Friday, November 2, 2018

Our Journey to Gold Quality Care

Kimberly Dilg, Executive Director, Sunrise of Gurnee 
 
Our journey began in 2014 with Sunrise’s Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program, a companywide initiative to use data and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to inform decision-making and help enhance quality of life for residents at Sunrise communities. As part of this program, we adopted the APIE approach to continuous problem-solving:
  1. Assess an opportunity, 
  2. Plan a process, 
  3. Implement a performance improvement plan, and 
  4. Evaluate outcomes.
Our community leadership team completed a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to create a list of measurable goals each year and met monthly to measure our progress and adjust our strategies.

In 2015, our regional team recognized Sunrise of Gurnee’s trend of positive outcomes and encouraged us to apply for the Bronze—Commitment to Quality Award. Upon receiving the Bronze Award in 2015, we then took the natural next step of pursuing the Silver—Achievement in Quality Award. Our community received further guidance from our internal Quality team, who helped us implement tools such as fishbone diagrams to determine the true root causes of certain effects. In 2016, we received the Silver Award.

In January 2017, we established a plan to achieve the Gold—Excellence in Quality Award. I liken the experience to preparing for a marathon. While the application and our long-term goal initially seemed daunting, we chose to set more manageable targets on a monthly basis. This enabled us to regularly celebrate progress, thereby keeping team members invested and engaged. Recognizing the need to not only establish, but also sustain positive trends, our team made a point to remain attentive and responsive in addressing areas of opportunity and outliers efficiently.

As a result of the processes we implemented throughout our quality journey, our community has reduced hospital readmissions and the use of antipsychotics, and increased training compliance and team member retention and engagement—all while continuously bringing meaningful days to residents through our personalized care. Our success was recognized this year as we became one of the first two assisted living communities to ever receive the Gold Quality Award.

We are elated that the hard work of our team members and our commitment to the Sunrise QAPI program has helped us earn this honor. Our team members’ pride, confidence, and motivation is evident as they go about their work each day, and our families and residents have expressed great satisfaction in knowing that our community truly is committed to the Sunrise mission to champion quality of life for all seniors. While we are proud to receive this award, we recognize the truth of one of our beloved Sunrise-isms: “The best senior living has yet to be invented.” We, along with every Sunrise community and team member, remain dedicated to growth and will continue to follow our systematic processes to innovate and improve.

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