The Urgent Work Of Patient Safety Improvement In Nursing Homes: CMS Responds To Brauner And Colleagues

Improvement in the quality of care delivered to patients and consumers across the healthcare system is a crucial strategic priority for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Patient safety is a key focus, as the Agency applies several policy levers to drive down rates of harm within health care facilities. The long term care setting is of particular importance for CMS; for long-stay Medicare and Medicaid nursing home residents such a facility is their personal home. This is very different from all other healthcare settings in which the episode of care is relatively brief with an anticipated end point and transition back in to the community; thus, nursing home residents may be at risk for harm over the course of their lives from the time of admission to the nursing home. Understanding these risks is critical for patients and caregivers as they search for a facility that will provide the environment and care that will support health and quality of life.

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