Quality In Long-Term Care

How does quality in health care setting differ from quality and expectations of consumers in non-health care settings such as restaurants, clothing stores, automobile purchases, etc?

Quality in the healthcare setting differs from non-health care settings because the expectations in healthcare settings are literally concerning someone’s life and well-being. If someone doesn’t do a good job at serving/waiting on a table at a restaurant, it does not have a life or death effect. The expectations for quality in healthcare are so high because our bodies and health are one of the most valued aspects of our lives. If we aren’t healthy, it affects every other aspect in our lives. If quality were not brought into the healthcare setting, there would be an exceeding amount of deaths, preventable issues, and unsatisfied/unhealthy patients.

2. How is the long term care setting unique from other health care settings (such as acute care or physician practices) when it comes to the populations it serves and when measuring, evaluating and continuously improving quality?

The long-term care setting typically deals with the elderly population. Not all, but the majority are elderly. Long-term care overall includes patients who are in a facility to receive care for an extended amount of time or until the end of their life. Long-term care focuses on care, not cure. Long-term care measures quality by health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. Measurement tools evaluate the quality measures. Tools, such as QAPI, PDCA/FOCUS, or LEAN improve these issues.

3. What will you require and expect in your own health care settings/services to believe that a facility/provider and their services are of high quality? What are your expectations?

I will make sure that the vision and mission of the organization is stated and clearly understood so that the employees know their expectations. I will hope that all the employees will treat everyone with respect, autonomy, and dignity. I will require that quality is upheld in health inspections/cleanliness, employees’ actions and performance, and try to obtain high quality measures such as low percentages for preventable falls and such. Staff turnover is always a big issue in many facilities. I think that having constructive criticism and feedback is very critical for a leader to learn how to provide. It can inspire someone to change his or her behaviors and it’s productive. One possible method to provide constructive feedback is by using the acronym FBI-feeling, behavior, and impact. You have to address the way you feel on an issue/an individual’s behavior to show the impact that behavior can have overall on the organization. This is important to address issues in a productive way because it builds trust between you and that employee. It is our job as leaders to make them a better person to help them grow and improve. It is important to connect with your staff so they respect you as their leader and so you can rely on them to do what is expected. Creating a positive work environment is where it begins so all else can fall into place with clear expectations, good work ethics, and overall a reliable staff to implement all quality performance plans.