An Evaluation of Web-Based Nursing Home Finders
Several state Web sites have made nursing home online resources available for consumer use. These resources include quality and safety information as well as web-based finders that can be used for nursing home selection. However, few studies have been performed to evaluate the availability of such Web sites. This study analyzed the Web sites that provide a nursing home finder from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The usefulness and findability of such web-based information was evaluated to determine if their contents were useful and the Web sites were easy to locate. Our results showed that fewer than half (45.1%) of the states had one or more web-based nursing home finders. From the Web sites we found, less than a quarter (24.1%) were perceived as easy to find. More than half (55.1%) of the finders provided both address and map for location information. Top three included search options were drop-down list (96.6%), search box (86.2%), and check boxes (44.8%). This article provides a snap shot of state level web-based nursing home finders and suggests a need for further exploration of innovative applications in order to increase their findability as well as usefulness.