There are many quality initiatives being pursued in the aging services sector. Many overlap. Often you will see many of the same quality organizations in long-term care and aging services cooperating on these initiatives. Sometimes there are separate initiatives being pursued. Being versed in the healthcare players can jump start your education around quality and aging services.
The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign helps nursing homes achieve excellence in the quality of care and quality of life for the more than 1.5 million residents of America’s nursing homes. The Campaign works closely with other national nursing home quality initiatives to streamline efforts and to prevent duplication of efforts. Campaign leaders include long-term care providers and their associations, consumers, advocates, and ombudsmen, nursing home practitioners, government agencies, quality improvement organizations, foundations, and private organizations supporting nursing home education and person-centered care.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the health services research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), complementing the biomedical research mission of its sister agency, the National Institutes of Health. AHRQ is a home to research centers that specialize in major areas of health care research such as quality improvement and patient safety, outcomes and effectiveness of care, clinical practice and technology assessment, and health care organization and delivery systems. It is also a major source of funding and technical assistance for health services research and research training at leading U.S. universities and other institutions, as well as a science partner, working with the public and private sectors to build the knowledge base for what works—and does not work—in health and health care and to translate this knowledge into everyday practice and policymaking.
As the nation’s largest association of long term and post-acute care providers, AHCA advocates for quality care and services for frail, elderly, and disabled Americans. Members care for approximately one million individuals in 11,000 not-for-profit and proprietary member facilities. AHCA represents the long-term care community to the nation at large – to government, business leaders, and the general public. David R. Gifford, MD, MPH is the Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. He leads AHCA internal quality department while pioneering initiatives on quality improvement in long-term care. AHCA launched Quality First, Keeping the Promise in 2009. This comprehensive agenda encourages long-term care providers to go beyond government standards in order to provide residents and patients with an outstanding quality of care, an excellent quality of services, and an enhanced quality of life.
ALFA educates federal and state policymakers about the assisted living philosophy and advocates for public policy that advances quality of life for seniors. Senior living and assisted living providers and those companies serving senior living share best practices through ALFA programs to raise standards and improve the quality of care and service offered to seniors and their families.
CEAL was created as an outgrowth of a national initiative known as the Assisted Living Workgroup (ALW). The ALW was formed at the request of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in 2001. Nearly 40 organizations representing a broad range of stakeholders came together over the course of 18 months to develop consensus recommendations to assure quality in assisted living. The 110 approved recommendations were presented to the Aging Committee in April 2003. The first ALW recommendation was to form and fund an entity to continue the work of the ALW and to serve as an ongoing information clearinghouse. Eleven of the key stakeholder organizations involved in the ALW formalized this recommendation to create CEAL.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services in the following areas: Aging Services, Behavioral Health, Opioid Treatment Programs, Business and Services Management Networks, Child and Youth Services, Employment and Community Services, Vision Rehabilitation, Medical Rehabilitation, DMEPOS (Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies). While providers are not required to be accredited by this organization those that choose to typically find they have a competitive edge in the marketplace.
The Eden Alternative is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to transforming care environments into habitats for human beings that promote quality of life for all involved. They empower partners to transform institutional approaches to care into the creation of a community where life is worth living. The goals of their homes are to eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.
The Green House Project creates small, intentional communities for groups of elders and staff to focus on living full and vibrant lives. This model is a departure from traditional nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In a Green House home, elders receive a high level of personalized and professional medical care and support with daily living, without feeling that their lives are being disrupted or overtaken.