“abaqis® is not just about having a better survey, it’s about improving the care and services delivered to residents and making them happier and more satisfied.”Barbara Baylis, RN, MSN Former Senior VP of Clinical and Residential Services
Kindred Healthcare, Inc.
In 2008, Barbara attended a presentation by Dr. Kramer on the QIS survey and a survey prep tool that would soon be available to providers called abaqis®. Barbara immediately saw the benefits of both. She was excited about the depth of QIS in exploring resident needs and the consistency it provided to the survey process. She was even more excited about abaqis because it took her strategy of talking to residents and reviewing records the way the surveyors would to a whole new level by automating it. Barbara was quick to become an advocate for instituting abaqis at Kindred.
In 2009, the Kindred facilities in Ohio, North Carolina and Connecticut were some of the first to start with abaqis, and they continued to add facilities in new QIS states. The results were amazing. In 2010, one Georgia facility that was on the CMS focus list for poor survey results worked the abaqis process and their next survey was deficiency-free, quickly getting them off the list. According to Barbara, “that was very convincing to a lot of people.” Results like this also confirmed for Barbara that all of Kindred’s facilities needed to be using abaqis right away. So in the first quarter of 2011, they implemented it throughout their 230 nursing center organization spanning 28 states. They also brought abaqis into their nine hospital-based sub-acute care units.
Not everyone was convinced about abaqis at the beginning, but once they got trained and started using it, they became believers. Barbara tells of one director of nursing who participated in the training and then went out and did some interviews. “He said to me, ‘I thought I knew my residents, but I learned so much about what my residents think and feel. Now I have a whole action list that I didn’t know were issues or concerns.’”
Kindred’s expectation is that facilities will use abaqis on a continuous basis for more than simply preparing for QIS. They view it as part of each facility’s performance improvement (PI) process. “We’re teaching them that it’s not just collecting the data,” says Barbara. “They need to analyze the data, put work groups together and develop their own PI action plans to work on the things our residents and their families are telling us they’re not happy with or that are problems. The ultimate point of it is that you truly are meeting your residents’ needs.”
Providigm is also working with Barbara and Kindred to create roll-up reports that provide aggregate data from across their entire group that they will use to identify any concerns that need to be addressed from an organizational standpoint. With the roll-up reports they will know what areas have the lowest scores, so they can strategically invest the resources to support facilities in addressing these issues.
Barbara’s advice to those just starting to implement abaqis is not to skimp on the training. “Designate people within your organization who will train the rest of the organization and figure out how you’re going to get the data you’ve collected into the system. Also make sure staff understands that this is not just a one-time deal, it’s a continuous improvement effort,” she emphasizes. “Make it part of your PI process and you’ll see increased satisfaction from residents and family, and you’ll also see improved survey results across the board.”