The surgical population is aging, and an increasing number of surgical patients are being discharged from the hospital into skilled nursing facilities for rehabilitation and recovery. This post-surgical period of care is a very important but poorly-understood part of our healthcare system. In a new article in the Journal of Surgical Research, “Structure, process, and outcomes in skilled nursing facilities: understanding what happens to surgical patients when they cannot go home,” CERTAIN researchers examine current evidence surrounding care and outcomes for patients in skilled nursing facilities, and identify important areas where more evidence is needed.
The article explores the relationship between skilled nursing facility characteristics (such as staffing levels, admissions numbers, and ownership) and patient outcomes. The authors point out that meaningful assessment of quality and outcomes in these facilities is currently very lacking. They conclude that a better understanding of those factors that determine patient outcomes will be instrumental to determining future directions for research, and to improve care and outcomes for patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities.