A distinguished group of nursing home experts issued their first recommendations Friday after a landmark report called for sweeping change in spring of 2022.

Recommendations of the Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition call for improving staff compensation; adding small-house nursing home models; increasing collaborative care plan systems; and enhancing the collection, auditing, and sharing of nursing home-level ownership, financing and operations data. 

The group also recommends using health information technology to improve person-centered care by collecting resident goals, preferences and priorities, and measuring the alignment of care with those goals.

Moving Forward was formed in mid-2022 in response to the April 2022 nursing home quality report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Friday’s recommendations came from its seven committees and were the first public notice of Moving Forward’s work. It now plans to gather feedback before putting plans in action.

Some of Friday’s release was tipped off in October, when four committee members attended a session on the NASEM study at LeadingAge’s annual meeting in Denver. Moving Forward member Terry O’Malley spoke of a different way for staff to gather patient data. A retired geriatrician who worked primarily in nursing homes and taught at Harvard Medical School, O’Malley is co-chair of the coalition’s Health Information Technology committee.

He said he envisioned saving staff time by having residents and their families complete a questionnaire before the admissions process. This could answer new, detailed questions about goals and preferences. 

“Then the staff, instead of having to extract that information, they can review it and refine it,” O’Malley told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. “It’s a huge change, but hopefully we’re going to make that possible with a huge decrease in staffing time. We cannot do anything that will take more staff time. We’re trying to give some back.”

What’s called for

The coalition prioritized four areas in its formation: strengthening nursing home capacity (including the use of technology and staffing); improving nursing home accountability; improving care provider compensation and retention; and ensuring that person-centered, quality care delivery and oversight are fully and properly financed. 

“Today  marks step one in what matters most to improving the lives of residents: transforming the quality, capacity and financing of U.S. nursing homes. All nursing homes should be quality homes,”  said coalition chair Alice Bonner in a press release Friday..

Each committee selected a short-term recommendation to improve residents’ quality of life, and many committees also have identified a longer-term project requiring longer lead times. 

The group is asking for input throughout the month of December, feedback that will set the stage for the coalition’s work over the next two years. 

“This work is about taking ideas, not just from experts, but from people with lived experience, and turning them into real action,” Bonner said. 

Interested parties can share input through feedback sessions Dec. 8 and Dec. 13. Written feedback in December is also an option. Visit movingforwardcoalition.org for feedback information.