An important study recently released, should be considered significant information to those in nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.  The study compared the quality of hospice services provided and received by patients in three settings – nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and in-home (or at-home) care.

The survey included information as perceived by the family members of those receiving hospice care and looked at a variety of factors.  Overall, nursing facilities received the poorest rating.  In home care received the highest rating, with 67.8% of those answering reporting the care was “excellent.”  Assisted care facilities came in second, with nursing facilities coming in last.

While overall, families felt that their loved ones were cared for, they felt that they received quality care in the home setting, over the other two facilities.  It is thought that the lower perceived quality of care in nursing homes is related to general dissatisfaction with the overall experience.

This means that those in the nursing care setting must make improvements in quality of care, costs, and overall family experience.  Quality measurement in the hospice space has struggled to keep pace with the rest of the healthcare industry, but this study provides proof that it needs to make huge strides to catch up.

The information received from this study should be used by nursing facilities and assisted living facilities to improve their hospice programs, if they want to stay competitive in this market.  As the population ages rather quickly, these services will be needed more and more in the coming years.  Is it time to look at your hospice program and make some changes?

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