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How does the state ensure nursing home safety?

Nursing home safety is a concern for everyone. Tax money often goes to assist facilities that care for the elderly, and many people of this age receive government medical insurance. Because of this, the state has an interest in ensuring facilities offer safe care to patients.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health explains it conducts nursing home surveys to ensure facilities are meeting regulations set by the state and federal governments.

The nursing home survey explained

A nursing home survey is an annual inspection completed by the Department of Health. All facilities go through inspections.

During the survey, personnel will look for the quality of life and care for patients. They will evaluate the comfort and happiness of patients and ensure all care meets standards.

Following the inspection, the facility receives a written report of the findings. If there were issues discovered by inspectors, these will be in the report along with a grading of the seriousness and any penalties applied. The facility must create and provide the Department of Health with a plan to fix any problems listed in the report.

Effectiveness

To ensure a complete and honest inspection where nursing homes cannot cover up any issues, the Department of Health will not announce when they will come to do the survey. It will last over multiple days and could occur at any time, including during the night.

You can see all reports for all facilities the state inspects on the Department of Health website. They are available for free to the public in full. You can see everything, including problems and penalties.