Athol Daily News – Quabbin Valley Healthcare touts CARF accreditation

Published: 09/19/2022 13:03:36

Modified: 09/19/2022 13:02:56

ATHOL – Quabbin Valley Healthcare is celebrating its recent three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF is an international non-profit organization that sends representatives into rehabilitation and long-term care facilities like QVH to assess the facility’s adherence to strict business practices and standards of service to its clients.

CARF’s website states that by submitting facilities “(signal) to the public about its accreditation process, a service provider commits to continually improving its services, encouraging feedback, and serving the community. Accreditation also demonstrates a provider’s commitment to improving performance, managing risk and excelling in service delivery.”

Quabbin Valley manager Mark Ailinger was quick to tell the Athol Daily News that his facility was keen to meet CARF’s uncompromising criteria.

“Less than 5 percent of households nationwide choose to do so,” he said. “Most facilities are content to meet the minimum standards that the state requires of nursing homes; only be prepared for the annual state survey each year, the most basic, minimal expectations.

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“Some of us say, ‘We can do better than that.’ We want to do more than just meet the minimum standards expected by the state; we want to surpass them. We want to express our commitment to exceeding basic expectations and striving for excellence. In our opinion, excellence has nothing to do with mediocrity. We aspire to be the premier provider of healthcare to the people of the North Quabbin area.”

Ailinger said one way to demonstrate QVH’s commitment to this standard is to take a CARF exam. He said CARF looks at over 2,500 individual standards to determine if a facility is worthy of accreditation.

“How can we actually show that we strive for continuous quality,” he continued, “that we deliver what we say in terms of customer satisfaction and create a real foundation – not just a one-off event – ​​but really a solid foundation, the one continuous quality improvement supported?

“So you look at all the departments, from nursing to nutrition to housekeeping to rehabilitation. You talk to leaders in all of our departments. They talk to employees at the front. Asking to interview nursing assistants and housekeepers as well as caregivers and therapists, they say: “Tell us what you do every day to support your quest for continuous quality improvement for your residents. These reviewers didn’t just come in and take a superficial look at things.”

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Ailinger said the organization’s representatives did more than just ask questions to make a decision about accreditation.

“You searched much deeper,” he said. “They said, ‘Show us how you actually do this. We’ve seen your policies and procedures; Show us in real life how you put them into practice. Show us how to confirm moving the ball forward. So it was pretty intense.”

A visibly pleased Ailinger added that preparing for the accreditation process is an ongoing process and not a three or four week rush to get things in order.

“What we showed them really demonstrated things that we’ve been using for a very long time.”

The administrator said CARF surveyors were on site for a full three days, adding that preparations for their arrival took a year.

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“It’s a matter of the heart,” he said. “You don’t do it unless you’re really trying because it takes too much effort to do for other reasons.”

Ailinger explained that there are three possible outcomes of a poll. One, he said, is a failure, meaning loss of CARF accreditation. Second is the issuance of a conditional accreditation, which translates to “Meh, you didn’t do very well, but we say a few positive elements.” In this case, the reviewers return in a month to re-evaluate a facility.

“Or,” Ailinger said, “they can say, ‘You did pretty well; They’ve received a one-year accreditation,” and that’s what most organizations get—a one-year accreditation.

“Or you can be among the best of the best and get the highest level of accreditation, which is a three-year accreditation, and Quabbin Valley Healthcare has received that.”

Ailinger insisted Quabbin Valley would undergo the rigorous process again when its current accreditation expires in three years.

Greg Vine can be reached at [email protected]

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