Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Shape Of Long Term Care Facilities

Have you ever stopped to think about why a long term care facility is designed the way that it is?

In most cases a nursing home is designed in the shape of an "+". In the center of the + is the nurses station. Down the lengths of the + are the hallways and patient rooms. This is done for a few reasons.

One reason is that decades ago healthcare providers learned that having proper ventilation is crucial to preventing nosocomial infections. Nosocomial infections are ones that are passed from patient to patient. Proper ventilation of hospitals and nursing homes has helped to reduce the likelihood of nosocomial infections.

The second reason that long term care facilities are generally designed in this manner is one of convenience. From the center of the building that is shaped like a + sign, the nurses and other caregivers can quickly reach a patient's room and keep an eye on the patients that may be wondering the halls.

Unfortunately designers of these facilities must consider that there are a handful of nurses to provide care to a high number of patients. Yes, there are a few legal requirements that indicate the bare minimum that is required, but is that enough?

When you or one of your family members are in one of these facilities do you want the minimum number of nurses that the law requires or do you want a facility that actually meets the patients needs?

Investing in long term care insurance can help you have more choices as to where you receive care in your latter years. If you rely only on Medicare and Medicaid to cover your long term care needs, you will find yourself in facilities that can only afford the minimum levels of care.

The higher the ratio of healthcare providers to patients greatly increases patient health and satisfaction rates. These satisfaction rates are not only of the patients but of the healthcare workers as well.

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