ILRU's National Technical Assistance Center for Independent Living
Quality Assurance — How do we assure CIL quality?
Question:We are working to develop a new Quality Assurance Program. Part of the Program will include following-up with recently closed consumers and providing them a Consumer Satisfaction Survey. Do you know what obligations, if any, we have as a CIL to provide these? Are there any rules/regulations surrounding this?
Also, if you know of any information to help us develop and execute our Quality Assurance Program (and/or perhaps you know of an outstanding CIL with a great QAP), please let me know. Much appreciated.
First, a shout out to other centers — please share if you have great ideas for measuring quality and we will include them in a future post. Send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org As far as requirements, you are required to provide the information on the Year-End report, which includes the goals set and the goals met by category. You are also expected to have consumer input into your organization, and often that comes from satisfaction surveys of some kind. Some kind of consumer satisfaction is expected, which your state can agree to, or your center can do it independently, or a combination of the two.
This is a somewhat complicated question that is very specific to the state and the Center. Are you looking only at satisfaction, or do you have specific outcomes from your strategic plan or your state contracts that you are wanting to measure?
You can start with consumer satisfaction, of course, and/or whether their goals were met, but when you speak to a quality assurance program I suspect you might be thinking of something bigger.
As far as how centers communicate with consumers to get their input, that is sometimes difficult to do by mail or email or even phone — often the response rate is very low. Often our folks have used all their time on their phone, have moved, or don’t have access to a computer. We suggest that you consider a point of service survey, a card or quick survey that the consumer is given when they come into the center. A card they can drop in a comment box, or that they are given with a postage paid envelope if staff meet them elsewhere.We suggest just two or three question. Keeping it short is one way to assure a better return as well. Most of us tire quickly when answering questions by phone or in writing. You can also use a combination of approaches.
Whatever methods you use, though, you first need to know what questions you want to ask. If you have a strategic plan, you may have goals you want to measure. That is one place to look for the important questions. Some centers use a consumer group to help them develop the questions your survey will address.