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 study shows that senior managers at more than 4,000 facilities across the U.S. identify Joint Commission accreditation as a positive influence on patient safety issues such as staffing, teamwork, training, nonpunitive responses to mistakes, and communication openness.
This is the second study by Laura M. Wagner, Ph.D., R.N., an assistant professor at the New York University College of Nursing at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and her co-authors, Shawna M. McDonald, M.Sc., and Nicholas G. Castle, Ph.D., that demonstrates the benefits of Joint Commission accreditation for long term care organizations and their residents.
“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,” says Wagner. “Although there are costs associated with accreditation, these findings suggest that the benefits of voluntary accreditation may ultimately outweigh the extra costs.”
The article “Impact of Voluntary Accreditation on Deficiency Citations in U.S. Nursing Homes,” which appeared in the March 5 issue of the journal The Gerontologist by Wagner et al showed that Joint Commission accredited long term care facilities had fewer survey deficiency citations than nonaccredited facilities. A study by Wagner and her co-authors published in the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice shows that Joint Commission accredited long term care organizations also had better resident outcomes which continued to improve over time.
The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, published monthly by Joint Commission Resources, features peer-reviewed research and case studies on improving quality and safety in health care organizations. To subscribe to The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, please call JCR Customer Service toll-free at 800.746.6578, or visit www.jcrinc.com.