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REPORT: Culture Change Linked to Reduced Survey Deficiencies in Nursing Homes

February 14, 2014

Nursing homes that have embraced culture change demonstrated a significant reduction in health-related survey deficiencies, a study shows.

Deficiency citations fell by 14.6 percent between 2004 and 2009 in culture change facilities relative to a control group of non-culture change nursing homes.

“This study, representing perhaps the most comprehensive evaluation of nursing home culture change to date, found that the adoption of culture change, as defined by expert opinion, was associated with fewer government-assigned health-related deficiency citations,” said David Grabowski, the lead author of the report and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School‘s Department of Health Care Policy.

The study was published in a special culture change-focused supplement to the February 2014 issue of The Gerontologist.

Study Is First of Its Kind

The study represents “the first effort of which we are aware to evaluate the association of culture change, defined broadly, on quality of care using a panel data approach,” the study’s authors write.

The researchers used data from the Pioneer Network to identify 251 nursing homes that have adopted culture change values.

They then tracked those facilities’ outcomes between 2004 and 2009 using data from the federal Minimum Data Set (MDS) and Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting (OSCAR) system.

Health-related survey deficiencies are “evaluations of poor quality made by state surveyors under the federal nursing home certification regulations,” the researchers write. They are tracked through the OSCAR system.

Culture change facilities did not show a statistically significant improvement in MDS quality indicators, the study shows.

— by Matthew Ozga

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