Reviews of nursing homes help families choose

1-min

It is important to research any facility that you are considering for a loved one. A recent study by gerontologists at the University of Southern California concluded that Yelp and other online platform reviews of nursing homes are an additional tool families may use when making decisions for their family member. Yelp uses software to weed out fake reviews and has partnered with ProPublica which created the tool, Nursing Home Inspect which uses federal data. Another online place to research is Nursing Home Compare which is administered by the federal government and uses a 5 star rating system. Its ratings are based on on-site inspections conducted by the government while the staffing and quality measures are self- reported leading to rating inflation. Expert advise starting your search online with Yelp and other consumer reviews and Nursing Home Compare and Nursing Home Inspect, talking to friends and relatives who have had experiences with places you are considering and visits of the nursing home.

No Luck Finding the Right Nursing Home? Maybe Yelp Can Help

By Paula Span | New York Times

Can you really select a quality nursing home by reading Yelp reviews?

There’s a nursing home the next town over from me, for instance. Nine reviewers have given the place both laudatory five-star ratings (“She has a far greater quality of life than she would have living at home”) and outraged one-star complaints (“The nursing staff, RN’s and CNA’s are caring but overworked”).

Overall, the place gets three stars. It’s a highly flawed measurement, of course. Nine reviewers for a 300-plus-bed facility? Over four years, in an industry known for such sky-high turnover that many of the hands-on staff have undoubtedly left since the first online critic weighed in? Reviewers can deplore the food, but can they know how often residents fall?

Yet gerontologists at the University of Southern California have been looking into Yelp nursing home reviews and think they make a useful addition to the homework any prospective resident or family member needs to undertake.

It’s not that reviews posted on Yelp and other online platforms (Google, Facebook, Caring.com) are such reliable guides to nursing home quality, said Anna Rahman, senior author of a recent article in The Gerontologist. It’s that the supposed gold standard, the five-star ratings on the federal government’s own Nursing Home Compare website, remains so faulty. [Read the entire article]

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