Putting quality to the test

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Putting quality to the test
Putting quality to the test
When it comes to embracing quality, long-term care operators are making great strides. Most seem to realize that many of the old ways of getting the job done don't cut it anymore. It's a rare facility that isn't offering better care these days.

Unfortunately, the field is a relative newcomer to the quality game. And many customers and former customers can recite tales that would make a vulture nauseous.

LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix likes to say there will be two kinds of nursing homes in the future: the good and the non-existent. I couldn't agree more. But quality, like so many other things, tends to be judged subjectively.

When he was the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines Systems, Jan Carlzon wrote a book called Moments of Truth. His main point was that satisfied customers are the only true measure of a company's success. Moreover, it is the numerous short bursts of interaction between companies and customers that ultimately determine how quality is perceived.

Much is being said and written about the QIS, the MDS, QualityFirst, and other quality-related benchmarks. But these terms don't really mean much to your residents and their families. In the end, it's the make-it-or-break-it interactions that they'll remember. There is no better test of quality than how your community performs during these moments of truth.


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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.