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Leapfrog Group’s 65 Top Hospitals of 2011 List Sets Standards for Quality of Care in Nursing Home Facilities

On December 6, <a href="http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20111206/NEWS/312069976/leapfrog-recognizes-top-performing-hospitals# reported that Leapfrog Group>Modern Healthcare has recognized the 65 top hospitals of 2011. It is a great honor to receive Leapfrog Group’s “Top Hospital” award, as it is considered to be the most competitive hospital quality award in the country. The survey was based on three main areas: patient well-being, resources used to treat patients, and management practices to foster a safe and high-quality environment. Within each of these categories, staffing levels, hand hygiene, pneumonia care, patient experience, and use of computerized physician-order entry were just a few of the specific matters that were examined.

While the top 65 hospitals excelled in all of the above mentioned areas, the same cannot be said about most California nursing homes. This “Top Hospital” award, however, has definitely set a standard that must be met by all care facilities in the country. Concerning staffing levels, nursing homes often fail to meet the minimum of 3.2 nursing hours per patient per day. Even those that do meet this minimum requirement often do not meet the standard for quality of care, which is much more difficult to quantify. In order to provide high-quality care, nursing home management must train and often re-train their staff in order to keep them updated on the latest improvements in technology and scientific advancements.

Technology is an important variable in almost all industries today, including hospitals and nursing homes. This is made clear by the fact that the “Top Hospital” award was judged, in part, based on the use of computerized physician-order entry. It is important for you to ensure that your loved one’s care facility is updated with the latest technologies so that your loved one may enjoy the best possible quality of life.

While pneumonia care is an important area to observe, there are many other infections that nursing homes encounter on a daily basis, including pressure ulcers, the influenza, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), scabies, clostridium difficile (C. difficile), and sepsis. The nursing home facility is also responsible for taking preventive measures against the spread of infection. Hand hygiene of nurses is an especially important preventive measure, and it was one of the focus areas that Leapfrog Group chose to study in its nationwide survey of hospitals.

Other common issues in nursing homes that require high quality of care include dehydration and malnutrition, falls, and incontinence. Low standards of care in any of the aforementioned issues have serious consequences, often including death. As a patient, your loved one is entitled to the highest quality of care possible. If your loved one resides in a nursing home in Arcadia, Alhambra, or Diamond Bar, and you feel that his or her rights are being violated, contact us today to see how we can help obtain the rights to which your loved one is entitled.