The survey process is a required inspection that occurs for any community that offers skilled nursing services under Medicaid or Medicaid. Some homes only serve private pay and are not subject to these inspections but those are in the vast minority. The results of this year survey are the best that the community has ever had, the best that I have ever personally been a part of. The community received 1 Deficiency during the survey process. The deficiency was what we refer to as a paper deficiency, nothing related to the care that was delivered by any of the team members. That is an amazing accomplishment for the team that works here. We feel strongly that we have some of the best caregivers to make this community everything it needs to be. Though it’s not the only measurement out there, we always appreciate when we score well in any format. We feel blessed that we have people to see this vision to make something different.
Here is general information about the survey process in Long Term Care, specifically in Colorado. The annual survey process is a required review for nearly all Skilled Nursing Communities/SNF’s that occurs between 9-15 months after the prior survey. We had our 2016 survey from 2/4/16-2/9/16. Our survey “window” then ran from 11/9/16-5/9/17. Meaning our survey needed to occur in that 6 month period. Initial surveys are also done as communities open and use some differing parameters. For our purposes, we are focusing on annual surveys.
Annual surveys in Colorado have had a change in the past 10 years to make a move to a QIS survey from a traditional survey. QIS stands for Quality Indicator Survey. The QIS survey is the newer version of the survey and uses interviews with Elders and family members to look for care concerns. The other process, is referred to the as the “Traditional Survey”. The traditional survey does use some interviewing but focuses mainly on the surveyor’s on site assessments of the community. For example, If the surveyor sees that a person does something they consider undignified toward an Elder, then the survey team looks at multiple areas where dignity is a concern. In the QIS survey the care paths investigated are based on what answers the Elders give, not the hunch that a surveyor may have. The transition was challenging for homes but has resulted in a better survey process. Some states have moved to only the QIS process, some have remained with Traditional, a few even have both and they use them at different times. Colorado only uses the QIS survey at this time. After participating in numerous surveys over the years I can confidently say that I prefer the QIS process because it is driven by Elder’s responses and generated from interviews. This ensures the focus is on the Elders, based on their answers not on assumptions. This Elder centered focus is very much in line with core values of the Green House homes.
Survey averages have changed over the years but here is a quick listing of the average number of deficiencies/tags over the past few years. The change to the QIS survey in the US began formally in 2007 with each state having the chance to change on their timeline. Colorado began the process in 2010, though some states had begun prior to that.
2005 – 8.5 2010 – 11.9
2006 – 9.3 2011 – 10.9
2007 – 9.7 2012 – 8.9
2008 – 10.1 2013 – 7.8
2009 – 10.7 2014 – 7.4
The data does show some of the rise and fall as the QIS changes occurred in the state. At the end of the day the surveyor’s motivation and goals are the same as our own; to improve the quality of care and quality of life for those living in care communities. If anyone has any questions around this information, please let me know.
May/05/2017 | News