Two Toledo-area nursing homes get top marks

The Ohio Department of Aging has released the results of its 2012 Nursing Home Family Satisfaction Survey and two Toledo-area facilities were among the top 20 scores handed out across the state.

The survey, which was revised this year to increase participation and deliver better data, measures how satisfied family members of Ohioans who live in nursing homes are getting the care and services their loved ones need.

While the statewide average satisfaction score for facilities was 85.6 (out of a possible 100); 25 facilities scored 93.76 or better including Ursuline Center and Little Sisters of the Poor, both of Northwest Ohio.

The Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon scored 95.63 and the Ursuline Center in Toledo scored 94.13.

Kendal at Oberlin in Lorain County, Sarah Jane Living Center in Van Wert County and Putnam Acres Center in Putnam County were also in the top 25 scoring facilities.

"Selecting a nursing home that can provide the right care in the right ways for ourselves or a loved one is one of the most important choices we may have to make in our adult lives. This survey and Ohio's Long-term Care Consumer Guide are important tools for families who expect, and deserve, excellence," said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. "The survey and the guide emphasize our commitment to quality care. Consumers must be fully informed about their options if we are to expect that they will, in turn, demand excellence for themselves or their family members."

The family satisfaction survey was conducted between May and December 2012 by the Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, on behalf of the Ohio Department of Aging and under the direction of the Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman. More than 27,000 family members and 948 homes participated. Of the 721 participating homes with statistically significant results, 387 scored above the state average and 229 scored 88 or better, which earns them an additional "quality point" in a reimbursement formula used by the Office of Medical Assistance (Medicaid) to reward quality in nursing homes. Survey costs are supported by a fee charged to nursing homes by the state.

This year, the department revised the survey to better capture the needs and ideas of families. For this reason, Kantor-Burman cautioned against directly comparing the survey results with those from previous years. "This survey reflects our increased focus on person-centered care and caring and our new quality-based reimbursement formula. We expected that these changes may have an impact on the statewide average. We are especially pleased with the larger than usual response rate and are gratified by the number of families who are so involved with their loved ones' care."

"In addition to assisting families in choosing quality, person-centered nursing homes, this survey also is a tool to help long-term care administrators and staff improve the care and services they provide," added Beverley Laubert, the State of Ohio Long-term Care Ombudsman. "Staff, residents, families, advocates and state leaders continue to work together to ensure choice, respect and self-determination for all, regardless of where they call 'home.'"