Eastcastle Place Memory Support Is Setting a New Standard for Quality in Assisted Living

Oct. 31, 2012

Eastcastle Place Memory Support is on a journey of continuous quality improvement with the goal of being recognized as one of the best of the best assisted living communities in Wisconsin. Because Wisconsin is fortunate to have so many high quality assisted living communities serving a variety of people with a diverse range of needs, this is not a small undertaking; however, Eastcastle Place Memory Support has a mission for caring and is determined to put forth the effort it takes to provide the highest level of quality for each and every resident served.

Demonstrating this commitment to better services for better aging is the fact that Eastcastle Memory Support is a member of the LeadingAge Wisconsin Assisted Living Quality Improvement Network.

Eastcastle Place Memory Support is working with and through the LeadingAge Wisconsin Quality Improvement Network to chart a new course for the way assisted living professionals achieve, advance, and measure quality in assisted living. This network provides quality improvement tools and resources, networking opportunities, educational programs, leadership development, and mentor support specifically focused on systematic, continuous quality improvement.

The LeadingAge Wisconsin Assisted Living Quality Improvement Network won accolades from the State of Wisconsin in 2010 when the Network became the first program to be approved for the Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living (WCCEAL).

The burgeoning growth of assisted living throughout the state of Wisconsin coupled with the tight state budget presented the Wisconsin Bureau of Assisted Living (BAL) with an interesting opportunity. The BAL was experiencing a continuously increasing workload to oversee the many assisted living facilities throughout the state but had no new resources to cover the escalating demand. A time study revealed that the BAL was spending the greatest percentage of its time with the smallest percentage of the assisted living facilities – the low performers on the quality spectrum. With this realization, the BAL introduced WCCEAL – an innovative program to shift the advancement of excellence in assisted living for the high performers to state associations who agree to develop and maintain a system of continuous quality improvement for the state’s top performers in assisted living.

From the reports already compiled by the BAL, Eastcastle Place Memory Support and other facilities participating in the LeadingAge Wisconsin Assisted Living Quality Improvement Network already are outperforming other assisted living facilities throughout the state. The BAL provided WCCEAL benchmark data comparing LeadingAge Wisconsin network members to other assisted living facilities throughout the state for Calendar Year 2011. According to this data, the average citation per survey for those in the LeadingAge Wisconsin network is 1.7, compared to an average citation per survey for those not in the network of 3.6. From this data, we can assume LeadingAge Wisconsin network members, on average, are receiving 50% fewer citations per survey. Further, nearly 71 percent of LeadingAge Wisconsin network members qualify for abbreviated survey, compared to only 48.5 percent of the statewide assisted living facilities that are not members of the LeadingAge Wisconsin Assisted Living Quality Improvement Network.

“Quality improvement tools have been implemented into each admission and annual review. This has given the staff a clear picture of needs to anticipate so positive outcomes are accomplished and the highest quality of living is provided for our residents,” said Mary Lu Karabon, Director of assisted living for Eastcastle Place. “Through these implementations, we were ‘deficiency free’ on our survey this year. Our residents, families and staff feel this provides a family atmosphere for all who live, visit and work in our memory support here at Eastcastle Place.”

LeadingAge Wisconsin applauds Eastcastle Place Memory Support for its demonstrated commitment to continuous and systematic quality improvement in assisted living. “Communities such as Eastcastle Place Memory Support are leading the way to higher quality in assisted living,” said, John Sauer, President & CEO of LeadingAge Wisconsin. “The employees of Eastcastle Place Memory Support are working with a passion to implement the many tools LeadingAge Wisconsin has developed through our Quality Improvement Network. For the residents and families of this community, this means an even stronger emphasis on person-centered, compassionate care and a determined dedication to the highest quality of life possible for each individual served.”

“As a member of the LeadingAge Wisconsin Assisted Living Quality Improvement Network, Eastcastle Place Memory Support aggressively is pursuing a journey to be recognized as one of the best assisted living communities in the state of Wisconsin,” Sauer said.

LeadingAge Wisconsin is a not-for-profit trade association representing not-for-profit and governmental homes, housing projects, and services for the aging. Currently, LeadingAge Wisconsin represents a total of 188 not-for-profit organizations which own, operate, or sponsor 195 nursing homes, eight intermediate care facilities, 93 residential care apartment complexes, 98 community-based residential facilities, 117 apartment complexes for independent seniors, and over 300 community-based programs ranging from Alzheimer’s support, child and adult day care, home care, and hospice to Meals on Wheels. All totaled, LeadingAge Wisconsin serves more than 500 not-for-profit long-term care, assisted living, senior housing, and other community-based providers principally serving seniors and persons with a disability. LeadingAge Wisconsin members employ over 38,000 people who provide compassionate care and service to over 48,000 individuals each day.

LeadingAge Wisconsin works to serve, to inspire, and to advocate in an effort to expand the world of possibilities for aging. The association’s mission is simple -- better services for better aging.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Janice Mashak, please call 608-255-7060 or send an email to JMashak@LeadingAgeWI.org.

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