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6 Tips to Creating an Improvement Plan for Nursing Centers

It is still unclear when the new QAPI rules under the Affordable Care Act will be adopted, but it’s not too early to begin developing a plan for improvements at your post hospital care facility.

The rule, which is in the “Proposed Rule Stage” in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is meant “to ensure that facilities continuously identify and correct quality deficiencies as well as promote and sustain performance improvement,” according to the reginfo.gov website.  long-term care providers

While some details are yet to be determined, its general purpose and the process through which to achieve it are relatively clear.

We have six tips for starting an improvement plan that can improve the continuity of care for your residents and give you a jump start on compliance with the new QAPI rule.

Six Tips for Improving the Continuity of Care for Your Residents

Identify a Need

The rule requires post hospital care staff to be proactive in identifying issues that need to be addressed to improve patient care.

Administrators and directors should establish a clear system to gain “input from caregivers, residents, families, and others,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Guide for Developing a QAPI Plan.

Plan an Improvement

Assess needs and employ post hospital care resources to establish a process to resolve the issue while maintaining continuity of care.

Establish Goals

“Goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and have a time line for completion,” states the CMS Guide.

Practice Test

It is impossible to predict the outcome of your improvement plans 100% of the time. Beginning with a practice test will use fewer resources and limit continuity of care issues that may be caused by unnecessary changes.

Evaluate Test Results

Use the information gained from your test run to evaluate and adjust your plan. If the changes are significant, consider another practice test. Consider consulting a specialist in post hospital care facility management to help develop a more effective plan.

Assemble an Action Team

Your plan will only be as effective as the people you get to execute it. And the more you get on board the more successful your long term goals will be.  “Make quality a part of everyone’s daily work,” wrote Barbra Bayliss in a McKnight article, “and don’t make it complex. When improving a process, include the people who do the work to improve the work.”

Take Action

Implementing your plan may seem like the final step after all the assessing, planning and test runs, but it isn’t. In order to maintain and keep improving the quality of patient care in your post hospital care facility, like the ACA rule calls for, the plan must be adopted by all staff as routine practice.

Continuously identifying problems, developing solutions and implementing changes will be a requirement of the ACA’s rule when it is finally enacted.

If you need help developing an effective improvement plan for your post hospital care facility, General Medicine, The Post Hospitalist Company can help.


Tom Prose