homes can sign up for the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign on the campaign's Web site,

MacKenzie Kimball is an associate editor in the long-term care market at HCPro. She writes PPS Alert for Long-term Care and manages MDSCentral.

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