AHCA Members and The Eden Alternative Help Meet Quality Goals

April 07, 2012
Denise Hyde

The 4th Annual AHCA/NCAL Quality Symposium was a powerful reminder that The Eden Alternative has resources to help American Health Care Association members meet their quality goals in long term care.

Some is not a number and soon is not a time,” was a common theme emphasized at the Houston event in February. It reminds all of us of the importance of setting meaningful, measurable goals and then committing to accomplishing them within a specific timeframe, even when it comes to changing the culture of care.

AHCA’s first quality goal for the long term care sector is to reduce the number of hospital readmissions within 30 days of a skilled nursing facility stay by 15% by 2015. In response to this, the Eden Alternative offers Eden at Home as a tool to help organizations create Care Partnerships in the community to improve the transition process.

The second goal is to reduce turnover among clinical staff by 15% by 2015. Eden Registry members show an average annual turnover for licensed nurses of 16.9% compared to a national average of 39.5%.

The third goal is to increase the number of customers who would recommend the facility to others to 90% by 2015. The Eden Alternative demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between organizational warmth and satisfaction; warmer organizations have higher overall satisfaction.

The fourth goal is to reduce the use of off-label antipsychotics by 15% by December 2012. The Eden Alternative offers a new two-day workshop, based on the book Dementia Beyond Drugs by Dr. Al Power, to teach concepts that reduce the need for these medications.

Other key messages from the symposium included:

  • There is a need to decrease the fragmentation of the healthcare system and create more patient-centric transitions. (Creating Community, Care Partnerships, Eden Alternative Principle Three)
  • The ACO (Accountable Care Organization) is about shared decision making.  (Principle Eight)
  • We need to promote innovation in local communities. (Principles Nine and Ten)
  • Hospitals are interested in long-term care readmission rates because it influences where they discharge people. (Principle Seven)
  • Language is fateful; it reveals something about us and our thinking.  (Principle Seven)
  • What you are seeking is what you will find.  (GROWTH Model, Principle Nine)
  • We are most comfortable focusing on today and putting out fires which is why 70-90% of strategic plans fail; there is a tension between managing for today and focusing on the future. (Principle Ten)
  • Meeting unmet needs (behaviors) is about the same people with the same people in deep relationship where they are rewarded for being deeply known. (Principles Three and Six)

A pre-symposium workshop conducted by Sandra Place, Administrator at Jackson County Medical Care Facility, Bronze Quality Award recipient and Denise Hyde, Community Builder with The Eden Alternative covered the Quality Award process and linkages to the Eden Alternative’s Path to Mastery. The content of the workshop linked the personal, organizational and physical transformation steps in the four Milestones, and all the resources from The Eden Alternative, to the award criteria for all three AHCA Quality Awards. Cross-walk tools that explore the connections were shared with the attendees and will soon be posted on The Eden Alternative website. We welcome you to check out these tools and apply them to your culture change journey.

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