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National Campaign to Improve Nursing Home Quality Gives
Residents and Family Members Tools to Navigate Nursing Home Care
Advancing Excellence Campaign Enters New Phase That Focuses
On Improving Care and Quality of Life in Nursing Homes
Washington, DC —The largest, voluntary group of its kind working together in every state to
improve the quality of care for nursing home residents today released a guide to help consumers
to become a partner in improving standards of care in long-term care facilities.
The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign’s Consumer Tip Sheet,
together with a more comprehensive Consumer Guide, provides nursing home residents and
family members basic information and 10 questions they should be asking to better understand
resident care planning, staffing, important care issues and the significance of measuring resident
and family satisfaction. In a typical year, 3.2 million Americans will spend some time in a
nursing home. Although there are many guides for choosing a nursing home already available,
the Campaign is trying to help residents and their families ensure the best care and quality of life
while in a nursing home.
“Consumers must take a more active role in pushing for higher quality of care for family
members or for themselves,” says Mary Jane Koren, M.D., M.P.H., chair of Advancing
Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes and assistant vice president of The Commonwealth
Fund in New York. “The thousands of nursing homes that belong to this Campaign are
committed to improving care, and residents, as well as their families, need to be a partner in that
process,” she adds.
The Advancing Excellence campaign began in 2006 as a national drive to improve nursing home
quality, and since then it has worked steadily to achieve measurable improvements in nursing
home care.
Nursing homes that have participated in this initiative have made faster progress at improving
key quality goals such as reducing rates of pressure ulcers, improving management of pain, and
significantly reducing use of physical restraints.
To help members improve, the Campaign, via its website, provides technical assistance, online
resources, and other materials for nursing home staff and consumers. In addition to the 28
participating national organizations representing nursing homes, health care professionals and
direct care workers, quality improvement experts, consumers and government agencies such as
the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Veterans Administration an
established, infrastructure of Local Area Networks for Excellence (LANEs) provides support and
information in every state.
“Advancing the quality and value of nursing home care is critical for the Medicare and Medicaid
beneficiaries we serve,” said Barry M. Straube, M.D., CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director
of the Agency’s Office of Clinical Standards & Quality. “We are deeply committed to working
with providers to improve the care residents receive and the quality of life they enjoy in
America’s nursing homes. CMS’ work with the Campaign allows us to expand our quality focus
to equip residents and families with the information they need to help drive further
improvement.”
In January, the Campaign entered its second phase, adding some new goals and making it easier
to measure and track progress. In addition to setting and measuring clinical goals, the Campaign
is now working to help nursing homes retain good workers, which can make for higher quality of
care, and make sure residents are consistently cared for by the same aides in order to build
stronger relationships, which is valued by residents, and leads to better care.
Nearly half of the nation’s nursing homes have joined Advancing Excellence but the goal is to
get most nursing homes to sign up and set measurable quality goals. In addition, more than 2,000
consumers have joined the Campaign.
To learn more or get a copy of the new Consumer Tip Sheet or new guide for consumers visit the
Campaign’s website at www.nhqualitycampaign.org.

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