News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Len Fishman
Commissioner
For Release:
February 18, 1999
For Further Information Contact:
Dennis McGowan
(609) 984-7160
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New Jersey Selected to Test Nursing Home Quality Indicators

TRENTON -- New Jersey has been selected by the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to test the federal agency's new computer software on nursing home quality indicators prior to it's nationwide release.

"This is a great honor for the Department of Health and Senior Services," said Susan Reinhard, deputy commissioner for senior affairs. "It reflects New Jersey's national leadership in developing and implementing innovative ways to monitor and improve the quality of care provided within nursing homes."

The quality indicator software is the latest enhancement of HCFA's standardized resident assessment computer system used to evaluate the health status and care needs of nursing home residents. The new software measures such clinical information as the number of falls and injuries and the prevalence of pressure ulcers among nursing home residents. It will allow nursing homes to track their performance over time and to compare how their facility fared among their peers. As the pilot state, New Jersey will be the first state to have access to this quality indicator information. The information gathered will be used by the state's nursing homes to improve care and by the department to better monitor nursing home performance.

The use of quality indicators within nursing homes to target specific areas for improvement is a major component of the department's ongoing Nursing Home Quality Partnership Project. Under that project, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, the department is already working with 20 nursing homes to compare information, quickly address identified problem areas, and assist the homes in setting up programs to continuously monitor their quality of care, make improvements and measure the success of their efforts.

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