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Iowa ranks first in national quality awards for long-term care

WEST DES MOINES — This week Iowa ranked first in the nation for receiving the most awards for long-term care quality in a nationwide awards competition. Forty-five Iowa long-term care facilities were recognized by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) with the 2019 Bronze - Commitment to Quality Award, which encompassed 590 long-term and post-acute care providers in 48 states.

The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program honors long-term and post-acute care providers that have demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of care for seniors and individuals with disabilities. 

“This is a wonderful testament to the quality of care provided by Iowans to Iowans in long-term care facilities,” said Mary Jane Carothers, vice president of quality improvement and clinical affairs for the Iowa Health Care Association. “The recipients of these awards have made it their mission to deliver quality care for our state’s elderly and individuals with disabilities. To be ranked first among such a dedicated peer group is an outstanding achievement.”

This national awards program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Providers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they assess their organization’s mission, vision and key factors that lead to success. They also develop an organizational profile and must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained examiners review each application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. Bronze recipients may move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the AHCA/NCAL Silver - Achievement in Quality Award. 

The awards program is based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which also serves as the foundation for the metric-based AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative. The Baldrige framework helps organizations among different business sectors improve organizational effectiveness and achieve strategy-driven performance.

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