Report Shows Less Physical Restraint in Nursing Homes

According to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of American residents living in nursing homes who are subjected to physical restraint has dropped by more than half, from 1999 to 2007. This reportedly came from part of the National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report from 2009.

The report states that the number of physically restrained nursing home residents dropped from around 10.4% in 2000 to 5% in 2007. As our Maryland nursing home attorneys reported in a recent blog, physical restraints can be used to keep a resident or patient from moving freely, and is only allowed when medically necessary, as it can also cause patients to become weak or develop other health complications. Common restraints include belts, wrist ties or bands, vests, bedside rails, or special chairs.

The report also discovered that number of Asian and Hispanic residents living in nursing homes who were physically restrained fell from around 16% in 1999 to around 7% in 2007.

According to Karen K. Ho, MHS, research analyst for Maryland’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at AHRQ, there is a disparity between white and Asian populations being restrained in nursing homes. Ho claimed that the report shows that Asians and Hispanics are reportedly more likely to be restrained in nursing homes, and this could be because of language and literature issues. Ho claims that the ability to communicate with a health care provider, and the ability for the health care provider to talk to the patient is hugely important. If there is a language barrier and communication problems arise, the patient will most likely not get the care that they would like, or that is recommended.

An ARHQ written statement notes that overusing physical restraints may reflect a poor quality of care because nursing home residents who are restrained on a daily bases can become weak, lose the ability to function, and become prone to problems like pressure sores, isolation, loss of walking ability, incontinence, constipation, or injury from trying to escape the restraints, leading to possible injury or wrongful death. The AHRQ states that restraints should only be used when all other options have been exhausted.

Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims nursing home abuse and negligence. Contact our attorneys today at 1-800-654-1949 for a free consultation.

Fewer Nursing Home Residents Being Physically Restrained, Medscape Today, July 22, 2010
Elderly/Long-Term Care: Use of Physical Restraints in Nursing Homes Creates Substantial Adverse Consequences for Residents, AHRQ
Freedom from Unnecessary Physical Restraints: Two Decades of National Progress in Nursing Home Care,Center for Medicaid and State Operations/Survey and Certification Group, November 7, 2008

2009 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NHQRDR

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