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Study Finds Race – Based Differences in Nursing Home Data on Fall Accidents, Bedsores

A  study published recently finds race -based differences in how nursing homes report fall accidents and pressure ulcers involving residents on their premises.  These  differences could make it difficult for families of elderly persons looking for reliable nursing homes for their loved ones.

The results of the study were published recently in the JAMA journal. The researchers set out to compare nursing home characteristics with the reporting of bed sores -also known as pressure ulcers – and fall accidents in specific nursing homes.  The researchers found to their dismay that the federal website that contains information about specific accidents and injuries in nursing homes actually underreports data on fall accidents and pressure ulcers.

Much of the difference in the reporting also seems to be based on race. Nursing homes that have predominantly white residents are much more likely to report high numbers of fall accidents compared to pressure ulcers, and are  also much more likely to report fall accidents more accurately.  Similarly,  nursing homes with majority black residents are much more likely to report a higher incidence of pressure ulcers compared to fall accidents. Predominantly black facilities are more likely to report pressure ulcers more accurately. Overall, the researchers say the better your reporting on fall accidents, the lesser your likelihood of reporting bed sores.

The  end result, however, is that families that are looking for a good and reliable nursing home for their loved one do not have the information that they require before they make a decision.  It is very important to choose the right nursing home for a loved one.  Once  you have admitted your loved one into a nursing home, it is not easy to then reverse the decision and admit him or her to another facility if the nursing home does not match your expectations.

The researchers also say that the existence of any kind of racial bias is troubling because it makes it difficult for family members to make crucial  care decisions for their loved ones. The American Healthcare Association/  National Association for Assisted Living has already hit back at the report, saying the results of the study are not an accurate reflection of what is happening in the industry today and that nursing facilities across the country are truly committed to reporting accurate performance on quality measures.

Apart from pressure ulcers and falls, nursing home residents may be at risk of other forms of neglect or abuse including  failure to administer medications properly, overmedication, physical and sexual abuse, and even emotional  abuse.  Nursing homes can be held to account when they fail to provide proper care of residents. The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  you or a loved one has suffered  neglect or abuse at a nursing home in Georgia, talk to a  lawyer at our firm and discuss his or her options for a claim for compensation.  Initial  consultations are free.

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