Can Quality in Assisted Living Be Measured? One County’s Approach

CARR translated its recent work on San Diego County's pilot program to develop a rating system for assisted living facilities into a commentary.  The commentary was  published in the 2016 edition of Seniors Housing & Care JournalSeniors Housing & Care Journal is a peer-reviewed annual publication focusing on applied research and best practices in the fields of senior housing and long-term care.  CARR is pleased to contribute to the growing body of research on how to best translate quality of care to long-term care consumers.  Read the full article


The Problem: A growing number of seniors and their families will consider the assisted living care option but will remain uncertain which facility is right for them. The Resolution: The County of San Diego in California launched a pilot to develop a rating system for local facilities that bridges informational gaps between consumers and providers. Based on a methodology that combines focus groups and statistical analyses of state public records data, a rating system was constructed. Tips for Success: By connecting state regulations with a set of quality measures and incorporating customer and peer reviews, facility performance can be uniformly evaluated. Efforts to design a rating system for facilities would benefit from stakeholder feedback and an independent facilitator experienced in public records research related to assisted living. While consumer demand may initially drive such initiatives, provider reluctance may be overcome through open dialogue and strategic use of data.

Keywords: rating system, assisted living, public documents, quality of care

Data & Research