Sunshine is often the best medicine–particularly when it comes to worries about quality of care and value of public services. When community members are able to easily find out information which explains how much services cost, error rates, and similar details, then efficiency and overall quality will likely improve. That is the idea behind a new “Sunshine Week” project that is being unrolled this week by state officials. As discussed in Business Journal story, the initiative is spearheaded by Governor Cuomo’s office in order to raise awareness of the value of open government.
The project is actually a series of unveilings, all focused on providing data in easily understood formats for residents. Conveniently, the data is all available of a new website: The New York Open Data Portal.
The goal is comprehensive, intending to provide a single location for community members to obtain information about virtually every area of government services, from county-based crime statistics to recommended fishing and river locations. Some aspects of the project may be valuable to area senior citizens and their families. For example, you can view a spreadsheet that lists the specific expenditures from the Office of Aging based on fiscal year and county.
Other pieces of information have more direct bearing on nursing home services. Many specific documents are available which may prove worthwhile to get an idea of nursing services statewide. For example, you can view a “Nursing Home Weekly Bed Census Map” which lists exactly how many beds are available in different facilities and counties at any given time.
There is also a “Nursing Home Profile” section with data culled from different sources, including the New York Department of Public Health. It is here where you can find information about quality of care indicators at various New York nursing homes. Citations, inspection results, complaints, state punishments, and even demographic data. It is undoubtedly a handy tool for those going through the often-stressful process of finding the ideal long-term care setting for an ailing resident.
Hopefully more and more local residents begin taking advantage of these information gathering options. The project is in its infancy, but the launch this week is a great sign that real steps are being made in ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and useful information is available to all New Yorkers in a convenient way. It is worth checking out for the nursing home data alone, on top of the many other data about local and state government operations.