25 February 2020 - Newsletter
TOWARDS A BIG BANG IN QUALITY ASSESSMENT ?
It will finally happen : by the end of this year, a single reference tool for evaluation will emerge. And with it, a complete overhaul of the quality assessment system. This can only be excellent news for us !
This redesign has been long overdue, as the current system is opaque and ineffective. We have pleaded many times for this overhaul, so we won’t hide our pleasure here, even though we should only fully express it in a few months, after the implementation of the announced changes. What are these main changes?
First, the time consuming but not essential double internal and external evaluation will disappear in favor of a continuous quality improvement process and a single evaluation. This evaluation will occur every 5 years to match the renewal of the contract signed between the operator and local authorities and the establishment’s projects.
The assessment will be based on a mandatory national tool. Because, as surprising as it may seem, there has not been any until now. Built through a participative process with 250 stakeholders, professionals and user representatives, the future framework will include a common core and specific chapters by type of social and medico-social establishments. It must also better appreciate the result of the service by taking into account the experience and opinion of the elderly people.
The selection of assessors is also to be reviewed. It must go beyond declarative and administrative criteria. A more substantial specification will be implemented, accompanied by training modules for assessors. There remains the question of the remuneration of the assessors. Paid by the assessed so far, it obviously undermines the neutrality of the assessment. The experts advocate contractual and financial distancing, and the operators, the ones who are assessed, would not be against avoiding this cost.
The evaluation reports will be made public and searchable. It is a measure that the COLISEE Group has long championed, not only so that establishments can compare themselves with each other, which is likely to create healthy competition, but also for everyone to have access to reliable information on nursing homes. Because if the sector has suffered from a negative image, it is also because it did not have the tools to reply, such as an objective and transparent quality to display against the subjectivity of certain critics.
It is therefore not the simple change of an administrative process that is in question, we are touching a hotspot of the sector and its organization. A point that is likely to enhance the quality of service for the benefit of the user, while giving the general public a much more consistent image about what is done well and not so well in nursing homes. A salutary reform if it is, indeed, carried out to the end.