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    Recently all 239 nursing homes in Arkansas participated in a national campaign intended to make life better for residents of their facilities.  Arkansas appears to be the only state to achieve total participation in the campaign called “Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes.” 

    Those homes involved in the campaign set goals such as minimizing painful pressure sores, reducing chronic pain and cutting back on the use of restraints on frail or disorderly residents.  The homes participation could not have come at a better time because the state Office of Long Term Care cited more than 3,500 deficiencies at Arkansas nursing homes last year in such areas as medication errors, poor nutrition, dehydration and pressure sores. 

    The national campaign’s goals are to get physical restraint use to 5 percent or less, high-risk pressure sores such as bed sores below 10 percent and chronic pain at 4 percent or less before September.

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