How Do You Take Your QAPI?
If you’re in skilled nursing, you’re probably in the process of figuring that out right now. Because, as you know, QAPI is the new CMS law of the land.
According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “QAPI is a data-driven, proactive approach to improving the quality of life, care, and services in nursing homes.” It starts with quality assurance (QA), the steps facilities take to meet quality standards and regulations. Then it adds performance improvement (PI). QAPI (QA and PI together) is meant to help facilities meet minimum regulatory quality standards, and then to make the quality of services even better.
Does Your Nurse Call System Matter for QAPI?
Central to QAPI is the satisfaction of residents and their families, and call response time is a great place to start. Do your residents trust that when they request help it will come quickly and will address their needs? Or do they wait, frustrated or afraid, wondering how long before help will arrive?
Built into every RCare system is the RMetrix reporting and analytics package that lets you track call response times, so that you can assess your current status, and set target goals.
- What is an acceptable amount of time for a client to wait for help and what isn’t?
- How well are you doing at staying inside that acceptable range?
- Are your staffing levels right for each place and time?
With RCare, you can track call response time for the organization, or filter it by:
- Group – facility, wing, hallway, or whatever grouping makes sense for your community.
- Time – to see how things are going by shift.
- Enterprise – For large organizations, Enterprise RMetrix lets you evaluate response times across your entire organization at as broad or fine-grained a level of detail as you need.
Frequent caller reports let you see:
- Who is calling?
- Are the calls primarily from just a few residents?
- Are call numbers higher on one shift or in one part of your facility?
RPhone and The Resident’s Experience
- RCare’s integrated HIPAA-compliant mobile handset, the RPhone, has the unique “I got it” feature that helps both residents and staff. It lets a staff member claim a call that comes through, preventing unclaimed calls, and preventing duplication of effort, which helps make the best use of your staff’s time.
- It provides personalized information about the resident, so that staff can offer greater personalization and comfort, even if the caregiver or the resident is new. It allows staff members to phone the resident directly to let them know help is on the way, and allows them to find out more information about what is needed.
- With the RPhone, care staff check in when they arrive at the room, and check out when they leave. They can record the services performed during the call. This is powerful information for your quality teams, as they try to understand more deeply the processes they’re working to improve.
- The powerful RMetrix reporting helps you identify specific calls that fall outside the norms, to help you investigate potential problems and get to their root cause.
Your Organization’s Other Services:
Your QAPI program must address all services provided by your facility and thus extends to all departments.That’s another reason RCare’s call system is so powerful. Staff across the facility benefit from the system, and residents never need to pull a cord.
- Passive sensors integrated directly into the system can monitor temperatures of every room and send alerts if temps stray out of the normal range.
- Integrated water sensors report flooding or overflows.
- Universal contact sensors report doors that are open when they should be closed, or closed when they should be open.
- Refrigerator temperature sensors continuously check and record temps, and send alerts for temperatures out of the safe range.
- Smoke detectors, integrated right into the nurse call system, so everyone is alerted if there’s a problem in a room.
By now, you should have your written QAPI plan in place, and implementation should have begun. As you plan your performance improvement projects, it’s critical to have objective performance measurements of where you started, where you want to go, as well as the ability to monitor the effects of your changes. You need data to evaluate where you have opportunities for improvement, and where you’re exceeding expectations. You need to measure progress, and to provide insight to investigations of where problems persist. Root Cause Analysis provides the most insight when it’s evidence-based and drawn from reliable data.
RCare is more than a nurse call system. Add RCare to your QAPI! Contact us today.