Windemere gets high marks in state survey
Family members of residents of the Island's only nursing home are highly satisfied with the overall care provided by the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, according to the results of a statewide nursing home satisfaction survey conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH).
Martha's Vineyard Hospital's nursing home also fared well when compared to nursing homes across the state. Windemere ranked number 36 in overall satisfaction among the 297 nursing homes that agreed to participate in the survey, the first of its kind, and number 3 out of 17 nursing homes on the Cape and Islands.
"We are really happy to have done so well," said Tim Walsh, Martha's Vineyard Hospital executive director. "I think the rankings reflect that we try to take care of the residents and the closeness of the Island community."
The DPH division of health care quality conducted the survey to provide a comparison tool for consumers and enable a nursing home to compare itself to peers and set targets for quality improvements according to a 22-page Executive Summary Report.
"The results of the survey are a credit to every member of the Windemere team," said Windemere administrator Ken Chisholm. "We are very proud of the quality of care we provide to our residents and of our connection to Martha's Vineyard Hospital."
A total of 297 facilities, 66 percent of the state's eligible nursing homes, agreed to participate in the voluntary survey. Questionnaires were sent to 25,655 responsible parties, in almost all cases a family member of a nursing home resident.
According to the summary, a little over half of the respondents reported that their resident had been in the facility for more than two years. Most visited at least once a week, usually during the day. Almost two thirds were female and the majority were between the ages of 50 and 69 years old.
The results were based on 14,886 completed and returned surveys that rated administrative and personal care staff, physical environment, activities, personal care services, food and meals, and residents' personal rights.
The survey asked a total of 53 questions. Respondents rated their satisfaction on a scale of 1-5, with 1 = very dissatisfied; 2 = dissatisfied; 3 = neither satisfied nor dissatisfied; 4 = satisfied; and 5 = very satisfied.
Windemere scored higher than the state average in each of the following categories: Overall satisfaction, 4.59 (4.25 state average); residents needs met 4.56 (4.1); staff and administration 4.40 (4.18); physical aspects 4.44 (4.15); activities 3.98 (3.84); personal care 4.39 (4.08); food and meals 4.07 (3.94); personal rights 4.39 (4.09).
One year ago Windemere reported its first-ever profit of $63,000 on $5 million total operating revenue, very good news after years of red ink and talk about closing the nursing home. When combined with gifts totaling $86,481, Windemere ended its fiscal year on Dec. 31, 2004 with a total gain of $149,881.
Cost cutting, higher state reimbursements, and an emphasis on providing rehabilitation services contributed to the profitable shift in finances for the once troubled institution. It was particularly good news when viewed against the backdrop of the state's struggling nursing home industry and Windemere's own battle to stay afloat.
In 1994, its first year of operation, Windemere lost $1.8 million and in 1996 filed for court protection under chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code. Windemere emerged from bankruptcy two years later but continued to struggle financially. After a period of huge losses, hospital officials managed to staunch the flow of red ink to an acceptable level.
In the 2003 fiscal year, Windemere lost approximately $200,000. Last year, the Island's nursing home ended 2004 with its first-ever gain. How the nursing home fared in 2005 remains to be seen. Mr. Walsh will present a draft financial report to the hospital board when it meets on January 28.