Published On: 06-01-2018

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the impact of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) on the quality measure (QM) scores of the 16 participating nursing homes of the Missouri Quality Initiative (MOQI) intervention. The MOQI was one of 7 program sites in the US, with specific interventions unique to each site tested for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services Innovations Center. While the goals of the MOQI for long-stay nursing home residents did not specifically include improvement of the QM scores, it was anticipated that improvement most likely would occur. Primary goals of the MOQI were to reduce the frequency of avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions; improve resident health outcomes; improve the process of transitioning between inpatient hospitals and nursing facilities; and reduce overall healthcare spending without restricting access to care or choice of providers.

Methods: A 2-group comparison analysis was conducted using statewide QMs; a matched comparison group was selected from facilities in the same counties as the intervention homes, similar baseline QM scores, similar size and ownership. MOQI nursing homes each had an APRN embedded full-time to improve care and help the facility achieve MOQI goals. Part of their clinical work with residents and staff was to focus on quality improvement strategies with potential to influence healthcare outcomes. Trajectories of QM scores for the MOQI intervention nursing homes and matched comparison group homes were tested with nonparametric tests to examine for change in the desired direction between the 2 groups from baseline to 36 months. A composite QM score for each facility was constructed, and baseline to 36-month average change scores were examined using nonparametric tests. Then, adjusting for baseline, a repeated measures analysis using analysis of covariance as conducted.

Results: Composite QM scores of the APRN intervention group were significantly better (P ¼ .025) than the comparison group. The repeated measures analysis identified statistically significant group by time interaction (P ¼ .012). Then group comparisons were made at each of the 6-month intervals and statistically significant differences were found at 24 months (P ¼.042) and 36 months (P ¼.002), and nearly significant at 30 months (P ¼ .11).

Implications: APRNs working full time in nursing homes can positively influence quality of care, and their impact can be measured on improving QMs. As more emphasis is placed on quality and outcomes for nursing home services, providers need to find successful strategies to improve their QMs. Results of these analyses reveal the positive impact on QM outcomes for the majority of the MOQI nursing homes, indicating budgeting for APRN services can be a successful strategy.

Rantz, M.J., Popejoy, L., Vogelsmeier, A., Galambos, C., Alexander, G., Flesner, M., Murray, C., Crecelius, C., Ge, B., & Petroski, G. (2018). Impact of advanced practice registered nurses on quality measures: The Missouri Quality Initiative experience. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 19(6), 541-550 (highlighted in JAMDA social media outreach).

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