Quality Measures for Skilled Nursing Care in Rural Swing Beds: What Works and What Doesn't?

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2017
Project completed:
July 2023

Swing beds are hospital beds used to provide both acute and long-term care for patients. The swing bed program is utilized predominantly in rural areas where it enables rural hospitals to utilize unoccupied beds interchangeably as either acute care or skilled nursing (long-term) care beds, depending on patient needs and hospital occupancy levels. Swing beds are important in bridging the gap between short-term acute care and long-term skilled nursing care, and rural hospitals with swing beds play a vital role in the provision of health services in rural areas. This project provided a systematic review of skilled nursing facility quality measures and how these measures apply to skilled nursing facility-level care provided in rural swing beds in both critical access hospitals and prospective payment system hospitals. Findings may allow researchers and policy makers to understand evidence-based best practices for measuring the quality of skilled nursing provided by hospitals in rural areas.

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