New system in Germany to help assess quality of nursing homes

FILED - An elderly woman walks across a hallway of a nursing home with a walker. Photo: Jens Büttner/zb/dpa

People searching for a nursing home in Germany can soon turn to a new certification system for help.

The new version of the “Pflege-TUeV,” that was presented on Tuesday in Berlin by the national association of statutory health insurance funds after years of preparation, is meant to offer meaningful information about the quality of individual facilities.

It will replace the current system, which has been criticized for years as offering ratings that are too positive. They are based primarily on documentation from the nursing homes.

The new system is meant to show how good the care really is, for instance when it comes to preserving mobility and independence in daily life. It will for example display findings on the prevention of serious falls and support during emergencies.

The head of the German foundation for the protection of patients, Eugen Brysch, welcomed the fact that the system is meant to be clear and unambiguous, but noted that findings will not be available for users until mid-2020.

He also questioned whether the new system will allow users to quickly assess different nursing homes, since it for instance does not offer an overall rating.