Two tools for quickly comparing nursing home track records

Before placing a loved one in a nursing home, you’ll undoubtedly want to check and compare the track records of numerous care facilities. Luckily, two websites make the task of reviewing problems at nursing homes, and comparing one nursing home in your area to another, quick and easy.

Nursing Home Compare

Photo by bernd via Flickr

Nursing Home Compare is Medicaid’s online tool for comparing the rankings and complaint records of care facilities. Users can search for rankings based on area code, city/state or facility name. Rankings are based on five stars, which in turn makes comparing one facility ranking to another very efficient. A drawback is that nursing homes aren’t included in the listings if they aren’t certified to participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Still, the site does include information on more than 17,000 nursing homes nationwide.

A search of “Omaha, Nebraska” brought back 22 results, with each nursing home being ranked in several categories. The facilities are rated overall on health inspections, staffing and quality. Also useful on the site is a downloadable guide to choosing a nursing home and a checklist to take when visiting nursing homes, which is also downloadable.

Nursing Home Inspect

This database comes from Propublica — the nonprofit investigative news organization. It is also more than helpful in assisting with the daunting task of evaluating nursing homes, though it was developed by journalists to make the task of studying problems in nursing homes easier. At first glance, it may seem hard to navigate — a deficiency rating scale based on the alphabet might also throw some off — but with a little practice it delivers very specific results. Nursing Home Inspect allows users to search based on state rather than specific city, unlike Nursing Home Compare. It’s also possible to search based on severity of nursing home deficiency if you’re looking to quickly weed out nursing homes based on possible problems. Keyword search and searching by nursing home name are also possible.

One of the features that makes Nursing Home Inspect different from other options out there is that it makes finding the actual inspection reports readily available so that a user can get context into why a particular nursing home received a certain rating. For those not very technically inclined it may prove useful to check out the website’s tipsheet — a tutorial for using Home Inspect — prior to use.

If you don’t want to attempt the nursing home selection process on your own, Encompass Senior Solutions can help.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”