The general state of the science of nursing quality measurement in nonacute care settings has accelerated in the last several years. Examples of current research using large data sets to measure quality of nursing care in nursing homes, home health, and other community-based care delivery are presented. Federally available data sets are reviewed as potential measures of care quality, and accessing these data sets is explained. Large data sets are becoming commonly used in long-term care research. Multiple databases are available for researcher use that can provide measures of nursing care quality. Large data sets in nonacute care hold much potential for measuring quality of care in long-term care settings. Public policy makers must facilitate timely data access so that research can move beyond descriptive studies to interventions that can be tested and proven to improve quality of care and outcomes of those we serve.
Rantz, M.J. & Connolly, R. (2004). Measuring nursing care quality and using large data sets in non-acute care settings: State of the science. Nursing Outlook, 52(1), 23-37.