Learn why you need CoreQ!

By Susan Saldibar

Would you like to know how your assisted living or skilled nursing organization stacks up against the rest of the nation? CoreQ, an essential set of survey questions created by AHCA (American Health Care Association) and NCAL (National Center for Assisted Living), can tell you just that. This set of questions creates a national standard for resident, family member and patient satisfaction surveys. If you participate, you will be able to compare your organization to national, state and even local benchmark data. CoreQ allows you to identify your standing in the market and to help you improve both resident and patient experience.

Michael Johnson, VP of Research for ServiceTrac, a SHF Partner, is well versed in CoreQ. Michael has been involved in a CoreQ pilot program for AHCA and NCAL, which involved gathering and analyzing data from over 400 skilled nursing and assisted living locations nationwide. The accuracy and efficacy of the questions was important as they needed to be vetted and approved by the leadership of both organizations. Now, after extensive testing and over two years of planning, CoreQ is ready for use.

What is CoreQ and why is it important to senior care providers?

Here are the basics:

  • The purpose of CoreQ is to create a national survey standard to allow satisfaction to be measured for skilled nursing and assisted living communities throughout the U.S.
  • The CoreQ program consists of three or four questions, depending on whether you offer short-stay or long-stay services.
  • Senior care recipients rate the level of care as it relates to the staff, the facility and discharge processes.
  • The organically created CoreQ database will become available to all participants, allowing them to benchmark their performance against that of their peers across the nation.

While we’re talking about benchmarking and databases…

CoreQ allows a level of benchmarking unparalleled in the industry to date. Caregivers have tried for years to assess their success in comparison to their peers. ServiceTrac and similar vendors have collected millions of surveys to provide the largest and most reliable benchmarks. CoreQ has allowed AHCA and NCAL to create a consolidated system that will collect data from vendors across the country to allow comparison, regardless of which vendor you use.

“Given the nationwide participation in CoreQ, access to ample data volume is almost guaranteed,” says Michael. The key to selecting a vendor will now lie in the quality of service, the deployment methods and the reporting. Michael adds, “The most important factor will not be size, but rather how you analyze the data. And you’ll need a way to optimize the data and apply it to your organization.”

Putting CoreQ data to work.

While the CoreQ survey has not officially launched, many senior care providers are proactively starting the process now.

ServiceTrac has already incorporated the CoreQ questions into their own survey structure so that their clients can start measuring and tracking CoreQ results within their own communities right now. Then when CoreQ rolls out and results become available, they can match their internal results to those on a national level.

Participation in the CoreQ survey and analyzing the results shouldn’t impact your day to day operations, however. Michael suggests that you keep it simple. “As an example, we offer survey formats as short as a single page,” he says. At ServiceTrac they take on as much of the survey process as possible so you can focus on running your facility. They handle designing the surveys, collecting the data and providing reports. They even provide support to incorporate the results into your organization. 

“You should be able to conduct surveys without disrupting your regular business,” Michael says. And ServiceTrac gives its users numerous options to parse and segment the data in ways that make sense to them. In addition, the survey reporting is dashboard-driven, so any authorized team member can quickly access and work with the data.

The biggest mistake is to ignore CoreQ.

Above all else, however, Michael stresses the importance of participating in CoreQ. “CoreQ is not a government mandate at this point,” he says, “but don’t use that as an excuse to ignore it. This is a huge opportunity for those who take it. If you care about how you stack up against your competition on a national and local level and want to improve your brand and your service offering, you’re going to want CoreQ data on your side.”

For more details on CoreQ click here for your free CoreQ Reporting & Analysis Guide.