In the previous post we started talking about the Quality Improvement Programs in nursing homes and hospitals. We will continue it here with a discussion of the program hospitals should have in place.

Hospitals also have regulations that nursing home and hospital surveyors look at to see if the hospital is in compliance. They are a bit different than the nursing home regulations. The hospital regulations are located at CFR 482.21 and state:

The hospital must develop, implement, and maintain an effective, ongoing, hospital-wide, data-driven quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospital’s governing body must ensure that the program reflects the complexity of the hospital’s organization and services; involves all hospital departments and services (including those services furnished under contract or arrangement); and focuses on indicators related to improved health outcomes and the prevention and reduction of medical errors. The hospital must maintain and demonstrate evidence of its QAPI program for review by CMS.
§482.21(a)(1) – The program must include, but not be limited to, an ongoing program that shows measurable improvement in indicators for which there is evidence that it will improve health outcomes and identify and reduce medical errors.
§482.21(a)(2) – The hospital must measure, analyze, and track quality indicators, including adverse patient events, and other aspects of performance that assess processes of care, hospital service and operations.
§482.21(b) The hospital must ensure that the program data requirements are met.
§482.21(b)(1) – The program must incorporate quality indicator data including patient care data, and other relevant data, for example, information submitted to, or received from, the hospital’s Quality Improvement Organization.
§482.21(b)(2) – The hospital must use the data collected to–
(i) Monitor the effectiveness and safety of services and quality of care; and
§482.21(b)(2)(ii) – Identify opportunities for improvement and changes that will lead to improvement.
§482.21(b)(3) – The frequency and detail of data collection must be specified by the hospital’s governing body.
§482.21(c) The hospital must ensure that the program activities requirements are met.
§482.21(c)(1) – The hospital must set priorities for its performance improvement activities that-
(i) Focus on high-risk, high-volume, or problem-prone areas;
(ii) Consider the incidence, prevalence, and severity of problems in those areas; and
(iii) Affect health outcomes, patient safety, and quality of care.
§482.21(c)(2) – Performance improvement activities must track medical errors and adverse patient events, analyze their causes, and implement preventive actions and mechanisms that include feedback and learning throughout the hospital.
§482.21(c)(3) – The hospital must take actions aimed at performance improvement and, after implementing those actions, the hospital must measure its success, and track performance to ensure that improvements are sustained.
As part of its quality assessment and performance improvement program, the hospital must conduct performance improvement projects.
§482.21(d)(1) – The number and scope of distinct improvement projects conducted annually must be proportional to the scope and complexity of the hospital’s services and operations.
§482.21(d)(2) – A hospital may, as one of its projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient safety and quality of care. This project, in its initial stage of development, does not need to demonstrate measurable improvement in indicators related to health outcomes.
§482.21(d)(3) – The hospital must document what quality improvement projects are being conducted, the reasons for conducting these projects, and measurable progress achieved on these projects.
§482.21(d)(4) – A hospital is not required to participate in a QIO cooperative project, but its own projects are required to be of comparable effort.
§482.21(e) The hospital’s governing body (or organized group or individual who assumes full legal authority and responsibility for operations of the hospital), medical staff, and administrative officials are responsible and accountable for ensuring the following:
§482.21(e)(1) – That an ongoing program for quality improvement and patient safety, including the reduction of medical errors, is defined, implemented, and maintained.
§482.21(e)(2) – That the hospital-wide quality assessment and performance improvement efforts address priorities for improved quality of care and patient safety and that all improvement actions are evaluated.
§482.21(e)(3) – That clear expectations for safety are established.
§482.21(e)(4) – That adequate resources are allocated for measuring, assessing, improving, and sustaining the hospital’s performance and reducing risk to patients.
§482.21(e)(5) – That the determination of the number of distinct improvement projects is conducted annually.

As you can see, these are much longer than the regulations for a nursing home. They pretty much mean the same thing, though. It is just spelled out a bit more prescriptively; actually, much more prescriptively. The nursing home and hospital surveyor will review the hospital’s quality program for each of these aspects, and again, as in a nursing home, the hospital is to be actively looking for problems and correcting them. There is no frequency in the hospital regulations for how often they meet, but they will need to meet frequently enough to be able to handle everything that is reqiured of them. They will need to gather and analyze data in order to determine where their areas of problems are and how they can improve those areas. The hospital must also be conducting quality improvement programs on a constant basis.

Both nursing homes and hospitals should have a system in place to allow visitors and patients/resident, as well as all staff, to bring issues and problems to the attention of the quality assurance/quality improvement program in the facility.

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One Response to “Quality Improvement Activites a MUST in Nursing Homes and Hospitals – Part II”

  1. admin Says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. It would be difficult to add video and such to this blog since it wouldn involve privacy issues with patients, residents as well as staff and surveyors. It is a great idea though!

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