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Six area nursing homes named among country’s best

REGIONAL — Several area nursing homes were ranked as “top-performing” in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings.

Only 15 percent of nursing homes receive the “top-performing” designation nationally. Among nursing homes in the Worthington area, most were rated either “average” or “above average,” but only six were given the top performing designation.

The main categories are nurse staffing, medical quality and health inspections.

Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Lakefield received five stars for health inspections and complaints, as it had no violations this year. The Minnesota Department of Health randomly surveys nursing homes once every nine to 15 months.

“You need to be ready for the survey every day of the year, but you don’t try to be more ready at any one time because you’re just trying to give good care,” said Patrice Goette, longtime Colonial Manor administrator. “If you’re doing the right thing and providing good care, you’re going to have good surveys.”

Medical care quality measures factor in the percentage of residents who receive recommended care, vaccinations and rehabilitation for various health issues.

Several nursing homes hit that mark, including Maple Lawn Senior Care in Fulda, Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Parkview Manor Nursing Home in Ellsworth, Good Samaritan Society in Pipestone and Sibley Specialty Care.

“Our staff are certainly qualified and have a long history of quality and care that they just have a heart for,” said Arlan Swanson, Maple Lawn Senior Care administrator of 26 years. “It takes a lot of routine diligence to give good care.”

Minnesota Veterans Home was the only nursing home to get a perfect score in each of the three categories, including nurse staffing, which calculates the amount of time each resident gets from nurses every day.

“It comes down to your staff,” said Luke Schryvers, Minnesota Veterans Home administrator. “Our staff has a great relationship with the residents and their family members. It’s a group effort, so great staff is the key.”

As it’s a qualification to be considered top-performing, all six of the nursing homes were ranked average or better in every category.

Administrators acknowledged they look at the annual reports — mostly to see how they compare to their neighbors.

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