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Chain-operated nursing homes that customize some services tend to perform better financially, according to a new study.

The findings were published in the May edition of Manufacturing & Services Operations Management by the University of South Florida-led research team. 

The investigators measured how the degree of standardization across chain-operated facilities impacts performance outcomes, and used 11 years of federal nursing home data.  

Data showed that a standardized strategy was associated with high efficiency, brand consistency, reduced costs and less waste. Additionally, customizing some services was also linked with higher service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Lead investigator Lu Kong said that the operators should use the results to “guide nursing home chains in their strategies of within-chain standardization, and investment decisions in acquiring new properties.” 

Kong added that nursing homes chains should consider standardizing their facilities in three areas: the percentage of Medicaid residents, service offerings, the staffing ratio and what impact it has on a facility’s clinical care, financial performance and resident welfare.

“Our results also provide broader managerial insights for service chains’ standardization strategies and merging and acquisition activities,” the team concluded.