Quality of Care Can be Quantified, Allowing Nursing Homes to Improve by the Numbers

Test of a data-driven quality improvement program for nursing homes

From 1996 to 1999, staff at the New Jersey Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) developed, implemented and tested a quality improvement program in 20 of New Jersey's approximately 360 nursing homes.

Key Results and Findings

  • Participating nursing homes showed increasing satisfaction with the quality improvement process over the course of the grant.
  • Project staff found that a nursing home's likelihood of adopting quality improvement measures is not related to its size, organization or funding, indicating the potential for any facility to combine quality improvement with the federal certification process.
  • As a result of the project's work on integrating new quality-related data into the federal certification data set, the Health Care Financing Administration (now called the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) selected New Jersey to be the pilot state to test an electronic quality indicator system.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $552,614.