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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

Jan. 22, 2010

Staff, Residents and Family Can Help Advance Excellence in Ohio's Nursing Homes
National Campaign Is Dedicated to Improving Quality of Care in Nursing Facilities

COLUMBUS - Governor Ted Strickland, Ohio Department of Aging Director Barbara E. Riley and State Long-term Care Ombudsman Beverley Laubert will join with residents of nursing homes, ombudsmen, consumer advocates, long-term care providers and others to recognize nursing home residents' rights to quality care during the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Campaign Awareness Week from January 25 - 31.

The national Advancing Excelling in America's Nursing Homes Campaign is a voluntary initiative to help nursing homes improve quality by setting measureable goals to encourage improvements in care and quality of life for their residents. Governor Strickland, Director Riley and Ombudsman Laubert encourage all Ohio nursing homes, facility staff and consumers to demonstrate that they expect excellence in care by visiting www.nhqualitycampaign.org and joining the campaign.

"Nursing homes are an integral part of Ohio's long-term care system," said Strickland. "They provide vital services to 84,000 Ohioans who call a facility 'home.' By joining the Advancing Excellence campaign, nursing homes can improve the quality care they deliver and, in turn, help enhance the quality of life for their residents."

"Facility staff, residents and their family members know best what life is like in a nursing home," added Director Riley. "For this reason, they too are encouraged to sign up for the campaign. Using their first-hand experiences, they can share their ideas and suggestions about providing care with the participating facilities."

The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman is committed to getting all Ohio nursing homes registered with the campaign. When a facility joins, staff select three of eight possible goals to focus on and establish targets to monitor and measure their improvement in quality. To support them, the campaign offers a wealth of resources, including web-based education sessions, tip sheets, newsletters and updates on the most current research on how to improve patient care, staff satisfaction and public trust.

"We encourage nursing homes to focus on utilizing resident and family satisfaction surveys and engaging residents in discussions about their long-term care planning as two of their goals," said Laubert. "Both facilities and residents can benefit from this campaign. Research shows that providing higher quality care can actually lower the cost of care, and when a consumer is happy, that can have a positive impact on their health."

The Advancing Excellence initiative first started in 2006 and recently began phase two of its campaign. Nursing homes that participated in the first phase experienced faster improvements than their peers. Specifically, they made better progress toward reducing the prevalence of pressure ulcers, reducing the use of physical restraints and improving pain management for long-term and short-stay residents. The general public can find participating nursing homes in their communities and view a full report of national and state-by-state data at the Web site.

About the Long-term Care Ombudsman

The Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman advocates for consumers receiving home care, assisted living and nursing home care. They work to resolve complaints about services, help people select providers and provide information about benefits and consumer rights. Ombudsman staff and volunteers make regular visits to nursing homes. Call toll-free, 1-800-282-1206, to learn more or to volunteer.

About ODA

The Ohio Department of Aging provides leadership for the delivery of services and supports that improve and promote quality of life and personal choice for older Ohioans, adults with disabilities, their families and their caregivers. Working with 12 area agencies on aging and other community partners, the department offers home- and community-based Medicaid waiver programs such as PASSPORT, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.