Healthcare organizations place great emphasis on delivering quality care. But how do consumers know what qualifies as quality care? For United Church Homes, quality is such an important organizational objective that we have a team of professionals dedicated to achieving it.
They are charged with implementing, teaching, measuring and evaluating various aspects that go into high quality care of our short-stay patients and long-term care residents. We call it our Quality Team.
The Quality Team ensures that the systems, processes and measures we take to provide the best care to the residents and families we serve are both constant and consistent. It means that no matter which internal or external agency reviews our quality of care, the evaluations will be favorable, because this is what we strive for, and these are the consummate professionals who help make it happen.
Meet our Queens of Quality—Terry Quinn, Emily Carey and Angie Moore.
As director of health assessment services, Angie Moore believes that quality is an ever-changing environment that supports a caring, holistic and purposeful life as defined by those who are living it. To put it more plainly—the people we take care of are who really matters. It’s important that we take great care of them. Period.
Angie’s role in quality supports the community clinical care teams by validating the accuracy and completeness of clinical data, upholding integrity and compliance of medical records, and providing regulatory and industry updates, as well as continuing education. Each of these elements play an integral role to assure we deliver the best outcomes in personalized caregiving.
Emily Carey is the clinical informatics manager for United Church Homes. Her role is to ensure that electronic health records provide an efficient way for staff to document their detailed care records so that more one-on-one time with our residents is possible. Emily’s goal is to have quality be established by analyzing electronic health information and using it to take care of residents as accurately and efficiently as possible.
Emily goes about her day considering how she would want her own family members treated and incorporates those thoughts into her informatics and quality objectives. She reviews the data to understand the trends affecting each person. These trends are used to help nursing leadership target medical interventions and identify staff training needs.
Terry Quinn is director of quality improvement and risk management. Her focus on quality is simple—quality demonstrates United Church Homes’ commitment to excellence.
Terry reviews key clinical performance metrics monitored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These are quality standards used by each community. The goal for United Church Homes’ communities is to achieve a four- or five-star CMS 5-Star Program quality rating. These star ratings are public information and are an important public indicator of how well our communities are performing compared to other skilled nursing communities in Ohio and across the nation. All UCH communities achieved a four-or five-star quality rating in 2014, which means we’re performing well above average on the quality measures.
Another indicator of providing high quality care is our annual licensure survey results conducted by the Ohio Department of Health. We have also historically achieved exceptional results in this area. Terry, along with an internal care team at each community, conducts annual mock surveys to prepare and assist each community for the annual surveys.
If there are any indicators that a UCH community is not performing where it should be on the key quality measures, Terry and the Q-Team members analyze the data and assist the clinical teams to develop a focused action plan to improve quality performance.
Each community has an active, working Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement Committee. These committees meet regularly to ensure they are monitoring performance and initiating performance improvement plans as needed. Terry visits each community to make sure the quality improvement teams are working on their plans and achieving optimum results. Routine auditing of resident medical records by Terry also ensures compliance with governing regulations and internal policies.
The communities are also active participants in the American Health Care Association (AHCA) National Quality Award Program, which have resulted in each community earning AHCA’s Bronze Quality Award in 2014. Each community is now focused on achieving the next level of nationally recognized quality performance excellence in 2015, the AHCA Silver Quality Award. Every UCH community also achieved at least a 15% reduction in antipsychotic drug use this year. This accomplishment required the communities to focus on this challenging performance improvement area to improve resident quality of life. Our results exceeded the national goal set by the federal government.
UCH holds itself to a high standard. We don’t see quality to be just a measurement by which we live, but a way of life. With a Quality Team like this in place, we are tirelessly working toward healing and compassion with excellence, and for the future of those we serve. Our Queens of Quality are making a positive difference for residents every day!