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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > Nursing Home Use of a Resident and Family Decision Guide to Reduce Hospital Readmissions:
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Nov 2023 Issue

Nursing Home Use of a Resident and Family Decision Guide to Reduce Hospital Readmissions:

Published on Nov 29, 2023




This article presents a quality improvement project involving the first organizational-level test of the effectiveness of a new U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) endorsed Decision Guide, Go to the Hospital or Stay Here? A Decision Guide for Residents, Families, Friends, and Caregivers. This Decision Guide can enhance resident and family knowledge about nursing home (NH) capabilities and is intended to reduce nursing home resident and family insistence on potentially unnecessary resident transfers and hospital readmissions.

The SQUIRE 2.0 guidelines were the framework for this project. A quality improvement project was conducted in 16 NHs in the southeastern United States to evaluate the effect of the resident and family Decision Guide on hospital readmission rates. Prior to implementation, the investigators provided an online orientation to the project followed by onsite training of nursing home personnel. The NHs then distributed and reviewed the Guide with residents and their family members. NH staff entered data related to readmissions and resident and family responses to the Guide into a secure portion of the project website. NH staff recorded data for three months before Guide implementation and for three months after Guide distribution. Three of the nursing homes lost their upper management team soon after study initiation and were unable to continue. A fourth did not provide complete data. In the 12 remaining facilities, the three-month mean number of readmissions dropped from 27 pre-intervention to 18.58, a 31.2% decrease. Participating facilities reported the Guide was very well received by residents and their families. The facilities’ personnel reported that most residents and family members were unaware of the scope of services provided by the nursing home, an information gap filled by the Decision Guide. They found that implementing this Guide in nursing homes was cost-effective, easy to use, and could substantially reduce readmissions. The results of this quality improvement project demonstrated a significant decrease in hospital readmission rates underscoring its potential for quality improvement in NH care and avoidance of burdensome hospital transfers.

Author info

Ruth Tappen, David Wolf, Karen Southard, Sarah Worch, Janet Sopcheck

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