Quality assessment and assurance are based on continuous quality improvement, which is the complete process of identifying, describing, and analyzing strengths and problems, and then testing, implementing, learning from, and revising solutions.
The principles of quality and safety in infection prevention have been around since IngazSemmelweis focused on hand hygiene, Florence Nightingale advocated for proper patient care, and John Snow controlled a cholera outbreak by investigating the source of contaminated water and closing the Broad Street Pump in London
Additionally, Dr. Avedis Donabedian developed the Donabedian model for quality and safety.
He focused on developing standardized care teams, and standard procedures to improve patient outcomes. Click To Tweet
This idea of care teams and standardization forms the basis for quality assessment and assurance, or QAA, and quality assurance and performance improvement, also known as QAPI.
QAA is a management process that is ongoing, multilevel, and facility-wide. It encompasses all managerial, administrative, clinical, and environmental services, as well as the performance of outside, contracted, or arranged providers and suppliers of care and services. Its purpose is continuous evaluation of the facility systems with the objectives of keeping systems functioning and maintaining current practice standards; preventing deviation from care processes from arising to the extent possible; discerning issues and concerns, if any, with facility systems and determining if they are identified; and correcting inappropriate care processes.
So, what does this mean for your facility?
Expand your concept of team to include people who care for residents, people who manage staff and order products and services to keep facilities running smoothly, people who set policy and procedure, and people who pay for services or manage finances, including residents and families, corporate personnel and owners to ensure inappropriate care processes are corrected.
For IPAC, conduct practice audits for PPE, Environmental Cleaning, Reprocessing and hand hygiene compliance, antibiotic utilization, Adherence to screening protocols for antibiotic-resistant organisms, acute respiratory disease, GI, etc.
You should also review occupational health and safety programs such as immunization and vaccination status, N95 fit testing, and annual training requirements.
To learn more about Quality Assurance for your long-term care home, be sure to purchase our new E-learning Modules: Infection Control Fundamentals for Long-Term Care and Senior Living, as we go over this topic in detail within the course.
Infection Control Fundamentals for Long Term Care & Senior Living
- Duration: 28 hours
- Certificate of Completion