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National Quality Award Spotlight: Excellence at Albertville Nursing Home<p style="text-align&#58;center;"><img src="/Issues/2024/Summer/PublishingImages/AlbertvilleNursingHomeStaff.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;420px;height&#58;282px;" />​</p><p>Albertville Nursing Home is widely recognized in the local community for its commitment to enhancing <br>care quality and nurturing a supportive, family-like atmosphere. Located in Albertville, Alabama, the skilled nursing facility manages a broad range of resident needs, from intensive short-term rehabilitation to chronic long term care. It earned the 2023 Silver National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for its achievement in quality care.</p><h3>Fostering a Supportive Environment </h3><p>Central to the success of Albertville Nursing Home is its unwavering commitment to creating an environment that mirrors family life. Administrator Emily Tinsley highlights the role of their collaborative team spirit, “Our 300-strong workforce is key to boosting morale and enhancing care for residents, creating a nurturing and productive workplace.”</p><h3>A Pledge to Continual Improvement </h3><p>The facility’s participation in the National Quality Award Program reflects its dedication to maintaining high standards. Tinsley said, “We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of care, and this program helps us to foster a culture of ongoing improvement.” This dedication to excellence is foundational to Albertville’s mission, enhancing the lives of its residents.</p><h3>Innovative Approaches to Dementia Care&#160; </h3><p>Albertville has initiated a significant shift in dementia care by reducing antipsychotic medication use. Tinsley explains, “Committed to this goal, we focused on changing our staff’s mindset towards managing behaviors in dementia patients, leading to improved patient care and well-being.”</p><h3>Enhancing Workplace Efficiency and Staff Well-being </h3><p>The integration of a full-time certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) marks a notable improvement in care delivery. “Having a CRNP on staff has allowed for a higher quality of care,” says Tinsley. Additionally, addressing vacancies for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) post-COVID-19 has helped alleviate staff burnout, further boosting care quality and operational efficiency.</p><h3>Aligning with Core Missions </h3><p>“Our mission is to enhance the lives of those we serve, keeping our residents first,” Tinsley said, emphasizing the facility’s mission-driven approach. She points out the teamwork required to achieve high-quality care, with the Quality Award program serving as a pivotal element in rallying staff towards exceptional standards for residents.</p><h3>Recognizing Achievements&#160; </h3><p><span><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/AndreaTodd.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Andrea Todd" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;154px;height&#58;175px;" /></span>In 2023, Albertville Nursing Home and its sister facility Barfield Health Care were the only long term care organizations in Alabama to be awarded the Silver Quality Award. “This achievement demonstrates that high-quality care for residents is achievable when the leadership team is committed,” Tinsley said, appreciating the community’s support and acknowledgment of their hard work.<br></p><p>Albertville Nursing Home’s practices serve as a compelling example of how strategic leadership, innovation, and a commitment to continuous improvement can significantly enhance the quality of long term care. As a benchmark for the sector, the facility demonstrates the positive outcomes of dedication and a steadfast pursuit of excellence. </p><p><em>Andrea Todd is the director, public affairs at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.<br></em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p style="text-align&#58;center;"><em><a href="http&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/qualityaward" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="60b7cbf17788425491b2d083" target="_blank"><img src="/Issues/2024/Summer/PublishingImages/QA.jpg" class="ms-rteImage-1" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;500px;height&#58;302px;" /></a><br></em></p>2024-06-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2024/Summer/PublishingImages/QA_RehabSelect.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAndrea ToddCommitment and a mission-driven approach to care add up to a 2023 Silver Quality Award.
