Do you know the recipe for success? We do!

By Steve Moran

Five years straight without a single deficiency may be some kind of record. . . .

I recently chatted with Shane Gabis, Executive Director at The Cypress of Raleigh, a CCRC in North Carolina that is part of the Life Care Services (LCS) family of communities. Also on the call were Catherine Jenkins, VP and Director of Operations Management and Brett Logan, SVP and Senior Director of Operations with LCS.

The Magic Sauce

During our call, which you can listen to or download as a podcast at the end of this this article, Shane Gabis explained how The Cypress of Raleigh was able to achieve this very rare record of 5 deficiency-free surveys in row. He started off by stating that they are a QIS survey model that is driven by family and member resident feedback. In his mind, families and residents are very transparent about how the community is doing, therefore, community leadership listens hard and takes action.

Shane outlined the following specific steps that go into making what is clearly a very successful formula:

  • Be Survey Ready Every Day. Prepare for that survey ahead of time. Doing your own internal mock survey will identify areas that you can improve on. Become a quality outcome-driven organization that is really focused on hospitality and doing the right things for the right reasons.

  • Look For Opportunities. Encourage active family and resident councils. Be responsive to that feedback. They will challenge you to bring and deliver on services that are ever-changing.

  • Don’t Reinvent The Wheel. Partners, such as Life Care Services, will help by constantly looking for better ways to bring different programming to the community. Listen for new ideas from other communities. Network and talk with each other, find out what’s working. If it’s working in California, chances are it’s going to work in North Carolina.

  • The Right Staff Have The Right Stuff. Create a behaviorally-anchored, hospitality-based interview process that digs deeper. Make sure you’re finding people who are passionate about wanting to serve others. Focus that passion. Let them see the bigger picture of what their contribution means to everyone.

  • Take Care of The People Who Are Taking Care of People. Create a culture through your hospitality program that will extend to everyone who works for you. In order for your staff to develop a true affinity for the organization, they need to understand the mission and their role in providing and fulfilling that mission.

3 Secret Ingredients — People, Passion, Procedures

In addition to supporting the specific steps listed by Shane, Catherine Jenkins and Brett Logan went on to share the 3-part theme that drives all 125 retirement communities managed by Life Care Services across the United States.

  1. People — Catherine summarized it succinctly by stating, “You’ve got to have the right people in the right positions in order to execute what you want to do.”

    Brett also added, “Making sure we communicate, communicate, communicate — not only with our employees but with our residents.”

  1. Passion — “It’s not always about making the most money, it’s about being passionate about taking care of the seniors that live in our communities,” a pretty powerful statement made by Brett.

    A little later in the conversation, Brett made another very powerful statement that really showed exactly where his passion comes from, “Our barometer for success really isn’t deficiency-free surveys. Our barometer for success is our member feedback, continuing to have very high member satisfaction, continuing to make a difference in people’s lives.”

  1. Procedures — As per Catherine, The Cypress of Raleigh embraced the clinical support with Life Care Services and the mock survey. She went on to explain, “In addition to that, there are regular, almost mini surveys that are clinically-focused and outcome-focused. That is another big part of having five deficiency-free surveys.”

Shane’s Bottom Line:  

“When you focus in on your mission, vision, and values, and train your staff to do right by customers and members, the regulatory compliance just seems to fall into place.”

You can listen to or download the entire conversation as a Podcast here: