Culture Change in Nursing Homes: Looking Back and Moving Forward

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<p>In a <a href="/publications/journal-article/2010/jan/person-centered-care-nursing-home-residents-culture-change"><em>Health Affairs</em> "Web First" article</a> published today, The Commonwealth Fund's Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H., takes a look at "culture change" in U.S. nursing homes—the growing movement to transform what are largely medically oriented institutions into homelike facilities, where residents have control over their day-to-day lives while enjoying access to high-quality care. </p>
<p>Culture change had its roots in the 1980s, after consumer advocacy groups exposed the poor quality of many U.S. nursing homes and Congress enacted sweeping reforms that required facilities to provide individualized, or "person-centered," care. Some homes heeded the call and began making changes, like giving residents control over things like what to wear and when to eat, eliminating institutional elements like overhead public address systems, and fostering closer relationships by always assigning the same staff members to care for a resident. These are changes, Koren notes, that lead to greater well-being for residents as well as higher job satisfaction for staff. </p>
<p>Relatively few nursing homes, however, have fully transformed themselves. In her essay, Koren presents a numbers of ways policymakers could help hasten culture change adoption, from offering providers payment incentives and tax credits to spurring design innovations. </p>
<p>In a <em>Health Affairs</em>–sponsored panel broadcast by C-SPAN, Koren and other experts discussed culture change and other long-term care issues. To watch the archived video, visit: <a href="… />Health+Affairs+and+SCAN+Foundation+Discussion<br />+on+LongTerm+Care.aspx</a>. <br /></p>