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Study Shows That Nearly Half of All Medical Homes Fail to Meet National Standards of Quality

On December 22, 2011, The Seattle Times published an article, titled “Medical; Patients, Doctors Differ on High-Quality Care,” about patient-centered medical homes. Although a survey on the satisfaction of patients showed that they were generally satisfied with their physicians, a recent study conducted by the Health Service Research Journal reported that 46 percent of medical homes fail to meet national standards in quality of care to even qualify them as medical homes.

Patients in medical homes are expected to have a team of nurses, doctors, and technicians to constantly be caring for them. Unfortunately, many skilled nursing facilities are understaffed and instead, this “team” of nurses, in reality, is actually just a few nurses who also has to attend to many other patients. In such environments, it is nearly impossible for residents to receive the one-on-one attention that they need. Quality of care is directly dependent on adequate staffing. If a facility is understaffed, it will not be able to provide high-quality care to your loved one. When searching for a nursing home, it is very important that you place quality of care as a priority and ensure that the facility is adequately staffed.

Understaffing leads to an array of injuries in California nursing homes, especially when the facility in appropriately utilizes restraints. When nurses are unable to meet the needs of all their patients, they often use physical or chemical restraints to subdue their patients, making them easier to handle. In addition to being a direct violation of Patients’ Rights, the use of restraints also leads to pressure sores, incontinence, and chronic depression.

The study also found that a lack of resources and infrastructure also contributed to a decline in quality of care in medical homes. In a ranking of the top hospitals of 2011, Leapfrog Group listed technological resources as one of the most important determining factors of quality of care in medical facilities. Make sure that your loved one’s nursing home has a strong infrastructure and offers the latest in technology and resources to provide your loved one with the care that he or she deserves and to prevent any avoidable suffering.

If your loved one resides in a nursing home and you feel that it is not meeting the standard of care that must be expected from skilled nursing facilities, please contact us today. As Los Angeles nursing home neglect lawyers, our team of specialists would like to stress the importance of taking immediate action against elder abuse, before your loved one is victim to any further suffering.