Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Are You Ready to Apply for a Silver Award?

The AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention is always an exciting time for those engaged in the National Quality Award Program. Not only are the newest recipients recognized, and preparatory education offered for all three award levels, but some of most exciting networking of the year takes place.

An interesting phenomenon has been reported by staff and Examiners however; many new Bronze recipients report their intent to apply at the Silver level in the coming year. While this engagement is encouraging, it is troubling that many indicate that they have not yet read the Silver criteria.

Historically, the Quality Award Program has received many premature applications at the Silver level. These applications describe processes that are not developed to the extent that examiners can provide focused, meaningful feedback that can be used by applicants to drive improvements at the center. We believe that many of these applications are the result of center leadership making the decision to apply (and often beginning to write an application), prior to carefully considering the demands of the criteria across the center. We call this practice “writing before reading”.

Although these applications may be premature, they nevertheless represent significant effort and cost to the centers that produce them. In most cases, this effort may be better spent in using the criteria to evaluate and improve processes.

The program is currently pilot testing a Silver self-assessment instrument that will help Bronze recipients evaluate the degree to which their center’s processes address the key demands of the criteria, and the degree to which trended data with appropriate comparisons can be reported across areas important to center success.

This instrument is designed to not only help a center’s senior leadership determine if their center is ready to apply, but if not, where the key blockers to application-readiness are.

Although still in draft form, we are already hearing that this instrument is proving helpful to our future Silver applicants. Check out a beta version of the assessment on our Silver Award webpage  and stay tuned for the final version coming out later this year.

As always, please contact us at qualityaward@ahca.org if you have any questions.

And don’t forget about these important dates coming up!
  • Intent to Apply Deadline November 17, 2016 
  • Application Deadline January 26, 2017

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