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.
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.
- happy couple of seniors in the park. image by NiDerLander from Fotolia.com