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August 16, 2018

Are Your Long-Term Care Facilities Ready for the New CMS Survey Process?

Did you know that 20% of the Medicare patients discharged from hospitals are readmitted within 30 days?  Even more surprising, that rate increases to 25% when patients are discharged to skilled nursing homes.1  This is a costly statistic to both the taxpayers and hospitals.  So how do you make sure that you are referring your patients to long-term care facilities with top notch care?  Check out their survey results and make sure they are up to date on the latest changes. Help them help you!

Long-term Care Facilities

Long-term care survey

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised their survey process for long-term care facilities. With the regulations released in September 2016, implementation of the changes is happening in phases. The first two of the three phases went into effect November 2016 and November 2017.  The final phase is scheduled for November 2019.2

What was changed?

Here’s the short story. CMS has tossed out the former traditional survey and the Quality Indicator Survey (QIS). They then took the best from those surveys and created a new and improved combined elements survey. This new survey will be used at long-term care facilities in all states throughout the country.

Why the change?

The goal for this new process was to standardize the resident-centered survey process measures to align long term care compliance with federal standards (vs. state compliance). According to Evan Shulman, Deputy Director of the Division of Nursing Homes Survey and Certification Group at CMS, residents’ safety and well-being ultimately are at the center of the changes. CMS wants to be sure caregivers are providing the best possible care for residents, ensuring their safety, needs, and well-being. 3

What can you do to prepare?

  • Prepare the staff
    • Educate with workshops, coaching, and training on all survey aspects that are new.
    • Ensure the entire staff is well prepared and competent by having infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship programs in place.
    • Ensure the staff knows their residents and has their care plans in place within 48 hours of admission.
  • Perform mock surveys
    • Designate teams in each unit to perform mock surveys.
    • Collect feedback from residents, families and staff.
    • Begin with baseline goals to see areas that need the most attention.
    • Address any issues before surveyors visit to do their actual survey.
  • Incorporate technology
    • With the new process, independent auditors will conduct and track audits using iPads or tablets. Start using the technology now so when the auditors arrive it will be business as usual.
    • Use the data recorded to track trends and identify areas for improvement.
    • Utilize workflow to provide visibility and drive accountability of survey completion.

 Reducing HAIs

Clarifire is here to help!

This new survey, along with its results, will be used by CMS to determine a facility’s rating under its five-star rating system. Do your long-term care facilities have technology in place that makes it easy to collect feedback, has trending reports, and do easy to design surveys to make getting that five-star rating attainable? If not, Clarifire is here to help!

Our BRIGHT AUDITS® solution can help them reach their five-star goal.  BRIGHT AUDITS is an innovative, mobile auditing technology where users can quickly and easily create, execute, and analyze audits throughout their organization. This means system wide views.  Designed to automate existing paper and pencil audit processes, implementing a new audit is as simple as create, preview, assign users, review, and publish.

The simplicity of the BRIGHT AUDITS solution does not end there.  Just tap, swipe, gesture, and complete an audit.  BRIGHT AUDITS is for organizations who want to implement a mobile strategy for quality, safety, and compliance!





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Tammy Bourassa

Tammy Bourassa leads the business account management team at Clarifire. She came to Clarifire with over 15 years of experience in selling and supporting client software solutions within the healthcare industry. Her industry knowledge ranges from pre hospital/EMS care to inpatient and rehabilitation care. Tammy has successfully led various sales, account management and operational teams. When asked, she said she really enjoys growing business by building relationships. "It's so much fun to work with all the flavors of people and to help solve their issues." 
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