Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care

eAlert 11455d39-6cba-4068-b223-e3fbad0aa8de

<p>As the baby boomer generation nears retirement, the long-term care industry has become the subject of intense scrutiny. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are increasingly expected to provide not only effective and supportive care but a respectful, compassionate environment and satisfactory quality of life. Two Fund-supported studies explore innovations and practices designed to improve quality of care for elderly adults.<bR><bR>In the study, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=19429&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D317103%26%23doc317103">After Adoption: Sustaining the Innovation—A Case Study of Disseminating the Hospital Elder Life Program</a> (<em>Journal of the American Geriatrics Society</em>), Elizabeth Bradley of the Yale School of Medicine interviewed hospital staff and volunteers who implemented the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), an intervention to keep elderly patients mentally and physically active. Bradley and colleagues found that at hospitals that sustained HELP, leaders not only played important clinical roles but acted as strong supporters with senior administration. Other key success factors included the ability to adapt the program to meet local needs and the creativity and ingenuity to find adequate resources and funding.<br><Br>In <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=19430&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D317291%26%23doc317291">Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care with Better Information</a> (<em>Milbank Quarterly</em>), Vincent Mor, Ph.D., of the Brown University School of Medicine, examines the history of quality improvement in long-term care over the past 20 years. Mor raises important questions about the validity and reliability of quality-of-care measures and their use in helping to inform consumer decision-making. While research by the Institute of Medicine and others has led to improved data collection and public reporting of information, Mor questions whether, and how, this information actually informs consumers. Despite these uncertainties, the author finds that providers are moving in the right direction to improve their practices and ultimately transform long-term care.</p>