Submitted by: Kevin Coughlin
Assisted living communities (ALCs) have emerged as important components of long-term care. In some states, there are now more beds in ALCs than in nursing homes. In Wisconsin alone, there are 3,679 licensed facilities. The sheer size of the ALC market has taxed the capacity of state regulators. The Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living (a collaboration of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services’ Division of Quality Assurance and Division of Medicaid Services, Wisconsin’s four assisted living provider associations, the state’s advocacy agency, The Board on Aging and Long Term Care, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison) addresses this.
The Coalition’s comprehensive quality assurance and quality improvement (QA/QI) program uses resident satisfaction surveys and data that measure performance in everything from staffing to infection rates, falls, and hospitalizations. The surveys and performance measures demonstrate that Coalition ALC members have made great strides in increasing resident satisfaction while improving health outcomes. Comparing 2013 to 2016, the average number of falls with injury per ALC has declined from 1.58 falls with injury/ALC to 1.35 falls with injury/ALC. Re-hospitalizations per ALC show a similar decline, from 1.57 to 1.34 re-hospitalization/ALC.