Quality assurance and performance improvement, or QAPI, is a process dedicated to achieving positive results for your agency, individual employees and customers. The process helps identify factors that contribute to a desired performance or outcome and how those factors can be maintained, improved or strengthened. Home care agencies use a variety of methods to monitor quality performance and improve outcomes including, continuous quality improvement, quality assurance, quality management, process improvement and outcome-based quality improvement. So why use QAPI?
QAPI Focuses on Processes
The goal of the QAPI is for the agency to continuously look for ways to improve organizational processes and outcomes. For example, your agency may evaluate the employee education process and identify that improvements can be made by using QAPI. As a home care provider, you will be part of these processes in your daily practice and have a valuable role in their development.
QAPI Involves Choosing a Focus of Study
Simply put, what aspect of patient care or agency performance is YOUR agency going to investigate and try to improve? This can be a challenge in today’s home care arena, as there are many improvement opportunities. How does an agency decide where to focus its energies and resources? How can you be part of this vital decision-making process?
All employees are involved in the analysis and improvement of processes. Continuous application of the principles of QAPI can ultimately lead to improved patient care, as well as increased employee pride and greater job satisfaction. Your agency leaders and employees are empowered to apply this process to help improve customer outcomes, and your participation is both expected and necessary for success. You might even find yourself on a committee that is working to analyze data and brainstorm ways to improve the process!
QAPI Revolves Around a Customer-Centered Mindset
The customer should be considered in every action and decision about quality. Your customers are:
- Discharge planners
- Other healthcare agencies
- Agencies responsible for licensure and accreditation
So Why is it so Important For You to be Part of the QAPI Process?
The most important benefits of QAPI are improved patient care and outcomes. Improved patient care not only benefits patients, but it also benefits agencies. Improved patient care and outcomes can result in increased referrals and even national recognition. In addition, with “pay for performance” a part of the current healthcare system conversation and reality, outcomes are vitally important to the financial stability and health of any healthcare organization. QAPI can also result in fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes lead to increased efficiency, which in turn can result in decreased costs. A consistent and sincere effort on your part to contribute in a meaningful way to the QAPI process will have benefits for you, too! Efficiency, accountability, professional performance at the highest levels, and job satisfaction are among them!