Leading Industry Competency Tools Offered in Partnership Between Healthcare Academy and AHCA/NCAL
14 May 21
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines in the Requirements of Participation that long-term care facilities must implement and track staff competencies for compliance (2017). There are some extremely useful tools available for facilities to help achieve staff competency compliance goals. In a recent blog post, Dave Kyllo, VP of Insurance and Member Programs for AHCA/NCAL, highlighted the industry leading tools available through a partnership between AHCA/NCAL and Healthcare Academy (HCA).
INFECTION CONTROL AND COMPETENCY – HERE TO STAY IN LONG-TERM CARE
One of these tools is AHCA’s Requirements of Participation (RoP) eCompetencies® designed to help facilities comply with F-Tag 726. The other tool is AHCA/NCAL’s Infection Control Certificate Program designed for both skilled nursing and assisted living facilities featuring five eLearning modules and five eCompetencies® focused on infection control standards.
Infection control and staff competency are not new to the long-term care industry but challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate how facilities need to continually and systematically educate and train staff through evidence-based practices. HCA is confident these tools are developed using evidence-based principles and will help facilities overcome challenges in meeting staff competency requirements. Initially introduced in October of 2020, we recently caught up with Dave Kyllo and Teresa Eyet, VP, Education and Content Development for AHCA/NCAL to gain their insight about the ongoing need for and value these programs bring to the long-term care sector.
PROGRAMS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AHCA/NCAL ON COMPETENCY EDUCATION
AHCA/NCAL partnered with Healthcare Academy to deliver these two online programs. What did AHCA/NCAL like most about Healthcare Academy as a primary consideration for developing this partnership?
Healthcare Academy has focused their business on the long-term and post-acute care space. This provides a more advanced level of understanding, connection to, and focus on the needs of the provider community.
What do you think is the primary benefit these programs can bring to long-term care organizations?
When you are working with a partner that has made a commitment to the sector, it translates to a better connection to the day-to-day training, development, and record keeping needs for facility staff.
Long-term care organizations are facing challenges with all the processes required for regulatory compliance. What features of these programs will give facilities the assurance they are meeting regulatory requirements?
A very attractive benefit that comes from working with HCA is that the content development team has their focus squarely on the needs of long-term care providers. They are not dividing their time amongst other healthcare disciplines. This dedicated focus allows for the HCA products to be updated to meet changes in a dynamic regulatory landscape and in near real time.
Nursing competencies were the original focus for Phase 3 – Requirements of Participation. However, COVID-19 elevated the monitoring and tracking of infection practices across all departments in long-term care organizations. Describe how these programs have improved infection control practices across all departments for your providers.
Infection Control is an everyday focus in all healthcare settings. But when a world-wide pandemic wreaks havoc for a full year, you look for ways to shore up practices and add new and vital information. These programs allow for regular training and in-the-moment knowledge and skills testing using current best practices so that coaching and correction can be done in real time.
It is essential for long-term care organizations to review their ‘competency map’ and utilize competencies that are evidence-based and a ‘good fit’ for their organizational culture. What do you perceive as the biggest incentive for your providers to use evidence-based checklists?
Evidence-based practices are the gold standard of quality health care. The AHCA/NCAL mission statement is to improve lives by delivering solutions for quality care. The use of evidence-based checklists connects facility staff to the AHCA/NCAL mission and to the mission of their own organizations.
How do the reporting functions within these programs contribute to greater organizational efficiency for providers?
Reports are data driven, cohesive, and consistent. This could allow for a more collaborative survey process by giving surveyors the information they need to review regulatory compliance in a convenient and cohesive format.
GETTING STARTED WITH LONG-TERM CARE STAFF COMPETENCY
The need and value of these evidence-based programs is very clear based on Dave and Teresa’s insights. The long-term care sector has endured immense volatility this past year, but these programs provide organizations with the trust and consistency necessary to meet staff competency requirements. Infection control and staff competency requirements are here to stay so use these programs to help your facility achieve gold standard quality health care.
The time is now to shore up infection control practices and staff competency. Learn more and put these partner programs to work for your facilities.
References:Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2017, November 22). State operations manual. Appendix PP – Guidance to surveyors for long term care facilities. Retrieved May 24, 2021 from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/GuidanceforLawsAndRegulations/Downloads/Appendix-PP-State-Operations-Manual.pdf