Organizing an academic nursing home. Impacts on institutionalized elderly.
In March 1984, a program for an academic nursing home was established at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration Medical Center. The program was designed to improve care of nursing home patients, provide interdisciplinary training for medical house staff and allied health students, and stimulate research. Geriatric faculty physicians were appointed, medical house staff were assigned as primary physicians to groups of patients, and geriatric nurse practitioners were hired to provide day-to-day care. A two-phase evaluation of the impact of the academic nursing home on patient care was conducted. Beneficial developments associated with the program in concurrent comparison with the standard nursing home unit included a significant decrease in patient transfers to the acute-care hospital and significant improvements in functional status, patient satisfaction, and morale. A trend toward improved survival was nonsignificant. Longer-term follow-up revealed a significantly increased rate of discharge for patients completing long-term rehabilitation. Overall, the costs of nursing home care were only minimally increased by the program. Results suggest that programs like the academic nursing home can lead to improved process and outcomes of nursing home care.
Wieland, D; Rubenstein, LZ; Ouslander, JG; Martin, SE
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