Solutions Tour Series 1: What is your quality improvement program?


This blog post is the first in a four-part series on the Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) Solutions Tour.

In this first post, we talk about how important it is to have an actionable quality improvement plan, as well as how when Healthcentric staff go into many nursing homes, this is often not the case.

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“What is your quality improvement program?”


Snf solutions tour presentationWhen Josh Bernard and Sandy Fitzler of Healthcentric Advisors would visit nursing homes, they would often ask this seemingly simple question. They were often met with blank stares. Or they were presented with binders. However, binders themselves are not a quality improvement program. Josh, Sandy, and other Healthcentric Advisors staff found that people could often not articulate what their quality program consisted of.

As Sandy said, even if they had some idea of quality targets or goals, “there was no consistent way of getting it done.” Just as binders are not, in and of themselves, a quality program, neither are regular audits, Sandy cautions.

As a Quality Improvement Organization, Healthcentric Advisors is in an ideal position to walk facilities through this process. Several years ago, in fact, Healthcentric Advisors ran a national pilot, working in 256 nursing homes across the country. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) “gave us 1.8 million dollars to teach the nation,” Marguerite said.

In Healthcentric Advisors’ work, they had found a clear set of categories to help guide people on their culture change journey, which they put together in what they call HATCh®, the Holistic Approach to Transformational Change®. The HATCh approach is based on best practices that help to personalize care in a nursing home setting.

The HATCh program falls under the CMS rules to have a Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement Program (QAPI). Many facilities do not have a QAPI in place, or if they do, it’s not robust. HATCh can help facilities fulfill QAPI and Healthcentric Advisors walks facilities through the entire process.

QAPI stipulates that centers need to identify how the information they gather through the QAPI process will be used to inform any changes or corrective actions. In large part, it is about deciding what data to collect for what indicators, and then turning it into something actionable.

Read more about the tools we offered on our tour and how to get in touch for help.

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