In March 2005, the University of Minnesota was awarded a grant from the Hulda B. and Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation, Chicago, Illinois for a project called: Comparing State Regulations Affecting Nursing Homes: Implications for Culture Change and Resident Autonomy. The impetus to this initiative arose because regulatory barriers are widely cited for failure to innovate with nursing homes in ways that increase resident autonomy and quality of life, but no convenient repository exists for actual state regulations and the way that they are applied.
In 2007, the Rothschild Foundation awarded Rosalie Kane and Lois Cutler an additional grant for Phase 2 follow-up activities, which emphasized populating the site with resource materials and illustrations of best practices and other applications. Also in 2007, the University of Minnesota Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging made a grant to the project to further the technical aspects of the website development.
At initiation, the project was guided by a National Advisory Group that represented nursing home providers, regulators, associations, and advocates as well as multiple disciplines concerned with nursing home quality (e.g., nursing, social work, architecture, law). In the Spring of 2006, the Website was beta-tested by the Group of 100, a broad-based group of potential users who agreed to use and react to the initial development in a closed-access format before the Website was unveiled to the Public in early August 2006.
In 2010, the Rothschild Foundation awarded another grant to be used in updating the site, researching and analyzing updated regulations, both state and federal. This update was completed in 2011.
Project goals as specified by the Foundation were:
- - Compile and review regulations, health and life safety codes, and building codes that apply to nursing homes within each state.
- - Describe the significant differences among the regulations.
- - Highlight some of the more creative and supportive regulations that might act as models for other states, as well as those that pose unreasonable barriers.
- - Place the information into an interactive searchable database allowing for the careful comparison of regulations between states on some common dimensions. This website will include a mechanism for evaluating how user's behavior, knowledge, and/or attitudes were affected by their Website use.
- - Disseminate information with the goal of ensuring that the observations and identified models lead to positive action and potential changes to the regulatory arena, including a process for making the findings available to all user constituencies.
- - An authoritative resource for nursing home regulations, and related health and life safety codes, and building codes that apply to nursing homes within each state.
- - A vehicle for analyzing differences among state regulations, and differences between state regulations and minimum requirements.
- - A repository for comparative analyses of how regulations support or impede culture change directed at increasing resident autonomy and quality of life while maintaining safety standards.
- - A resource that permits users to search state regulations according to states and topics, and study models of regulations and regulatory practices.
- A focal point for dialogue and discussion about nursing home regulations.
Project Staff (TOP)
Project directors are Rosalie A. Kane, PhD and Lois J. Cutler, PhD. A health services researcher and social worker, and an environmental expert, respectively, they are both housed in the Division of Health Policy and Management of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. For more about their background and related work, visit http://www.sph.umn.edu/hpm/ltcresourcecenter/.