How to Develop Quality Assurance Plan for Assisted Living

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Assisted living facilities provide an instrumental service for many senior adults or individuals who may need help performing routine daily tasks, but who do not require the services of a nursing home. For many, assisted living homes provide a sense of independence and community. Quality services help ensure high occupancy rates, compliance with regulations and can lead to formal recognition. Initiating a quality assurance plan helps maintain quality of life for residents and can provide a vital oversight capacity. The most successful quality assurance plans allow for internal self-reported measures as well as external evaluations for a balanced quality assessment.

  • Determine the plan objective. Is the plan being developed to address existing quality concerns in order to meet state, local or national health care regulations or to qualify for a recognition program? Use the objective of the quality plan to help establish the complexity and specific requirements needed to meet goal objectives.

  • Establish the dimensions of quality your plan should address. Consider quality of life for residents, quality of care and the quality of the assisted living facility. Create a framework that defines what "quality" covers in the plan.

  • Create a plan outline that establishes specific quality objectives. Consider dividing the plan based on the quality dimensions outlined. Include as many quantifiable objectives as possible. For example, a goal of ensuring residents are offered a wide selection of activities could require counting the number of offerings on a monthly basis by activity categories. An added quality measure could survey assisted living residents to determine their satisfaction with activity selection and quantity.

  • Determine a method of evaluating all quality objectives. Consider establishing surveys, reporting mechanisms for facility maintenance, resident activities analysis and external ratings from government regulators. Include a variety of internal quality reporting mechanisms and externally based quality results. Whenever possible, include measurements that can be bench-marked against other institutions or locations.

  • Establish a rewards system that helps ensure attention to quality service and can help encourage employees to comply with quality plan objectives. Consider a recognition program that highlights key employees or an employee team. These programs can be company created or a part of an external national or regional recognition program. Include a mixture of financial and recognition rewards for meeting quality goals. For example, provide financial rewards to individual employees and rewards such as recognition signs on the residence facility.

Tips & Warnings

  • Include quality objectives that touch as many processes at an assisted living facility as possible.
  • Avoid drafting a quality plan that only meets state or federal quality requirements.

References

  • Photo Credit happy couple of seniors in the park. image by NiDerLander from Fotolia.com
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