QUALITY TODAY

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Transform Your Organization with an Effective QAPI Program

Posted by Rachel Verslues on Aug 11, 2016 10:00:00 AM

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We all know the time is coming; we just don’t know when. But once the final QAPI regulations are issued, all nursing homes are required to have a QAPI Program in place within first year.

In our previous post, Why You Can’t Afford Not to Have a QAPI Program, we discussed different programs that will affect you financially without a quality improvement program. Now, let’s dive into all the positive outcomes you can experience with an effective QAPI Program.

Regulatory Compliance.
Most of you can probably agree that one of the most dreaded statements to hear is “Surveyors are here!” Having a QAPI Program in place can help alleviate that fear. It drives you to create systems and processes that will ensure that you comply with, or even exceed, both federal and state regulations. It also calls for you to be proactive, which can prevent any situations or errors that would result in a citation or regulatory noncompliance. All of these actions will help increase your five-star rating. And as we all know, five stars can help fill those beds on a consistent basis.  

Reduce Unnecessary Care Costs.
A QAPI Program requires you to implement useful monitoring and tracking systems that allow you to evaluate everyday costs on a routine basis. Your organization is able to realize areas for cost savings such as medication, nutrition, and so forth. Effective QAPI Programs have also been associated with reduction of unnecessary resident hospitalizations and readmissions, as well as their complications and costs.

Better Employee Engagement.
Implementing an effective QAQAPI-benefits-1.pngPI Program is a complete culture change. Members at all levels of your organization, from housekeeping staff to the CEO, must understand and be on board with your quality initiatives. A culture connected and open to change and continuous education are critical for the success of a QAPI Program. This calls for strong communication throughout the entire organization, which will lead to more interaction with all employees, and ultimately employees that feel involved, respected and valued.  

Decrease in turnover rates.
This comes into play with better employee engagement. One of the biggest pains long-term care facilities experience is a high CNA turnover rate. A critical part of developing a QAPI Program requires digging into your organization’s processes and procedures, specifically training and staff development.  When you can determine key “pain points” as to why you may be encountering high turnover, you are able to devise a plan to improve or stop it.

Actionable Data.
Quality improvement is data-driven. Whole data is good data. For example, specific information about resident’s usual routine are relevant to fall prevention, mapping the care of dementia, and preventing hospital readmissions. Furthermore, data pertaining to your census and staff will assist you in evaluating other areas of improvement for your organization.

The great thing about a QAPI Program is that it not only helps decide what data you need, but it also creates a system to obtain the data and then most importantly, use that data for quality improvement initiatives. Good data feeds efficient and effective operations, so you can go beyond standard compliance.

These are just some of the positive outcomes you will experience from making the time and effort to create a QAPI Program.  Eventually it won’t be a question of if, but when. Why catch yourself unprepared at the final buzzer, when you can get started today? Especially since you know this is not an overnight process, and the QAPI Program will provide such a positive impact on your organization’s environment.

Implementing an effective QAPI Program
There are resources and tools provided that are great, but how do you really know if you are on the right track? Have you addressed any and all gaps in your systems and processes? Have you identified all of your opportunities of improvement? Do you have staff and time that can continuously monitor and review your quality initiatives?

The reality is—many nursing home organizations do not have the infrastructure, skills, expertise or personnel to develop and implement a comprehensive, well-rounded, effective QAPI Program. It is a big task to take on, but well worth the commitment.

We can help. We have experienced experts who can help you create a customized QAPI Program that generates best results for your organization. Contact us at engage@primaris.org to get started today.

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Topics: nursing homes, quality improvement, long-term care, QAPI

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