Published: Feb 10, 2016 | 10:16
This past January 2017, CMS finalized and published its final ruling on the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation (CoP) for Home Health Agencies. Slated to take effect on July 13 of this year, the new ruling includes updates to the CoP requiring a sustainable QAPI program and an effective communication & care coordination plan from agencies.
It is timely, then, that Part 3 in our QAPI guide– Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring–is the primary structure of your QAPI plan. These are mechanisms that require relevant input from appropriate sources to continuously track and monitor your agency’s quality of care and processes. Key indicators must be identified and used to monitor all areas. Of equal importance, results should be reviewed regularly and scored against performance targets.
Go over these tips for strengthening your own Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring to support QAPI, care coordination, and overall communication within your agency:
- Revisit current tracking mechanisms- Review and utilize all forms of reporting and data analysis (agency assessments, competency assessments, complaint logs, clinician performance evaluation and reports, inquiry/call logs) from all areas and service associates. Suggest modifications as necessary to align with your QAPI initiatives.
- Establish benchmarks – Make use of tools and resources like clinical standards, best practices and performance indicators to establish benchmarks.. Use these benchmarks to identify contributing factors that lead to variations in performance.
- Promote active communication – Make it possible for key persons (staff, patients, caregivers) to raise problems, concerns and improvement opportunities to executive leadership. Take advantage of technology to engage more active interdisciplinary communication.
- Aim for a targeted approach – Indicate specifics to your data collection. Assign persons in charge, decide which data is most useful, then define how often data should be gathered. Prioritize data on safety and health conditions, then secondly, focus on data that supports quality assessment efforts and QAPI targets.
- Develop a concrete scheme – Strengthen your Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring scheme through written policies and procedures incorporated into your QAPI plan. Use this to formulate preventive and sustainable problem solutions based on accurate data and evidence.
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