Nursing Home Quality Initiative Advances Into Third Year

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 General News
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National Coalition is Helping Nursing Homes Make a Difference in the Lives of Residents and Staff

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes campaign is celebrating its two-year anniversary. The campaign commemorates this major milestone, confident in its ability to support quality improvement efforts in all nursing homes. Initiated in 2006 as the first voluntary, national effort to measure quality by setting measurable and quality-focused goals, the campaign has worked diligently over the past two years to encourage improvements in care for nursing home residents across the country.

The campaign involves a broad-based coalition of long-term care providers, caregivers, medical and quality improvement experts, government agencies, and consumers. In addition to the 28 national organizations comprising the coalition, the campaign has also established an infrastructure of 49 Local Area Networks for Excellence (LANEs), which exists in almost every state to provide peer support, information, best practices and technical assistance to campaign participants. More than 45 percent of all nursing homes in the U.S. have enrolled in the campaign.

"In two years, the Advancing Excellence campaign has seen progress in reducing pressure ulcers, reducing the use of physical restraints, and controlling or relieving pain for long-term and short-stay residents," said Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Advancing Excellence campaign and the Assistant Vice President of The Commonwealth Fund. "The campaign brings to life our guiding principle that nursing home residents, their families, and persons who may someday choose a nursing home should be able to receive the best of care and enjoy the highest, most meaningful quality of life."

This unprecedented coalition believes quality improvement in America's nursing homes is dependent upon supporting the workforce and improving clinical care. The campaign invites all those interested in nursing homes - providers, staff and consumers - to work together to improve quality.

"Nothing like Advancing Excellence has ever been done before in nursing home care, on this scale and with this breadth of commitment," said Barry M. Straube, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and Director of the Agency's Office of Clinical Standards & Quality. "CMS, as a founding member of Advancing Excellence, along with our national network of Quality Improvement Organizations, has fully supported the effort behind this campaign and believes it will be shown to have resulted in better care for our nation's nursing home residents over the last two years."

Currently, more than 7,100 nursing homes have signed up with the campaign to work on measurably improving care in eight areas. Providers who participate show their commitment to quality by selecting and setting improvement targets in at least three of the eight clinical quality goals and organizational improvement goals.

Data collected during the first 18 months of the campaign show that participating nursing homes experienced faster improvements in all four clinical goals than their peers. Specifically, progress was made toward reducing the prevalence of pressure ulcers, reducing the use of physical restraints, and improving pain management for long-term and short-stay nursing home residents. Additionally, the campaign's national objective for reducing the use of physical restraints was achieved, allowing the campaign to set a new, even lower rate as its national objective for the coming year.

Looking ahead, Advancing Excellence plans to increase efforts to enlist additional participants to join the campaign, to reach out to and actively involve consumers in quality improvement efforts, and to continue its commitment to provide free, practical and evidence-based resources to help nursing homes improve quality.

About Nursing Homes

About 1.5 million Americans reside in the nation's 16,400 nursing homes on any given day. More than 3 million Americans rely on services provided by a nursing home at some point during the year. The Advancing Excellence campaign believes those individuals, and an even larger number of their family members, friends, and relatives, must be able to count on nursing homes to provide reliable care of consistently high quality.

About Advancing Excellence

Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes is a coalition-based campaign to improve the quality of life for residents and staff in America's nursing homes. The campaign's unprecedented coalition includes long-term care providers, caregivers, medical and quality improvement experts, consumers, government agencies and other quality-focused organizations. The campaign is also supported by an established infrastructure of Local Area Networks for Excellence (LANEs), which exists in almost every state to provide peer-support, information, best practices and technical assistance to campaign participants. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes

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