North Star Community, a 75 bed facility in west metro Denver, has joined a national, profession driven quality improvement initiative called "Quality First". Quality First builds on the federal government’s Nursing Home Quality Initiative (NHQI) that was inaugurated to publicly report key quality measures for nursing facilities to help consumers select a facility.
"The object of Quality First is to exceed federal and state government standards, achieve higher levels of clinical quality and customer satisfaction, and retain employees through a vigorous focus on workforce excellence", commented Marcia Brenowitz, North Star Community Administrator.
A facility must formally pledge to the Quality First covenant. By taking the voluntary pledge, facilities agree to abide by the initiatives core principles and o meet or exceed the six performance outcomes, which are improvement in compliance with federal regulations, progress in promoting financial integrity and preventing occurrences of fraud, progress in the quality of clinical outcomes and prevention of confirmed abuse and neglect, improvement in all Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continuous quality improvement measures, improvement in customer satisfaction, and improvement in employee retention and turnover rates.
Related to its Quality First pledge, North Star Community has instituted resident, family and staff satisfaction surveys through My InnerView. They are also working with the "It’s Never 2 Late" adaptive computer system to enhance resident education and independence, as well as connection to family and the larger community. North Star is additionally working with the Evercare program on a pilot designed to address services for younger persons living in long term care facilities.
In September, North Star entered into a clinical training agreement with The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Nursing to provide clinical learning experiences for students with the CU nursing program, providing for an enhanced overview of care delivered, while assisting to "grow additional long term care nurses".