Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes—a national, coalition-based campaign to improve how America cares for elderly and disabled people—arose from efforts to improve quality of life in long-term care facilities. In support of its work, Advancing Excellence established Local Area Networks of Excellence (LANEs) to recruit nursing homes and provide educational programs and resources to facilities participating in the campaign. Nursing homes that join the campaign select at least three goals and enter baseline and other data on the Advancing Excellence Web site.
In many cases, however, nursing homes that sign up for the campaign fail to enter data about their organizational goals. This Commonwealth Fund–supported study sought to find effective ways to address perceived barriers and support homes in entering data.
What the Study Found
The Advancing Excellence campaign's statewide quality improvement networks conducted telephone interviews with nursing homes in six states. Many of the homes had not entered data for organizational goals in such areas as patient satisfaction and staff turnover on the campaign Web site, but were able to do so with telephone assistance from LANEs. Most (85%) said they would be able to collect information on advance directives if spreadsheets and other tools were provided. More than 40 percent of nursing homes were willing to have staff and residents and their families enter satisfaction data directly on an independent Web site.
By calling nursing homes directly, the LANEs received valuable feedback and were able to clarify issues.
While nursing homes in the Advancing Excellence campaign appear willing to use tools and resources to measure performance and improve quality, they need help getting started. Advancing Excellence staff can provide that help through spreadsheets, audit tools, and instructions on quality improvement processes. LANEs must reach out to nursing homes repeatedly to reinforce the availability of information and facilitate the process of getting started.