Family Holidays

Guide to planning seasonal celebrations

Voters' Voices

Jobs, the economy and the 2004 presidential election

Holiday Movie Preview 2004

Multimedia slide show with capsule previews of upcoming films

Standardized Testing 101

A primer for parents

Deadly Weapons in Dangerous Hands

Special report about weapons of mass destruction

Losing Ground

Special report: Wetlands' demise ripples across nation

Iraq: After Saddam

Continuing coverage of the conflict in Iraq

Get patient care quality ratings for
16,000 nursing homes nationwide
Nursing home analysis used federal records, statistical tools

Gannett News Service

Gannett News Service’s efforts to rate America’s nursing homes comprises three major analyses of computerized federal government records:

— Patient well-being indicators reported by homes, showing how healthy and comfortable residents are.

— Inspections performed by state regulators.

— Repeated, serious violations of patient care standards.
For six patient well-being indicators at each of the nation’s 16,000 homes, GNS ranked the scores of all nursing homes on each of the indicators. The indicators included the percentage of residents with pressure sores, the percentage with infections and the percentage physically restrained.

After the scores were ranked, the homes were divided into five equal groups, or quintiles, for each indicator.
The groupings were the basis of a star rating of one to five for each home on each indicator, with five stars awarded for the lowest percentage of residents with sores, infections and other problems.

For the inspection results, regulators, advocates and others cautioned that differences in state inspection programs would invalidate a national ranking system of the type used for patient well-being.

So, GNS created 50 state-specific rankings for the results of inspections, in which the 350,000 violations found at homes in the past four years were weighted and averaged depending on how life-threatening they were. The ranks of those averages were used to create star ratings as well. The weighting system was adapted from a method Florida regulators use.

For the analysis of repeat offenders, violations that resulted in actual harm to nursing home residents were analyzed.

Much of the quality and inspection information also was used to compare homes by their geography, ownership types and other factors.


Analysis finds clusters
of nursing home violations by state, ownership
Nursing homes with unblemished records are rare
Nursing home enforcement efforts questioned
Tips on choosing a nursing home
Nursing home terminology steeped in bureacracy
Resources on the Web to learn more about nursing home care

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About the project writers

About the project


All contents © 2003, Gannett News Service