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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Culture Change in Nursing Homes: What Works, What Doesn’t (Video: 1:59 mins.)

Most people agree that changes in the stereotypical, traditional nursing homes are long overdue. What makes a nursing home really feel like home? What needs to happen to make that a reality? What are some of the barriers that negatively impact progress? A University of Pennsylvania research study about culture change in nursing homes focused on these concerns. After staff interviews were done, three nursing homes reported these results:

Barriers to Change

1) Exclusion of nurses to culture change activity (While nursing assistants were not mentioned here, I’m inclined to believe they were also excluded.)

2) Perceived corporate emphasis on regulatory compliance and the "bottom line” (money)

3) High turnover of administrators and caregivers

Promoters of Change

1) A critical mass of "change champions"

2) Shared values and goals

3) Resident/family participation

4) Empowerment at the facility level

Clearly, changing nursing homes successfully involves input
from all levels of staff, residents, and community. Incentives encouraging achievement of new and shared goals are also effective.

You can read more details about this study here.

You can view this video on the importance of inclusiveness in culture change proceedings.


Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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