How a Resident-Choice Culture Boosts Quality in Skilled Nursing Care

Many people think of long hallways with lonely looking seniors waiting on lunchtime when they hear the words nursing facility. However, a model called culture change (or person-centered care) has altered that picture dramatically.

Resident Choices Rule

In facilities adopting culture change, the environment feels more like a home and the staff are companions and friends of the patients. Patients and residents get to choose when they want to get up, eat, and take a bath. Clusters of rooms with several common areas bustle with activities and are stocked with books and art supplies. If a senior wants a milkshake and fries in the middle of the afternoon or a walk outside after dinner, the staff makes sure it happens.

The Impact on Quality Measures

While an increasing number of nursing facilities are adopting culture change, some organizations implement only part of the culture change model. Studies show that facilities who make comprehensive changes to more fully implement the model have improved in key quality measures, such as a reduction in the number of falls, bedsores, hospitalizations, and the percentage of residents with feeding tubes.

Pennybyrn: A National Leader in Culture Change

Ten years ago, Pennybyrn adopted a full culture change model, becoming the first long-term care facility in North Carolina and one of the first in the nation to embrace this new way of caring. Plans for this change began at Pennybyrn in 2003, and in 2007, an expanded facility with six households opened.

Each household has a different personality, along with a front porch, a patio, and its own kitchen, dining, and living area. A caregiver team is assigned to each house, providing continuity of care. There is also a central area, Norcross Town Square, where residents can visit, entertain family, or enjoy activities.

Highest Possible Inspection Surveys for Seven Years Straight

For seven years running, Pennybyrn has received the highest possible report, deficiency-free, on unannounced state surveys of nursing facilities. During these visits, state inspectors evaluate quality of care, safety, administration, cleanliness, nursing services, activity programming, social services, protection of resident rights and dignity, environment and dining services.  

“I am incredibly proud of our team at Pennybyrn.  Our wonderful staff members reaffirm our commitment to providing exceptional service and care so that every day is the best possible day for our residents,” says Vonda Hollingsworth, Vice President of Health Services, Pennybyrn.  

“As we continue to focus on building strong relationships with both our short-stay rehabilitation patients, lifetime residents, providers, families, and caregivers, we are always seeking new ways to improve the quality of the lives we touch in keeping with our mission.”

Schedule a Tour Today

If you are interested in a retirement living, rehabilitation, assisted living, or skilled nursing services, come take a tour of Pennybyrn. Call us at 336-821-6548 or complete our online form.  You’ll be able to see our change culture in action!