Better work relationships between nursing home staff are associated with improvements in overall health for residents.

When choosing assisted living options for a senior loved one, it's important to look at how the staff handles the day-to-day operations with its residents.

A new study published in the journal Health Services Research reports nursing homes that put a great emphasis on teamwork and communication it its staff could result in a higher quality of care for patients. Researchers surveyed more than 7,400 nursing home staff and observed the data on over 45,000 residents and measured the level of teamwork and the quality of care to residents.

The study's authors determined even a 0.25 percent improvement in the staff's cohesion score led to a 4.5 percent decrease in the prevalence of pressure ulcers and a 7.6 percent decrease of incontinence in patients.

"This study empirically demonstrates that better work relationships between staff, as measured by staff cohesion, are associated with better outcomes for nursing home residents," said Dr. Helena Temkin-Greener. "Nursing home managers have the tools to encourage good patient care but they have to work at it and encourage practices that promote better cohesion, communication, and teamwork in their facilities. If they do this, the quality of care will improve."

Residential Home Health is a leading provider of in-home nursing and therapy care throughout Michigan and Illinois. In addition to home health care, Residential's continuum of care includes Residential Hospice and Healthy Living Medical Supply. If you are interested in learning more about the home care services Residential provides, please call 866-902-4000 or visit www.residentialhomehealth.com.