If you work in the senior living arena of post-acute care, you may have recently been diving deep into CoreQ surveys to fit the mandate under the latest CMS rule proposal. After hearing the news of this proposed regulation’s suspension, some organizations may be feeling left high and dry.
If you work in the senior living arena of post-acute care, you may have recently been diving deep into CoreQ surveys. A feedback model proposed by CMS to track resident and family experiences, CoreQ surveys poll short–stay discharge SNF residents, long–stay SNF residents and families, and assisted living residents and families.
Of the five standardized CoreQ surveys, short-stay discharge SNF resident surveys were slotted to be mandated under a CMS rule proposal striving to monitor the efficacy of person-centered care. Many SNFs were researching, or working with, CoreQ survey providers in anticipation of the rule passing. initial survey data submissions in 2024, CMS suspended the bill. Some organizations may now be left feeling high and dry.
What to do after the CoreQ ruling delay?
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead, view this as a golden opportunity to monitor and improve your qualitative data as it relates to resident and family satisfaction.
There will be a new proposed rule, perhaps a different survey that aligns better with the person-centered care everyone is striving to provide. What do you do until then? Tread that water, dive back in, and make your own plan to monitor the opinions of your residents and their families. It’s important, not just because another proposal will likely be coming, but because feedback provides perspective. If you never ask what you can do to be better, how will you ever know how to improve? Ask the questions. Find out how your care is rated, and whether your reputation is positive or negative. Take every survey response to heart and learn from it. You can’t provide individualized care that leaves every resident and family member satisfied if you don’t ask questions and act on feedback.
5 ways to keep your surveys afloat after the CoreQ ruling suspension
No matter how you choose to keep swimming, have the following tips in mind if you are in the SNF or ALF setting:
Don’t wait to improve the quality of your care. formal survey process now for your residents and their families. Be proactive and initiate your own quality improvement program by using surveys to ask the important questions.
Teach your frontline staff why surveys are important and have them ask residents and family members some “survey familiar” questions while they’re providing the care. For example:
- “Is there anything I can do better for you?”
- “Do you feel like everyone is doing a good job while you are here with us?”
- “Do you understand your discharge instructions or would you like me to explain something in a different way?”
Turn qualitative data from surveys into actionable items. Use the data to make new care standards for your team, focus on improving a particular subpar skill, and build processes for turning a negative into a positive.
Communicate your survey results to your staff and community. Be transparent with your staff about what needs to be improved and how you plan to create resolutions. Later, share your success in your that you are delivering.
Be flexible and adapt to changing survey needs. Stay afloat editing your own survey to ensure you’re asking questions that deliver the most valuable feedback. And, don’t panic if a new CMS proposal pops up. Take any and all survey changes or challenges in stride.
Keep your employees engaged and on the job.
Retain is the ultimate tool for reducing employee turnover rates, especially during the first 100 days when the risk is at its peak.
From CoreQ to CAHPS and beyond, surveys have always been a preferred method of gathering qualitative data about resident and family care perceptions. It’s all about finding ways to identify deficiencies and doing everything in your power to avoid repeating them.
Remember that the individual’s perception of care can cause a cascade of after-effects that don’t just affect a SNF or ALF but many team members in all healthcare spaces.
- A resident discharged from a short SNF stay who had confusion about their discharge instructions may end up non-compliant when visited by home health
- A family member of an ALF resident may have a negative experience and share their thoughts on social media, ruining a decent percentage of future referrals.
- A SNF resident discharged home after what they perceived to be inattentive care may be afraid to return to the hospital when they are ill and refuse services they need to improve their own quality of life.
So again, ask those questions, find a survey process that you trust, find the resolutions to improve the quality of care that your team delivers, and keep swimming!