State Nursing Home Quality Improvement Programs: Site Visit and Synthesis Report. Overall Intent/Vision for Iowa's Quality Improvement Programs


The goal of quality improvement programs is viewed as promoting the "culture of quality." Tooman has expressed the department's vision for nursing home quality by writing regularly in DIA's quarterly newsletter, Insight. In the June 2001 issue, Tooman wrote about the department changing the HFD mission statement. He wrote:

"Assuredly, within this experience, we are accountable to the state and federal rules that provide a "baseline" for the quality of care that our residents and clients receive. However, we should not be satisfied with merely maintaining the minimum standard of state and federal rules. To that extent the HFD has changed it's mission statement.--"The mission of the HFD is to promote the quality and optimal outcomes of services through a survey process that centers on enhancing the lives of the people served."

Tooman puts the responsibility for success on the facilities that are able to introduce and maintain a "culture" of quality care. He went on to state that, "we need to insure compliance with state and federal rules. But rule compliance is a by-product of a quality improvement effort. …First, it is safe to say that the facility is not immune from the problems that nursing homes face on a daily basis. And there may be occasions where they may be deficient with a rule or two. …[T]hey have established a way of operation that speaks to quality services. Some may say that they have a "Quality Culture."

Bureau chiefs echoed Tooman's belief in a quality culture, noting that they recognize quality through mechanisms presented in the Baldrige criteria and that they had moved in that direction via a culture change. They explained that they saw themselves as a team "all pointing in the same direction" and that changes had been "strategized and well implemented."

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