Long-term care regulation reforms are still in the proposal stage, but it’s not too early, experts say, to begin implementing the change process.
According to a recent McKnight’s report, Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) is the means by which regulatory compliance will be reached. QAPI isn’t mandatory, and implementing it won’t guarantee compliance, but its systematic and systemic approaches can begin now to help facilities grapple with ongoing change.
CMS has collaborated with the University of Minnesota and Stratis Health, subject matter experts, consumer groups, and nursing home stakeholders to create a Process Tool Framework that scaffolds various resources to help facilities develop their own QAPI plans. It includes three survey documents:
And three development guides for building a facility-specific plan:
- Guide for Developing Purpose, Guiding Principles, and Scope
- Guide for Developing a QAPI Plan
- QAPI Self-Assessment Tool
The Process Tool Framework includes additional documents and examples specific to each of the Five Elements. CMS has created both a Tools and a Resources page on their website to walk administrators through the steps of change implementation.
Andrew Kramer, MD, and CEO of Providigm, and Michael Lin, Chief Scientific Officer, were quick to point out to McKnights that successful QAPI implementation must involve all department heads in an organization, and must synchronize across organizational levels, taking into account the input of all stakeholders and staff, including direct caregivers, families, and residents themselves.