Cheryl Field

I just returned from the AHCA Quality Summit in New Orleans with remnants of powdered sugar in my hair from Café Du Monde — and a revived energy for my role in developing software for post-acute care providers.

In case you weren’t there or missed it, here are seven key takeaways from this year’s summit:

7) Make all of your goals SMART. In his opening comments, American Health Care Association CEO Mark Parkinson reminded attendees of the origin of the AHCA quality initiative, inspired by Don Berwick and The 100,000 Lives Campaign. Since that time, we’ve started measuring outcomes and the improvement has been incredible! AHCA has now announced its new goals for the three-year period ending in March 2021 as it relates to Functional Outcomes, Customer Satisfaction, Antipsychotic Use and Hospitalizations.

6) AHCA’s LED (Lead. Engage. Discover.) Talks really rock! These talks, a must at AHCA events, are extra thought-provoking and delivered through powerful storytelling. They offer a fantastic way to open your heart and mind to new ideas, which heal both the patient and the caregiver, and inspire even weary providers to refocus and find their purpose.

5) The new LTC survey process is best of old and new. Karen Tritz, Director of the Division of Nursing Homes, Survey and Certification Group at CMS, reported that the new surveys are taking a little more time onsite and administered by a larger team. But findings have not changed much in range from Deficiency Free (DF) to Immediate Jeopardy (IJ); IJ remains less than 1% of all citations. Karen aims to bring transparency, consistency and fairness with a computerized survey process and enhanced training for their 5,000 surveyors.

4) PBJ is still sticky. Changes are coming that will incorporate PBJ data into your Five-Star staffing scores, and CMS is going to use MDS data to compute your census. It’s more important than ever for your PBJ and MDS data to be accurate.

3) Frozen survey citations are not clear. It’s still unknown how CMS will incorporate citations from new ROP and this year’s new survey process into its Five-Star Nursing Home Survey rating.

2) Marketplace meet-ups are a great time to engage with post-acute providers. Usually I do all the talking, but this year I took a new approach: I asked what you need from vendors, and then I asked myself if our new features are in line with your needs. If we don’t ask, how will we know? (And if I missed talking to you, hunt me down online!)

1) Whatever you do, make it both personal and purposeful. My personal goals are to look at our software and ensure our purpose aligns with that of our clients. This means driving our SaaS to enable your organization to measure quality goals and set a course for creative programming based on population and facility performance analytics.  And by doing so, I hope to retain 99% of our clients and grow some new ones!

Cheryl Field is the Chief Product Officer for Prime Care Technologies.