Nursing Home

Nursing Home

Shuyan Xie, Yang Xiao, Hsiao-Hwa Chen
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-561-2.ch114
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A nursing home is an entity that provides skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services to people with illnesses, injuries or functional disabilities, but most facilities serve the elderly. There are various services that nursing homes provide for different residents’ needs, including daily necessity care, mentally disabled, and drug rehabilitation. The levels of care and the care quality provided by nursing homes have increased significantly over the past decade. The trend nowadays is the continuous quality development towards to residents’ satisfaction; therefore healthcare technology plays a significant role in nursing home operations. This chapter points out the general information about current nursing home conditions and functioning systems in the United States, which indicates the way that technology and e-health help improve the nursing home development based on the present needs and demanding trends. The authors’ also provide a visiting report about Thomasville Nursing Home with the depth of the consideration to how to catch the trends by implementing the technologies.
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Part I: Nursing Homes In The United States

General Information

A nursing home, a facility for the care of individuals who do not require hospitalization and who cannot be cared for at home, is a type of care of residents. It is a place of residence of people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activity of daily living (“Analysis of the National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS),” 2004).

People enter nursing homes for a variety of reasons. Some may enter for a brief time when they leave the hospital because they need sub-acute care, such as skilled nursing care, medical services, and therapies (“Analysis of the National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS),” 2004). Others, however, need long-term care (LTC). LTC is generally defined as a broad range of personal, social, and medical services that assist people who have functional or cognitive limitations in their ability to perform self-care and other activities necessary to live independently (“Analysis of the National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS),” 2004).

In the United States, nursing homes are required to have a licensed nurse on duty 24 hours a day, and during at least one shift each day, one of those nurses must be a Register Nurse (“Analysis of the National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS),” 2004). A registered nurse (RN) is a health care professional responsible for implementing the practice of nursing in concert with other health care professionals. Registered nurses work as patient advocates for the care and recovery of the sick and maintenance of the health (“Nursing Facts: Today's Registered Nurse - Numbers and Demographics,” 2006).

In April, 2005 there were a total of 16,094 nursing homes in the United States. Some states having nursing homes that are called nursing facilities (NF), which do not have beds certified for Medicare patients, but can only treat patients whose payments sources is Private Payment, Private Insurance or Medicaid (“Medical & You handbook,” 2008). Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria (Castle, 2008). Medicaid is the United States health program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the states and federal government, and is managed by the states. Among the groups of people served by Medicaid are eligible low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Being poor, or even very poor, does not necessarily qualify an individual for Medicaid (“Overview Medicaid Program: General Information,” 2006).

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