Why Transparency on Nursing Home Staffing Will Provide Better Care for Maryland Elders

If you have decided to send your loved one to a Maryland nursing home in the near future or have already done so, then you understand the difficulty of making such a decision. Conducting thorough research into the options near you and ensuring that your loved ones are receiving quality care at the facility you choose can be really stressful—especially if there is no information available for you to reference to make an informed decision.

According to a recent report, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would begin to report weekend staffing and staff turnover for nursing homes with greater transparency. Information on weekend staffing, such as the numbers of registered nurses and the total number of nurses in general working on the weekends at each nursing home over a quarter will be publicly available on a website. Details about total nurse turnover, the percentage of nursing staff that stopped working at a nursing home, and the number of administrators who stopped working at a nursing home over a 12 month period will also be made available.

For consumers, this data will be important for a number of reasons. First, having access to a nursing home’s staffing environment can be important for determining the quality of care your loved ones will receive. At facilities with low turnover rates, for example, it is more likely that the quality of care will be higher, and the overall residential experience will be better. Low turnover rates in nursing homes are also typically correlated to higher nursing home ratings.

Second, nursing homes often have considerable variation in their daily staffing levels, especially on the weekends. In fact, many families who send their loved ones to these facilities may be unaware that their loved ones may be at risk on the weekends due to understaffing. When a nursing home is understaffed on the weekends, the risk of injury or harm to residents increases since there are fewer staff members available to address residents’ needs at once.

Lastly, finding a facility with low nurse turnover can make a significant difference in the quality of care your loved ones receive. In facilities with high retention of nurses, this usually means that staff members are more familiar with residents, their needs and risks, and experience caring for residents. Consistent staffing also helps ensure a secure, home-like environment in building rapport with residents in nursing facilities.

The new data on weekend staffing and staff turnover will be available from CMS as early as January 2022. Hopefully, with these new changes, consumers will be able to better make informed decisions about where to send their loved ones.

Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Under Maryland law, both the individual employee as well as the facility can be liable for nursing home abuse or neglect. However, both employees and nursing homes are unlikely to admit fault, even in egregious cases. Thus, the assistance of an experienced Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer is instrumental in ensuring a full and fair recovery.

Do You Need a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you or a loved one recently was injured at a Maryland nursing home or facility because of neglect or negligence of the staff, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. Our lawyers fight for the injured and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.

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