Long-term care resident satisfaction survey helps families choose providers

| March 6, 2016

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Aging has posted the results of the 2015 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey to the state’s Long-Term Care Consumer Guide website (www.ltc.ohio.gov). The survey is one of several tools available on the website to help individuals and families select a nursing home or residential care facility that best meets their needs and preferences, or those of their loved ones. Survey results are also made available to facility operators to help them identify areas for continuous quality improvement.

The statewide average score for nursing facility resident satisfaction was 87 (out of 100); the average for residential care facilities, also known as assisted living facilities, was 91.7.

“Making sure Ohioans have access to quality, person-centered long-term services and supports has been a priority of this administration, and the Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey is one tool Ohio has used for over a decade to help providers focus on what matters most to their consumers,” said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D., director of the department. “Thanks to the extensive information now available about quality care, consumers and their families are increasingly expecting excellence in the care they or their loved ones receive.”

“One of the primary purposes of the Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey has always been to help facility owners and operators understand what goes into providing the highest quality care,” added Beverley Laubert, the state long-term care ombudsman. “Using data from this and similar surveys, Ohio has developed several quality improvement projects to help facilities develop processes, policies, services and activities that enhance the resident experience.”

Ohio nursing homes are required to participate in at least one quality improvement project every two years to qualify for licensure. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman has worked with state and national experts in quality long-term care to identify and create projects that enhance the residents’ quality of life as well as improve the quality of clinical services provided.

More than 31,000 residents in 960 nursing homes, and 16,000 residents in 635 residential care facilities, participated in the survey through in-person interviews. Surveyors asked family members their opinions on activities, administration, admission, choices, direct care and nursing, laundry, meals and dining, social services, therapy and general satisfaction. Each facility will receive a report with their overall and specific question scores, as well as suggestions to improve customer satisfaction in the future. Overall, the survey suggests that facilities statewide can increase customer satisfaction by:

Building stronger personal relationships between staff and residents (nursing homes);

Making staff more available at key times of the day (nursing homes and residential care);

Providing higher quality food and more menu choices (nursing homes and residential care);

Resolving issues in a more timely manner (residential care);

The state ombudsman recommends that Ohioans and their families assess their needs and preferences before they need long-term care, and identify local facilities that best meet those needs.

“Give yourself time to ‘go deep’ and really get to know how well a facility provides person-centered care,” said Laubert. “Consult more than one source of information. Look beyond ratings on clinical and medical care and learn how providers perform in areas related to social, spiritual and community factors. Finally, see the care for yourself: Visit facilities you are considering and speak to current residents and their families about their experiences.”

Your regional long-term care ombudsman is available to offer information for selecting providers, advocate for your rights and provide information and assistance with benefits and insurance. They can also help resolve issues with a provider. Call 1-800-282-1206 to be connected with the ombudsman serving your community.

The 2015 Long-Term Care Resident Satisfaction Survey was conducted between August and December 2015 by Vital Research, LLC, under contract with the Ohio Department of Aging. Survey costs are supported by a fee charged to the providers by the state. Interviewers met face-to-face with a sample of residents at each facility to fill out the survey. In 2016, the department will survey family members of nursing home and residential care facility residents.

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