Significant reductions in adverse drug events, infections, wounds and use of restraints in nursing homes are among the key achievements touted this week by federal regulators. The good news comes in a progress report on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Quality Improvement Organization Program, a five-year effort designed to enhance the quality of services for Medicare beneficiaries.
CMS redesigned the QIO program in August 2014. More than 5,000 nursing homes were recruited to participate in the national collaborative.
Among the achievements among participating nursing homes:
• 44,640 potential adverse drug events were prevented;
• 3,374 pressure ulcers were prevented or healed in 787 facilities;
• 6,250 Medicare beneficiaries in 981 facilities are now restraint free; and
• 85,149 fewer days with urinary catheters for Medicare beneficiaries.
Two key nursing home goals in the five-year program are a resident-centered care and safety initiative, and an effort to reduce the use of antipsychotics.
Under the quality of resident-centered care and safety initiative, the QIO program hopes to unite nursing homes, key stakeholders and organizations throughout their communities to share tools, knowledge and technology to achieve system-wide improvement. One in five nursing home residents current suffer preventable harm, according to a recent Inspector General report.
The antipsychotics reduction initiative aims to reduce an original 19.8% national use of antipsychotics in long-stay nursing home residents while providing education, training and technical assistance to nursing home facilities.