The Quality Journey

Angie SzumlinskiUncategorized

Quality is the foundation of the HealthCap Risk Management program and supporting our members on their quality journey is a very rewarding experience.  Over the past three years HealthCap Risk Management consultants have taken an active role in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program as Senior Examiners and Team Leaders. 

The program consists of three levels and is part of a criteria-based program that recognizes performance excellence.  The levels are:

  • Bronze – Commitment to Quality – Applicants are evaluated on their self assessment of key factors of their organization, including organizational environment, relationships, strategic situation, key challenges, key performance measures and business relationships.  Applicants also describe their performance improvement system and give an example of its success.
  • Silver – Achievement in Quality – Applicants provide an extensive self assessment of their systematic approaches and the deployment of these approaches, describe performance measures and sustainable organizational and process results that are linked to their key customer requirements, success factors and challenges.  Only organizations that have earned a Bronze award may apply at this level.
  • Gold – Excellence in Quality – Applicants address the Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria.  Facilities must demonstrate that they are achieving high levels of performance over time in the areas of health care, customer satisfaction, financial, market, workforce, process and leadership.  Applicants must detail their approach, deployment of programs and level and consistency of results.  Only organizations that have earned a Siler award may apply at this level.

As we review the list of homes who have achieved the National Quality Award it appears that the organizations are “doing the right things for the right reasons” and reaping the rewards.   There are no short cuts on the quality journey, only commitment and a desire to provide quality at all levels of your organization.

US News published a list of “Best Nursing Homes” based on the CMS 5 star rating.  The websites of many homes on the list indicate they are also Quality Award recipients.  Coincidence?  Doubtful.  Remember, the journey doesn’t have an “end” but only new beginnings.  In a perfect world all homes would provide the highest level of quality care and services to our elders. Let’s move forward, begin the journey one step at a time, support each other’s efforts and applaud achievements no matter how small.  You can succeed and if you need additional support please contact your HealthCap Risk Manager for assistance.  Thank you and enjoy the journey!