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2016 National Quality Awards

“Making a commitment to quality is about more than just meeting requirements”

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has an ongoing commitment in assisting skilled nursing care centers across the nation to improve the quality of care provided to their residents. Their goal is to connect facilities with valuable resources and help them design innovative solutions that make today’s skilled nursing facilities great places for residents to live, for families to visit, and for staff members to enjoy vibrant working environments.

Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria

AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) created the National Quality Awards program to recognize the long-term and post-acute care centers throughout the country that continually work to improve the quality of care in their facilities. Established in 1996, the program is open to the AHCA/NCAL’s 12,000 members who are in good standing within the organization. There are three levels of awards, and each level uses specific criteria from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program to evaluate their centers and obtain the expert feedback necessary for improvement and innovation. The Baldrige Excellence Framework for Health Care helps organizations to evaluate their current performance and note where the most improvements are needed. These guidelines allow organizations of all sizes in the skilled nursing and long-term care industries to improve, excel, and achieve the results they are after.

National Quality Awards – Award Levels

There are three progressive levels of awards, each with its own requirements for quality and performance excellence:

Level One: Bronze Award – Commitment to Quality The Bronze Award is the first award your skilled nursing center may apply to, and the goal is to provide applicants with the resources and tools they need to improve their current performance.

Level Two: Silver Award – Achievement in Quality At the Silver level, applicants continue to apply what they’ve learned to develop more effective strategies that improve performance and health care outcomes.

Level Three: Gold Award – Excellence in Quality The final step in the program is the Gold Award, which organizations can apply for after receiving the Bronze and Silver Awards. Superior performance must be demonstrated in all areas of the excellence criteria, including customer and staff satisfaction, leadership and strategic planning.

It has been proven that past Silver and Bronze level recipients achieve positive outcomes, such as better quality measures, higher 5-star ratings and better staff retention than the national average. These facilities serve as role models for the industry as they continue to strive to provide a better experience for their residents, families and staff.

Gold Award Winner 2016 – Altercare Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center in Kent, Ohio

MatrixCare is thrilled to announce that a 2016 Gold Award winner is our own client, Altercare Post-Acute Rehabilitation Center in Kent, Ohio. Altercare joins two other winners of this prestigious distinction in 2016, forming an elite group of providers that are considered the “very best in the nation,” according to AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson.

Tom Boyes, Altercare Vice President of Sustainable Clinical Quality, says “The AHCA quality journey from Bronze to Silver to Gold provides an ongoing learning continuum in an ever changing healthcare landscape. It ensures that we are constantly exploring, developing and implementing effective systematic processes that positions our organization to better serve our residents, transitional patients and staff. This commitment to continued growth is the foundation for high quality care and services that align with our organization’s mission, vision and values.”

Altercare of Ohio is a family-owned company that operates 21 skilled nursing care and rehabilitation centers throughout Ohio and Michigan. They make innovative care programming and ongoing employee education a priority at each facility, where they offer a wide range of services from patient-focused nursing and Alzheimer’s care to independent and assisted living.

Since the National Quality Awards’ inception in 1996, out of 13,000 centers, only 31 long-term care and post-acute providers have achieved the Gold level of quality recognition. Altercare is also the recipient of a variety of other facility awards, such as the CMS 5-Star Facility Rating and Northcoast 99’s Best Places to Work. The 2016 award ceremony will be held on October 18 at the AHCA/NCAL’s 67th Annual Convention and Expo in Nashville.

Leveraging Technology at Your Skilled Nursing Facility

Skilled nursing care centers that recognize the important role technology plays in improving quality of care can leverage this information to be on their way to a Gold Award. A robust system that integrates clinical workflow and revenue cycle management gives your facility the tools and data it needs to succeed while providing the highest level of care.

A key component of the Baldrige framework is to manage all components of your organization as a unified whole to ensure your “plan, processes, measures and actions are consistent.” Your facility should have an easy process for evaluating your current performance, noting trends in care results, and using those results to make smart decisions.

Skilled Nursing Solutions from MatrixCare

Gold Award Winner Altercare is able to provide higher quality care to their residents due to MatrixCare’s innovative skilled nursing solution. Our EHR improves workflow and allows staff to easily track progress and spend more time working closely with the residents. Contact us today for more information about how our technology can help improve quality of care at your skilled nursing care center.

Sources: American Health Care Association (AHCA): www.ahcancal.org National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL): https://www.ahcancal.org/ncal/Pages/index.aspx Baldrige Excellence Framework for Health Care: https://www.nist.gov/baldrige/about-baldrige-excellence-framework-health-care 

Kevin Whitehurst
Kevin Whitehurst

Kevin Keith Whitehurst, Senior Vice President, Skilled Nursing Solutions, has been a key player in LTPAC technology since 1990. Whitehurst has held many leadership positions including IT Director for one of the first developers of MDS software systems to, most recently, SVP, Client Services for MatrixCare. In his current role, he is responsible for the success of the Skilled Nursing Solutions Group and oversees Product Management, Professional Services, Sales and Marketing, and Client Support for that group. A 26 year veteran, Whitehurst has dedicated his career to improving Skilled Nursing Providers experience with technology. Whitehurst holds degrees from San Bernardino Valley College and the Los Angeles School of Business and also served in the U.S Air Force.

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