Friday, April 4, 2014

Why Joining the PSO is Needed to Get Recognized

Lindsay Schwartz

Until May 1st, assisted living members have the opportunity to get recognized for meeting Quality Initiative goals. Just like AHCA, NCAL’s four Quality Initiative goals are reducing hospital readmissions and antipsychotic use, as well as increasing staff stability and customer satisfaction. But in order to be recognized for readmissions and antipsychotic use, assisted living members must first join the National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living (PSO), which was launched at the beginning of 2014. Why? Because unlike skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities are not required to publicly report readmission and antipsychotic data.

AHCA can easily look up skilled nursing centers’ data in these two areas from the MDS to see if members are meeting the goals, but assisted living does not have a similar, government tool which reports this information. That’s why NCAL is turning to the new PSO. Quality Initiative is built around the idea that not only must we say that the long term and post-acute care profession is committed to improving quality, but that we must show that we are committed to improving quality. That’s why there are concrete numbers tied to each goal, including a 15% reduction of hospital readmissions and antipsychotic use. Without a public reporting system for assisted living communities on these two areas, NCAL had no way to demonstrate members are reaching their specified targets. Not until the PSO.

The primary function of a PSO is to allow healthcare providers to report quality and patient safety data without fear of legal discovery. So, through the National PSO for Assisted Living, members can electronically submit their performance on clinical performance outcomes (including readmits and antipsychotics use) and processes while still protecting themselves from any liability issues as a result of their data. If NCAL were to ask you for your communities’ readmission and antipsychotic data directly, this information would not be protected and could be used against your community punitively.

In order to protect communities but still recognize them for their amazing efforts, NCAL is asking assisted living members to join the PSO and then submit their rehospitalization and antipsychotic data for the First Quarter of 2014. (Get started now!) Then, members must notify NCAL that they have met either of these two goals through separate online surveys in order to signify their interest in being honored through the Quality Initiative Recognition Program. Again, in order to protect assisted living communities from legal discovery, NCAL cannot access individual data reported in the PSO.

Let NCAL know you have achieved a 15% reduction or hold only a 5% rate for hospital readmissions and for antipsychotic use in Q1 2014, and you could be recognized through the 2014 Quality Initiative Recognition Program!

Reporting quality and patient safety data is key for any organization - assisted living or skilled nursing - to identify areas for improvement and monitor their progress. Even if your community has not met the Quality Initiative goals, joining the PSO is a great way to get started on your quality journey. Beyond readmissions and antipsychotic use, the PSO will track medication errors, falls, pressure ulcers, pain management and more. And it’s more than a tracking tool – the PSO also provides exclusive materials on best practices and other education to help you improve in these areas. NCAL is even covering the start-up costs to keep costs to members as minimal as possible. Learn more about potential costs.

You can also learn more about the PSO in an upcoming webinar:

So, get recognized now for meeting your antipsychotic and readmissions goals by joining the PSO today. And build the roadmap to continue on your quality journey for tomorrow.

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