Growing and maintaining a home health or hospice agency is an ongoing endeavor that always requires attention to various details to ensure the safety and health of your clients. A solid QA/PI, or Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, plan is a must if you expect to meet and even exceed regulatory compliance goals.
Understanding QA/PI Basics
Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement were once considered two separate processes but have recently been combined and streamlined into one. Essentially, QA is the process of evaluating quality standards to ensure you’re meeting regulations. PI, or Performance Improvement, is the act of improving your current activities to reach compliance.
In some cases, PI is put into action after findings of deficiency in a survey, but this isn’t the best course of action. Constant improvement and attention to quality is key, and being proactive is the best solution. Developing a QA/PI process to follow is a smart way to ensure you’re always compliant no matter when the next survey occurs.
The Five Elements of QA/PI
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website provides a full explanation of the five elements of a solid QA/PI program, but we’ll pare it down a bit here for simplicity. First, the design and scope of your program should address all systems of care and management, including clinical care, quality of life, and client choice. Next, your organization should have a leadership body in place that can gather information and provide resources to your staff members as they strive toward the highest quality. Third, you’ll need systems in place to monitor your efforts and gather the data necessary to evaluate your success and shortcomings.
Fourth, you’ll focus your efforts on the improvements needed. Regularly conducted examinations will uncover any quality issues so you can address and improve as you go. Finally, using your streamlined system, you can work to maintain current quality levels while developing policies and procedures for continuous improvement.
If this feels like a large undertaking, you’re correct. Developing, implementing, and adhering to a successful QA/PI system can be complex and time consuming, which may leave you feeling as though you’re ignoring many other important aspects of home health and hospice care. Considering the many tasks you’ll need to complete throughout the year as you follow your QA/PI program—such as mock surveys, medical chart and personnel file reviews, evaluations, on-site trainings, and more—you’ll have your hands full.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Our experienced consultants have years of experience developing and implementing Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement systems. We can help with every aspect, including the mock surveys, reviews, document creation, and on-site training.
Reach out today to learn how we can help you develop a QA/PI program that will keep you compliant at all times so you can focus on the work that really matters—your patients.