Patricia Simino Boyce
2007 Webmasters’ Guild Award Given by Rockefeller Institute’s NYS Forum
Lake Success, NY, November 19, 2007 — IPRO and its client, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) Patient Safety Center, have received one of New York’s most prestigious Web-focused honors: The Webmasters’ Guild “Best of the Web” Award. The award was given by the New York State Forum of the Rockefeller Institute for the organizations’ development of the New York State Nursing Home Profile Web Site,http://nursinghomes.nyhealth.gov/. Housed at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Forum is a network of public officials and government organizations concerned with information management, policy, and operations.
“New York’s medical consumers and their families need reliable, user-friendly Web-based resources to help make nursing home choices,” said Robert W. Barnett, Director of the DOH Patient Safety Center. “The Department of Health is proud to provide this resource and proud to receive this award.” A division of the New York State Department of Health, the purpose of the Patient Safety Center is to maximize patient safety, reduce medical error, improve the quality of health care by improving systems of data reporting, collection, analysis and dissemination, and improve public access to health care information.
The New York State Nursing Home Profile Web Site highlights key nursing home quality measures, allowing the public to easily obtain important, up-to-date information about the state’s nursing homes. The purpose of the site is to enhance communication between patients and nursing home administrators and staff, making the health care decision process easier and more effective.
“We are thrilled to receive this award,” said Spencer Vibbert, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Development, IPRO. “We believe that the Patient Safety Center and IPRO have come up with a data-rich site that is easy for consumers to navigate, and are pleased to be acknowledged for our Web team’s efforts.” IPRO is an independent organization that reports on and helps improve the quality of the state’s health care.
The Nursing Home Profile site enables the public to: easily search for nursing homes by name, region, county or selected distance within a chosen zip code; identify nursing homes providing special services such as adult care, respite care or services to children in need of long term care; compare nursing homes on the basis of up to 19 quality measures including the percent of residents whose need for help with daily activities has increased, the percent of residents given influenza vaccine during flu season and the percent of residents who were assessed and given pneumococcal vaccination; and obtain up-to-date information regarding nursing home inspection reports and complaint investigation history, as well as recent enforcement actions taken by DOH.
The Web site complies with a number of accessibility standards, including Section 508, W3C WAI standards and U.S. Federal Government rules for Web-based content accessibility. The Web development team received invaluable feedback from voluntary test users, including several consumer groups and their members, who previewed and commented on the site during its development stage. They include: AARP, Center for Medical Consumers, New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, Long Term Care Community Coalition, and the New York State Office for the Aging.
According to the award citation, “Consumers and their constituents applauded the Web site because it is a tool to assist New Yorkers in making the best choice possible in finding nursing home care for elders. They also felt that the Web site, especially because of its user friendliness, would represent yet another step toward “consumer and patient empowerment.”
Since launching in December 2006 the Nursing Home Profile site has seen, on average, more than 33,000 unique visitors a month.
With more than 20 years of experience in health care quality improvement and evaluation, IPRO holds major contracts with state and federal governments to review the cost and quality of services provided to Medicaid recipients, Medicare beneficiaries, and patients enrolled in managed care organizations and to work with the health care community to improve those services. IPRO also manages the Medicare-designated End Stage Renal Disease Network of New York. Based in Lake Success, New York, IPRO also holds contracts with private-sector clients to improve the quality of privately financed services.