Brookestone View: A Testament to Excellence in Skilled Nursing Care<p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;" />​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.<br></p><p>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.</p><h3>A Journey Toward Quality</h3><p>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.<br></p><p>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. </p><h3>Core Practices and Culture</h3><p>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.”<br></p><p>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.</p><h3>Continuous Improvement and Engagement</h3><p>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.”<br></p><p>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.<br></p><p>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.</p><h3><span><img src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality2.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></span></h3><h3><span></span>Staying Current on Trends and Community Outreach</h3><p>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. <br></p><p>“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.” </p><h3>Insights and Advice </h3><p>Guthrie’s advice to other providers is unequivocal&#58; “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.” <br></p><p>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!”</p><h3>Looking Ahead</h3><p><span></span><img src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality1.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;255px;height&#58;255px;" />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.<br></p><p>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.<br></p><p>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.&#160; </p><p><em>Andrea Todd is the director, public affairs at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.</em><br></p>2024-03-11T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAndrea ToddDocumenting the amazing things the Brookestone View team does everyday resulted in a 2023 Silver Quality Award.
Going for the Gold Takes Rare Mettle<p>​Receiving the Gold Quality Award from AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award program is like traveling to an important bucket list destination. It’s powerful, inspiring, and immensely satisfying, but it’s not the end of the journey. Instead, it makes the road ahead more enlightening, joyful, and filled with optimism. It sheds light on the power of what’s possible. <br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Breanna.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Breanna Jameson" style="margin&#58;5px;" />During the recent Delivering Solutions 23, AHCA/NCAL’s Annual Convention &amp; Expo, in Denver, Colo., <em>Provider</em> magazine hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives from the 2023 Gold Quality Award-recipient facilities and AHCA/NCAL leadership to discuss the unique value of the award, the path from Bronze to Gold, and what it means to the facility, staff, residents, families, and other stakeholders.<br></p><p>The 2023 recipients are two facilities in the same organizational family—Aspen Park of Cascadia and Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia, both in Idaho. Breanna Jameson, chief executive officer (CEO) of Lewiston Transitional Care, said, “I’m proud to represent my team and shine a light on their hard work. They have taken ownership of the Quality Award journey, and the organization provided the autonomy to transition to what we wanted to be.” She added that they had “many conversations with our staff to talk about why we were doing this and what we were trying to accomplish.” She stressed that receiving the Gold Award couldn’t have happened without the commitment and involvement of everyone in the facility. <br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Rachel.jpg" alt="Rachel Zimmerman" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Rachel Zimmerman, CEO of Aspen Park of Cascadia, said that they focused on financial, cultural, and clinical pillars and “what we do day in and day out.” She added, “Our staff lived this journey, and it aligned with our pursuit of the awards.” Jameson added, “It truly was a beautiful pathway from Bronze to Silver to Gold. The journey pushed us to go where we never imagined we would.”</p><h3>Its Own Reward…and More</h3><p>In many ways, the Quality Award journey is its own reward, and there were many highlights and milestones along the way. As Jameson said, “One ‘aha’ moment came as we started to see the benefits of the strategic planning and goal-setting we did as part of the award application. We talk about quality all the time, but the strategic planning shows that in an ever-changing environment, you can create goals to progress and have quality goals and outcomes.” Her facility started out with opportunities for improvement, and today they are a 5-star building with stronger finances and greater resident/staff satisfaction.<br></p><p>Nonetheless, while the journey comes with many achievements and successes, winning is still a great honor. Zimmerman said, “I was so nervous when I got the email. I had someone else read it to me. I was hoping we would get the Gold. We even planned a celebration.”