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New rules meant to reduce nursing home error and other issues

In Los Angeles and throughout the country, it is a difficult decision that people have to make to place a loved one in a nursing home. If a person needs medical attention on a regular basis and long-term care, it is often for the best for the family and for the patient. The idea behind it is to provide the best of care and a safe atmosphere. However, it can be difficult to think about the medical negligence and nursing home errors that can occur; unfortunately, these events happens all too frequently. People should know, though, that the government is trying to intercede in this growing problem and take steps to improve the situation.

In order to qualify for payments from Medicaid and Medicare, the current presidential administration wants to alter the rules. Among the changes that are being proposed are different meal times, changes to antipsychotic drug use and how the staff is comprised. Some of the changes are being made necessary by the new health care laws and other laws. In addition, there is an attempt to simplify the rules and regulations while making it less expensive to comply. The regulations that are currently in place do not account for the advances in communicative devices that are in use.

An improvement to the record keeping process through computers, making certain that families and patients are involved in health care and other improvements are proposed. The idea is that infections would be reduced, the use of antibiotics and antipsychotic drugs would be lessened and the need for readmitting patients to hospitals would be reduced. Changes to the number of staff, the hours they work and making certain that there is a greater focus on enforcing rules is also part of the new process.

One of the main problems in nursing homes is that patient injury occurs when it does not have to happen. This can be because of a lack of attention paid to the patients by the staff. It could happen due to a nursing home error. Regardless of rules and regulations, when there are injuries or fatalities in a facility that was meant to care for patients, the family needs to know how and why it happened.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, "Administration Proposes Rules To Modernize Nursing Home Safety," Susan Jaffe, July 13, 2015

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