Quality – When in Doubt, Check it Out!

Quality; Quality Award

Quality is something we know we should be doing, but sometimes it isn’t always clear about how to go about doing it. Quality improvement leads to better resident and staff outcomes. Yet, improvement can be challenging if you don’t have the right systems and processes set up. Quality improvement means having a dedicated plan for working through areas of weakness and opportunities. This includes having a formalized quality improvement and process improvement (QAPI) plan in place that also includes performance improvement projects (PIPs) and how to execute them. It means that you must have outcome measures and evaluation processes complete with who is being held accountable for the QAPI/PIP processes.  
For those who struggle with how to implement quality improvement, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program can help. The program can help your organization evaluate your strengths as well as your opportunities for improvement, identify the critical areas where improvement is needed, and implement a plan to help your facility be more resilient, stronger, and successful than ever before. The Quality Award program is a three-level program that evaluates your organization against the Baldrige Excellence Framework, a nationally recognized standard for performance excellence: The Bronze Quality Award provides you with a foundation for quality improvement. The Silver Quality Award builds on that foundation and helps you set up your quality improvement efforts. The Gold Quality Award extends those quality improvement efforts into striving for performance excellence in quality. It is never too early, or too late, to start your quality journey. You can learn more about the value of the program here.  
While achieving the Quality Award is a great honor, the award itself is not what the program is about. Instead, it is about the ongoing, day-to-day steps towards performance excellence. Why would an organization settle for merely meeting the minimum standards required by regulation when that organization can rise above, provide the best care and services, and improve outcomes to their residents and staff by following the principles outlined in the Quality Award program? Quality improvement is not going away and we need to get in front of regulatory requirements. For your organization to succeed, you must look at quality and the data that supports the quality care and services you provide. Data is a key component of quality improvement and AHCA/NCAL has the resources you need to help you track data through LTC Trend Tracker. You can learn more about LTC Trend Tracker measures, turnover and retention, and CoreQ data here. Quality – when in doubt, check it out!  
Read more about the value of the National Quality Award Program in the March 2023 issue of Provider magazine: 

 The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program is proudly sponsored by Pinnacle, PharMerica and HealthCap.​