<br></p><p>Robert Vande Merwe, executive director of the Idaho Health Care Association, noted, “You don’t just pay your dues and that’s it.” Jameson said, “The award has narrowed our processes, focuses, and purpose.” This, she noted, ensures that everyone is better prepared for the future. Zimmerman said, “We have implemented twice-daily huddles to talk about goals, and we get staff involved. We review goals and our strategic plan and adjust them as needed.” Jameson stressed that they may have received the top Quality Award, but they will continue their pursuit of excellence using the tools, knowledge, and resources they gained through the journey to the Gold. Zimmerman further noted, “When you get to Gold, you strive to stay there. This is the work our staff do every single day.”</p><h3>Leadership Lauds the Quest for Quality</h3><p>AHCA/NCAL CEO Mark Parkinson had nothing but praise for the award recipients. “We know what our work means. We get up early in the morning every day and go out there,” he said, adding, “You are inspiring, and your efforts are truly amazing. It is especially remarkable that you accomplished this partly during the pandemic.” He praised the teamwork that took the facilities to the Gold, and NCAL executive director LaShuan Bethea agreed, noting, “I love that you focused on the team and everyone’s role. I’m sure the residents are excited too.”<br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;500px;height&#58;237px;" />Vande Merwe observed, “We have a long legacy of quality in Idaho. Maryruth Butler [who mentored this year’s Gold winners] went on the quality journey with her team. It took five years, but it made such a difference; and others were inspired.” Parkinson urged the Gold recipients, “You can inspire other people. Share your story and talk about your journey.”<br></p><p>It is important for everyone to know about the power of the Quality Awards. This includes legislators and policymakers. Parkinson said, “We need you on the Hill. Policymakers have a view that nursing homes are all run by large companies, but there are so many like you.” Congress, he said, needs to hear about how many smaller organizations are out there providing high-quality care with limited staff and resources.&#160;</p><p>Read more&#58; <a href="/Issues/2023/Winter/Pages/Tips-for-Quality-Award-Success.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="[&quot;60b7cbf17788425491b2d083&quot;]" target="_blank">Tips for Quality Awards Success</a><br></p><p><em>Joanne Kaldy is a freelance writer and communications consultant based in New Orleans.</em><br> </p>2023-11-13T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsJoanne KaldyThe 2023 Gold Quality Award recipients explain the path to achieving Gold and what it means to staff, residents, and families.
Tips for Quality Award Success<p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Rachel.jpg" alt="Rachel Zimmerman" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Talking with <em>Provider</em>, Zimmerman and Jameson offered several tips and pieces of information they want their colleagues to know about the Quality Awards journey&#58;<br>You don’t have to have all your quality ducks in a row before you start your quality journey. The award helps you implement the processes and develop a strategic plan.<br></p><p>You can’t do this by yourself. You need the whole team on board. They need to know why you are taking this journey and how it will benefit them and the residents. Announce and celebrate successes along the way.<br></p><p>Partnerships are important. While you may be hesitant to reach out to others, this journey is about collaboration. Connect with other facilities and organizations who are going or have gone through the Quality Award journey. Share solutions. At the same time, AHCA/NCAL has numerous resources, and staff are always eager to help. The association wants Quality Award applicants to succeed and move to the next level. <br></p><p>Don’t be afraid of failure and facing your flaws and weaknesses. As you go through the journey, you will see problems with processes and systems. Embrace them and see them as opportunities for improvement. Create a safe space for the team to talk about problems. Change the dialogue within your facility. <br></p><p>At the same time, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get an award the first time you apply for it. Focus on what you have learned to date that has improved quality and strategize about what you can do differently on your second try.&#160;</p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Breanna.jpg" alt="Breanna Jameson" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Jameson said that their facility couldn’t compete with organizations that raised wages significantly. However, she stressed that, thanks to the Quality Awards, they were able to compete for staff. “They are excited to see what quality means. While wages are important, we don’t pay enough attention to our team members who are passionate about quality. They want a company that fights for quality as well.” <br></p><p>Ultimately, Jameson suggested that you can’t go through the Quality Awards process without making gains. For instance, she said, “If you want an organization with consistent quality and outcomes without fighting battles every day, this is the pathway. It is impossible to go through this without finding ways to de-escalate the chaos and positively impact quality.” Zimmerman urged, “Just start. You aren’t perfect, but you can be stronger. Lean into the challenge and be comfortable wading into the unknown. The rewards will be innumerable.”​</p>2023-11-13T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsJoanne KaldyZimmerman and Jameson offered several tips and pieces of information they want their colleagues to know about the Quality Awards journey.