Published on: Dec 21, 2016 | 10:02
Part 1 in our 5-part QAPI guide, Design and Scope tackles how “Quality Assurance – Performance Improvement” (QAPI) programs must be structured and implemented. The program will require full agency engagement from back office to patient care service, across all departments and staff. In order to be effective, QAPI should be ongoing and comprehensive –functional data and concrete evidence must be continuously collected. With the aim of always improving patient safety and quality of care, QAPI programs should be rooted in your agency’s care interventions, patient conditions and preferences.
Let’s begin at the beginning with this guided approach and taking your agency’s goals into consideration. Follow us step-by-step and establish a comprehensive QAPI plan to gear your agency up for progress.
1. Start with the organizational objectives in mind – Establish clear and specific goals and outcomes you intend to achieve with your program, then set targeted milestones to keep your efforts aligned and well directed.
2. Do agency-wide process evaluation – Revisit and scrutinize your agency’s current processes and protocols in reference to clinical standards, then zoom out to evaluate how these align with your agency’s vision and mission.
3. Utilize reliable information sources – Plan to regularly integrate data from sources like recent star ratings, patient complaints, agency assessments, surveys and chart audits. Also, don’t forget to solicit insights from your staff and patients. You’ll find there are helpful clues to crack key areas for your QAPI program.
4. Strategize – Work on your program design and structure using your gathered information to identify short and long-term opportunities, areas for improvement, and high-risk problems. Immediately establish concrete protocols to address each one, with specific timelines and accountable team members.
Building your QAPI program’s design and scope can be a long and tedious process, but it is worth your time and effort and will ultimately impact your agency’s bottom line. QAPI is a continuous process and the objectives, as well as your approach, should be reassessed from time to time.
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