Previously we discussed the 5 elements of the QAPI process. Now, how do we begin to implement this in our facilities and attain optimal care and quality of life for the resident? We must begin by creating a culture change through effective leadership assignment and accountability. All team members in the community should have a “voice” in determining quality concerns and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Identifying and prioritizing the community’s quality improvement needs based on state surveys and internal auditing, is a crucial first step. In addition, selecting the “right fit” for leadership on a specific committee can make or break the process. Initially, leadership should start at the top with executive personnel promoting a culture change and encouraging participation from all members of the facility in an open venue. Expectations should be clear cut and support provided to the individual leadership teams as well as need materials, training and other resources.

Development of a steering committee with facility executives and key leaders such as Administrator, Director of Nursing, Director of Rehab, and RNAC to lead and direct individual QAPI team leaders that are focused on a specific quality indicator is recommended. Establishing an expectation of open communication and respect will encourage all leadership and team members to put forth their most creative ideas and work towards excellent quality indicators.

Cherie Rowell

Quality Liaison