QAPI Meeting

Ready for QAPI?

In September 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published the final Requirements of Participation for long-term care facilities. All skilled nursing facilities will need a Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI) program by November 28, 2019. Are you ready?

Now is the time to understand and begin implementation of QAPI.

Five core elements to QAPI

First, deepen your understanding of the QAPI framework. There are 5 core elements:
• Design and scope
• Feedback, data systems and monitoring
• Systematic analysis and action
• Activities
• Governance and leadership

It is important to develop a culture of knowing why something is happening, not just what is happening. Tip: Don’t just focus on clinical activities; look at overall performance. Always focus on the high volume, high risk problems.

Data is the key to success

Second, understand how electronic health record (EHR) data may be used for quality improvement activities especially root cause analysis. Have you thought about how you may use EHR and other data sources (e.g., paper, surveys)?

Once you understand what information you need, determine the best source of data to answer your questions. Tip: it’s better to have specific, quality data than a lot of data.

Then, identify how you will gather that data for reporting and analysis. If you have an in-house Information Technology (IT) team, work with them early and often to make sure you’re on the right track for the right results. For smaller facilities without internal IT resources, seek out staff that are technology whizzes or leverage free tools from technology resources (e.g., Microsoft’s Power BI, Qlik®).

If you have an EHR vendor, you should be able to leverage them directly or in collaboration with a third-party vendor.

Visualize your data

Once you’ve collected and analyzed the right data for your QAPI framework, now what? Data visualization can be a great way to easily share your progress to health system partners, internal staff, residents and families.

Consider your audience and design for them. Would you show your health system partners the same graphs that you show your internal leadership? Probably not.

Also, use effective but simple visuals with colors that are intentional. For example, if red is used in other reports to notate a negative data point, reconsider using it in a different way for your visualization.

Tip: always try to include actionable information – for example, lists of prescriptions or transactions.

Looking for more information? Discover how MatrixCare can help skilled nursing providers better use data for QAPI. Contact us today.

Denise Wassenaar

Denise Wassenaar joined MatrixCare as Chief Clinical Officer in May 2013. A recognized leader in long-term care, Wassenaar brings innovative strategies and solutions to the changing environment of the post-acute provider. She has more than 20 years in the post-acute settings serving as Vice President of Clinical Services for a CCRC organization, President of Alliance Pharmacy Services and other executive positions. Wassenaar holds BS and MS Degrees in Nursing from Purdue University and is a licensed nursing home administrator. She serves on the Board of Directors of a CCRC in Arizona.