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Rehospitalizations, antipsychotics focus of LTC quality measurements

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Reducing rehospitalizations and the off-label use of antipsychotics were named top priorities by long-term care groups Wednesday.

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living unveiled four main goals of their Quality Initiative at the association's fourth annual Quality Symposium in Houston. They are:

  • Reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days during a skilled nursing facility by 15% by March 2015.
  • Reduce nursing staff turnover by 15% by March 2015.
  • Reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15% by December 2012
  • Increase the number of people who would recommend the facility to others up to 90% by March 2015.

Mark Parkinson, ACHA president and CEO, said it was “unusual” for a group to create such rigorous, accountable goals.

“What's notable is that we're not talking about some amount by some time, but specific improvements at specific times,” he said. “We need to take this to an entirely different level.”

A nationwide, voluntary quality improvement campaign in nursing homes also announced new goals Wednesday. Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes Collaborative said it wants to focus on reducing hospitalization safely, improving the appropriate use of medications — particularly antipsychotic drugs, preventing infections, increasing resident mobility and increasing the use of person-centered care planning and decision making.

About half of AHCA members are participating in Advancing Excellence, said AHCA Senior Vice President for Quality and Regulatory Affairs David Gifford, M.D. He described the groups' work as “ a joint effort to achieve the transformation that's necessary.”

“The new Advancing Excellence goals reaffirm that AHCA's measures are clearly the major issues facing individuals receiving care in our member facilities and serves to validate our program,” he said.

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