QAPI In Home Care

QAPI In Home Care

What is QAPI?

QAPI is the merger of two complementary approaches to quality management, Quality Assurance (QA) and Performance Improvement (PI). Both use quality-based information but differ in key ways. QA is a process of meeting quality standards and assuring that care reaches an acceptable level. QA is a reactive, retrospective effort to examine why a facility fails to meet certain standards. QA activities do improve quality, but efforts frequently end once the standard is met.

PI (also called Quality Improvement - QI) is a pro-active, continuous study of processes with the intent to prevent or decrease the likelihood of problems by identifying areas of opportunity and testing new approaches to fix underlying causes of persistent/ systemic problems. PI can make good quality even better.

Quality assurance and performance improvement, or QAPI, is a process dedicated to achieving positive results for your agency, individual employees and customers. The process helps identify factors that contribute to a desired performance or outcome and how those factors can be maintained, improved or strengthened.

Home care agencies use a variety of methods to monitor quality performance and improve outcomes including, continuous quality improvement, quality assurance, quality management, process improvement and outcome-based quality improvement. So why use QAPI?

There are 5 elements to a successful QAPI program:

* Element 1: Design and Scope. The QAPI Program must be ongoing and comprehensive. ...

* Element 2: Governance and Leadership: ...

* Element 3: Feedback, Data Systems, and Monitoring

* Element 4: Performance Improvement Projects (PIPs)

* Element 5: Systematic Analysis and Systemic Action.

QAPI Focuses on Processes

The goal of the QAPI is for the agency to continuously look for ways to improve organizational processes and outcomes. For example, your agency may evaluate the employee education process and identify that improvements can be made by using QAPI. As a home care provider, you will be part of these processes in your daily practice and have a valuable role in their development.

QAPI Involves Choosing a Focus of Study

Simply put, what aspect of patient care or agency performance is YOUR agency going to investigate and try to improve? This can be a challenge in today’s home care arena, as there are many improvement opportunities. How does an agency decide where to focus its energies and resources? How can you be part of this vital decision-making process?

All employees are involved in the analysis and improvement of processes. Continuous application of the principles of QAPI can ultimately lead to improved patient care, as well as increased employee pride and greater job satisfaction. Your agency leaders and employees are empowered to apply this process to help improve customer outcomes, and your participation is both expected and necessary for success. You might even find yourself on a committee that is working to analyze data and brainstorm ways to improve the process!

QAPI Revolves Around a Customer-Centered Mindse

The customer should be considered in every action and decision about quality. Your customers are:

* Patients

* Families

* Co-workers

* Physicians

* Discharge planners

* Other healthcare agencies

* Agencies responsible for licensure and accreditation

So Why is it so Important For You to be Part of the QAPI Process?

The most important benefits of QAPI are improved patient care and outcomes. Improved patient care not only benefits patients, but it also benefits agencies. Improved patient care and outcomes can result in increased referrals and even national

recognition. In addition, with “pay for performance” a part of the current healthcare system conversation and reality, outcomes are vitally important to the financial stability and health of any healthcare organization.

QAPI can also result in fewer mistakes. Fewer mistakes lead to increased efficiency, which in turn can result in decreased costs.

A consistent and sincere effort on your part to contribute in a meaningful way to the QAPI process will have benefits for you, too!

Efficiency, accountability, professional performance at the highest levels, and job satisfaction are among them!



1. QAPI means: Quality Assistance Preferred Improvement.

2. There are 7 key elements to a successful QAPI program.

3. A successful QAPI program involves every employee in the organization?

4. QAPI’s focus is to find ways to improve your agency?

5. PIP stands for: Performance Improvement Project.

6. Co-Workers can be considered Customers.

Answer key:

1) F

2) F

3) T

4) T

5) T

6) T