Medicare Quality Initiative Improves Nursing Home Care

It hasn’t been long since we have seen the overzealous use of restraints in nursing homes.  In fact, restraints are still in use now – mostly legitimately – however; too many times they are  used too much and for the wrong situations.

A Medicare initiative through Lumetra has helped reduce the use of restraints in nursing homes by an average of 26% during the past few years.  This is a good sign, and it has taken a collaboration between the Centers for Medicare Services, working with nursing homes and their employees to make this work.

Even though nursing homes throughout California had limited their use of restraints since 2004, there were still a high number of incidents.  However, the nursing homes that started working with Lumetra, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare, and beginning to focus on person centered planning, including the nursing homes previously considered the most “poor performing” reduced their use of restraints by 55%,  working through Lumetra’s  Quality Improvement Collaborative. 

This is a great step forward to reach this much of a reduction in restraints.  In addition to becoming a great step forward, it is a credit and a relief to the staff involved on such an important issue.

Lumetra worked with 138 California nursing homes for over 18 months, specifically trying to decrease – and eventually eliminate – restraint, as well as further establishing and sticking to person centered plans.  Person centered plans are more successful in obtaining positive results and less resistance, mainly because the person has helped develop the plan for themselves and, as a result, this is more of an encouragement for them to set up their own goals and boundaries and work within them.  The idea of person centered planning has moved forward rapidly, and has been a breakthrough. 
When a person sets up their own goals, dreams and boundaries and is given the support and tools to work toward them, it becomes a “win-win” situation.  For further information check: www.Medicare.gov.

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