Changes coming to nursing home accreditation standards

As competition between nursing homes intensifies, it is common for facilities look for ways to differentiate themselves. A new accreditation program may help New Jersey nursing homes achieve their goals while attracting appropriate clientele.

According to a report by Modern Healthcare.com, the Joint Commission has updated its certification standards and has included an option for specialty services that highlights a facility's strengths. The Joint Commission learned that more organizations were providing specialized rehabilitation and transitional services for elderly residents, and that these offerings merited recognition when a facility develops advanced services for acute disabilities.

As such, facilities will be eligible to receive a Rehabilitation and Advanced Care Certification, which will help them distinguish the caliber of their services to hospital and health care networks, other care providers and the public.

Overall, the new accreditation standards will focus on patient-centered processes that will address prior deficiencies and assist with the growing transformation away from institutionalized care. In essence, the new standards will set guidelines for improved patient care. For example, future surveys will include patient discussions to identify potential risks, as well as high performance areas. Nursing home staff and leadership will also have additional training opportunities to incorporate the new standards.

The new standards are based on input from consumers, healthcare providers and insurers. A number of the previous requirements are carried over, but the new accreditation standards will ostensibly lead to informed choices regarding long term care facilities. The Commission reports that the new standards, survey process and certification program will be effective in July 2013.

Source: Modern Healthcare.com, Joint Commission revamps nursing home accreditation, January 7, 2013

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