The July 13 QAPI phase-in compliance date is fast approaching. Is your agency ready?
There has been a lot of education around defining Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI), the five elements of QAPI, and QAPI background. Much to many providers' dismay, little information has been presented on where to start a QAPI process.
This article is intended to provide you with some helpful pointers on where to begin if you haven't started yet, and what to review if you've already completed your QAPI program. Further, this article is intended for everyone from the receptionist to the CEO. As W. Edwards Deming said, "Quality is everyone's responsibility."
To develop a solid program, I urge you to first take a step back and make sure you have a solid foundation. Do you know what your organization is all about and what you're trying to achieve? What's your organization's vision and mission statement? Once you pinpoint these cornerstones and feel emboldened by them, make sure your team rallies behind them. Review your vision and mission regularly. Post it everywhere! These are the guiding principles that dictate how you do business and make decisions every day.
This statement should support your vision and mission and define what you want to accomplish.
This is the why. Without understanding your why in anything you do, you won't be successful.
This is the how. This is the part of QAPI we all think about. Because it's the big part we're all on the hook for establishing and maintaining, here are nine guidelines to design a successful program.
After the information is collected, the QAPI leadership team needs to ensure they close the feedback loop and act on the feedback.
Now that you've built your program, review it for the following: Compliance, efficiency, effectiveness and potential barriers.
Define your scope. The scope is based on your individual population and the services you provide that impact care, quality of life, patient choice and transitions of care.
Assemble all of these into your “Preamble to QAPI." Share with all staff.
Implement a “QAPI Awareness Campaign." Educate on the goals and objectives of your program and how it should impact the day to day. Include everyone in your training including consultants, contractors and collaborating agencies. Train often and in multiple ways including in writing, email blasts, posters, role play, training videos and more. Get creative.
There are several resources available to help you get started or support you on the CMS site and HHQI. They include basic QAPI tools, educational videos for clinicians, PIP packages with Best Practice Intervention supported by CMS. Most importantly – be patient. QAPI is a series of modifications over time (multiple PDSA cycles) that are specific to your agency's results. Keep your plan simple to keep your momentum!
Lorie D. Owens, COS-C, is a Senior Consultant with Maxwell Healthcare Associates, LLC. She designed these tools for Skilled Nursing Facilities but asserts that the fundamental elements remain relevant to both Home Health and Hospice QAPI programs. Her assistance is available to Rowan Report readers.
©2018 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org