Brown University Introduces New Web Site to Compare Nursing Homes

A new web site for analyzing and choosing nursing homes has been developed by the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research at Brown University. It is

Because it is academically based it seeks to provide evidence based data that is unencumbered by the politics and the inaccuracies of other nursing home comparison sites and data.

According to the site – The website hosts data regarding the health and functional status of nursing home residents, characteristics of care facilities, state policies relevant to long term care services and financing, and data characterizing the markets in which facilities exist.

Researchers can use this website to examine care processes and resident outcomes within the context of their local markets and regulatory practices. Policymakers can use the information to shape state and local guidelines, policies, and regulations that promote high-quality, cost-effective, equitable care to older Americans.

The website brings together data gathered from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including MDS, OSCAR, and a variety of other sources that characterize the policy environment and local market forces affecting nursing home providers.

The website allows users to customize maps and tables to gather information by state, county, or individual facility, including information on facility characteristics, geo-coded facility locations, resident characteristics, local market characteristics, facility staffing, admissions, quality, and state long-term care policies.

The Web site contains data about nursing home resident health, with specific information covering areas including incontinence, or the number of patients who are on anti-depressants or have high blood pressure. Users can also learn about the size of nursing home facilities, whether they are for-profit or nonprofit or affiliated with a chain.

In addition, because the Web site provides several years of data, it is possible to examine trends over time and determine how changes in nursing home policy or financing have affected nursing homes and their residents from year to year.

While certainly designed for academics and policy makers nonetheless it is probably a site that consumers can start to use as well to better understand from an evidence based perspective just what constitutes a good facility for a loved one.