NHCPlus (Nursing Home Compare Plus) is an innovative and unique mobile application designed to help patients choose the best nursing home for themselves. Unlike other such referral apps, it allows patients to personalize their choice by helping patients to identify their priorities and care needs, and identify nursing homes that excel in the type of care important to the patient. This novel algorithm developed at UC Irvine allows an optimal matching between patient needs and nursing homes quality of services. NHCPlus was designed to work with the discharge process at UC Irvine Hospital, however it is easily adapted to other settings. NHCPlus provides information about the quality of nursing homes, elicits the users' preferences, and lists ranked and sorted nursing homes based on their preferences and the quality report card called Nursing Home Compare (NHC) from the Federal Government, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Over 200 patients have tested NHCPlus and provided positive feedback during the clinical trial. 9 in 10 patients using NHCPlus were very satisfied with their decision. 26% of users ranked their nursing home as high quality compared with only 17% in the control group. Most importantly, users of NHCPlus have shorter hospital stays, by 1.5 days on average, presenting large cost savings to hospitals.
Annually, there are about 5,000 hospitals and 3.3 million patients that would benefit from this app. The number is likely to increase as the US population ages. There is no comparable software on the market to date. Our researchers are seeking collaborations to upgrade the app to a more mature product to be purchased by hospitals and patients.
1. Rationale and study protocol for the Nursing Home Compare Plus (NHCPlus) randomized controlled trial: A personalized decision aid for patients transitioning from the hospital to a skilled-nursing facility. Contemporary clinical trials. 2016 Mar;47:139-45. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26772624)
2. Personalizing Nursing Home Compare and the Discharge from Hospitals to Nursing Homes. Health Serv Res 2016 Dec; 51(6): 2076-2094 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27778333)
3. When Patients Customize Nursing Home Ratings, Choices And Rankings Differ From The Government's Version. Health Aff. 2016 Apr;35(4):714-9. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27044973)