​In the heart of Broken Bow, Neb., Brookestone View has emerged as a beacon of excellence within the skilled nursing care community. This 60-bed facility, a member of Vetter Senior Living (VSL), recently celebrated a significant milestone by earning the 2023 Silver National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The recognition is a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality care for the elderly.

Madison Guthrie, the facility’s administrator since 2017, played a pivotal role in this achievement. Guthrie’s journey in long term care began in high school and was significantly shaped during her college years, despite her studies in criminal justice. Her mentor, Jalene Carpenter, instilled in her a lifelong love for elder care, emphasizing dignity and respect for all residents.

A Journey Toward Quality

Brookestone View’s path to the Quality Award began with a commitment to VSL’s world-class standards. “Once we were ready, we embarked on our journey, earning the Bronze Award in 2019,” Guthrie recalled. The significance of the Silver Award, received in 2023, resonated deeply with the entire team, underscoring the value of the recognition. “It’s not just an award for us; it’s a symbol of the quality we strive for every day,” Guthrie emphasized.

The process was enlightening, revealing the importance of early preparation, the integration of the program’s criteria into operations, and the meaningful changes that came with striving for the award.

Core Practices and Culture

Central to Brookestone View’s success are its practices around Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI), involving team members at all levels. “Our latest success story includes bringing charge nurses into the process with resident room moves and admissions,” Guthrie pointed out. “Charge nurses play a crucial role; it is such common sense to get their feedback and opinions on who will fit best where.”

The organizational culture at Brookestone View is built on trust and unity, with a leadership team dedicated to embodying and promoting these values. “Culture is everything. We treat people like the most important person in their life, fostering an environment where serving elders comes naturally,” Guthrie stated.

Continuous Improvement and Engagement

Continual improvement is driven by data analysis, allowing the team to track progress and identify areas for enhancement. Guthrie highlighted, “Data helps us prove our quality, guiding our strategies for improvement.”

Engagement with residents and their families begins with transparency and honesty, setting clear expectations. Regular care-plan meetings and satisfaction surveys ensure feedback is integrated into the care delivery model.

Collaboration and teamwork are also fundamental, with interdisciplinary teamwork playing a vital role in sustaining excellence. “Everyone’s contribution is crucial. Our unified leadership and respect for each other help achieve better outcomes for our residents,” Guthrie added.

Staying Current on Trends and Community Outreach

Brookestone View remains at the forefront of industry trends and best practices through its connections with VSL and professional associations, including Nebraska Health Care Association. Community outreach, particularly partnering with schools and elder services, enhances the facility’s services and reputation.

“It is important to be a part of your community. After all, our residents still live in the community,” Guthrie noted. “Through the schools, we can educate students on what the nursing field looks like and encourage them to seek clinical futures. Through the senior center, we are able to build relationships and educate the public on what long term care is and how you can thrive in our setting. Through our integrity, our community knows we do what we say we do.”

Insights and Advice

Guthrie’s advice to other providers is unequivocal: “Engage in the process. It’s beneficial, improving your quality and expanding your operations.” She emphasized the importance of collaborative effort in the application process, stating, “The administrator cannot be the only one involved. It’s vital to share the writing with your leadership team.” Reflecting on their own experience, Guthrie shared, “We looked at our leaders’ strengths and narrowed down a few people who could translate the everyday amazing things we do into the application. We were very fortunate to have Jolene Greenland, our business office manager, whose expertise in writing was pivotal.”

Brookestone View is now setting its sights on the Gold level, with Guthrie noting, “We’re investing in workshops and bringing more leaders into the process, focusing on systematic improvements.” She added, “Don’t wait until the last minute to apply!”

Looking Ahead

Facing challenges with resilience, Brookestone View’s team is prepared to uphold high standards of excellence. “When challenges arise, our collective commitment to quality care ensures we overcome them,” Guthrie assured.

What inspires Guthrie and her team is the impact of their work on the residents and their families. “This industry is not the easiest to work in, but providing a home environment for our residents and their families is what inspires us to continue. Seeing the difference we make in their lives motivates us every day,” Guthrie concluded, reflecting on the joy and fulfillment that come with providing exceptional care.

As Brookestone View continues on its path of excellence, its story serves as an inspiring example for others in long term care, demonstrating the power of dedication, teamwork, and a relentless pursuit of quality. 

Andrea Todd is the director, public affairs at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.