Study Finds Accreditation Improves Safety Culture at Nursing Homes
Accredited nursing homes report a stronger resident safety culture than nonaccredited facilities, according to a new study published in the May 2012 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.
The Nursing Home Survey on Resident Safety Culture was sent to a random sample of 6,000 nursing homes. Responses from those surveys were compared for differences between nonaccredited nursing homes and accredited ones.
The results from those surveys showed that senior managers at more than 4,000 facilities identify Joint Commission accreditation as a positive influence on patient safety issues such as staffing, teamwork, training, nonpunitive responses to mistakes and communication openness.
"It has been suggested that the process of sustaining the level of standards compliance required for accreditation can create a safety-oriented culture within a facility, and our results appear to support this contention," said Laura M. Wagner, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the New York University College of Nursing at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing. "Although there are costs associated with accreditation, these findings suggest that the benefits of voluntary accreditation may ultimately outweigh the extra costs."
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