Home Health & Hospice

When it comes to quality, don't forget who your customers are!

Homecare Insider, October 21, 2013

Quality is defined as “a degree of goodness or worth; general excellence.” For home health agencies, characteristics of quality include freedom from deficiencies, fitness for use, compliance with requirements, and satisfactorily meeting customers’ needs. Quality improvement can be defined as a commitment and approach used to continuously improve every process in every part of the organization, with the intent of meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

An important part of this process is identifying who your agency’s “customers” really are. Many staff members correctly identify their patients as their key customers, but it is important to realize that patients are not the sole customers. An agency’s customers also include:

  • Physicians
  • Regulatory bodies
  • Staff
  • Payers
  • The community your agency serves

When focusing on quality, never underestimate the importance of your agency’s quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program. A QAPI program can be defined as a planned, systematic, and organization-wide program designed to assess and evaluate the quality and appropriateness of patient care, identify and pursue opportunities to improve patient care and service delivery, resolve identified problems in care and services, and take actions that result in improvements and the sustainment of these improvements. Just remember, to get the most out of your QAPI program, it is essential to keep all of your customers in mind!