With the advent of the internet, information on almost any topic lies at the finger tips of the public. Web surfers can find movie ratings, restaurant reviews, and hotel assessments. According to an article by Brooke Adams from the Salt Lake Tribune, the same helpful information can now be found for nursing homes in Utah.
The Medicare website offers comparable ratings of almost 16,000 nursing homes nationwide, including the 93 homes located in Utah. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services compiled these reviews based on data from health inspections, quality measures, and staff appraisals. The ratings were primarily based on information gathered in 2008.
Among the top-rated nursing homes in Utah were Alpine Transitional Rehabilitation Center, American Fork Hospital Transitional Care center, and Brighton Gardens of Salt Lake. Each of these centers received the maximum five-star rating. Wasatch Valley Rehabilitation and Woodland Park Care Center ranked the lowest.
While this new website provides a valuable service to those looking into placing loved ones in nursing homes, some health care officials worry that the ratings will weigh too heavily in the overall decision. Experts in the matter stress the importance of not solely relying on website rankings. When researching nursing homes, it is important to visit many different centers before making a decision- at least a dozen, experts say. Also, don’t simply take a tour of the nursing home, but spend a good amount of time at the residence. Try to get a feel for the staff’s relationship with the patients. Investigate each potential nursing home vigorously. Most importantly, keep in close contact with your loved one in the home. Check on them frequently and at different times of the day.
Although it is only one part of the research, Medicare’s new website does offer useful information to the public and is a good starting point for those looking into nursing homes.