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Patient Safety in Nursing Homes Not Reflected in Nursing Home Compare Ratings Study Finds

The past several decades have seen significant policy efforts to improve the quality of care in nursing homes, but the patient safety movement has largely ignored this setting. A new study published in Health Affairs compared nursing homes’ performance on several composite quality measures from Nursing Home Compare to their performance on measures of patient safety in nursing homes such as pressure sores, infections, falls, and medication errors. Although Nursing Home Compare captures some aspects of patient safety, the study found the relationship to be weak and somewhat inconsistent, leaving consumers who care about patient safety with little guidance. The authors recommended that Nursing Home Compare be refined to provide a clearer picture of patient safety and quality of life, allowing consumers to weight these domains according to their preferences and priorities.

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