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Safety, quality goals of new NCAL collaboration

October 11, 2013
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is joining forces with the New Jersey Hospital Association’s (NJHA’s) Institute for Quality and Patient Safety Organization to form the National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living, NCAL Chairman Mike Shepard announced at the American Health Care Association (AHCA)/NCAL annual meeting in Phoenix. The new alliance was one of two mentioned during the meeting’s opening session.

Federal law created patient safety organizations (PSOs), which are certified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to develop insights into the underlying causes of resident safety events. The NCAL board approved the collaboration with the NJHA in January as a way to collect Tier II clinical performance measures related to falls, pain management, pressure ulcers, infection control, medication management, hospitalizations, elopements, depression, advanced care planning, end-of-life care and demographics. By participating in the initiative, individual assisted living communities potentially could reduce their liability costs and exposures while contributing to national safety and quality efforts.

At the time of the board approval, NCAL expected to begin a pilot study with selected NCAL members in October, with the goal of all NCAL members being able to sign up with the PSO by the end of the year and data collection beginning Jan. 1. Communities pay a fee to participate.

More information on the arrangement is available online.

Also during the AHCA/NCAL meeting opening session, AHCA Board of Governors Chairman Neil Pruitt Jr. announced that the organizations would be forming the Center for Innovation and Quality in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care with Brown University, but an AHCA representative says that no additional information about the collaboration is available at this time.

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