Quality First Program

LeadingAge, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care launched Quality First in July 2002 to demonstrate the aging-services field's commitment to quality and quality improvement.

LeadingAge Quality First is the way in which LeadingAge and its members accept responsibility for assuring that the people they serve receive quality care and services. Quality First makes providers directly accountable for excellence and distinguishes LeadingAge members as not-for-profit aging services providers.

Quality First is rooted in ten core principles, six measurable outcomes, and a clear path for reaching them.

Ten Principles

The ten principles of Quality First are intended to cultivate and nourish an environment of continuous quality improvement, openness and leadership among aging services providers.

The core of LeadingAge Quality First is the 10 Elements of Quality:

  1. Commitment
  2. Governance and Accountability
  3. Leading-Edge Care and Services
  4. Community Involvement
  5. Continuous Quality Improvement
  6. Human Resources Development
  7. Consumer-Friendly Information
  8. Consumer Participation
  9. Research Findings and Education
  10. Public Trust and Consumer Confidence

Six Outcomes

Each of the Quality First principles is supported by specific and measurable steps that will be taken to achieve the expected outcomes. A national commission will report progress annually toward achieving these outcomes.

Expected Outcomes for Providers:

  1. There will be demonstrated continued improvement in compliance with applicable federal and state regulations
  2. There will be demonstrable progress in promoting financial integrity and preventing occurrences of fraud
  3. There will be demonstrable progress (and continued compliance) in the prevention of abuse and neglect
  4. There will be progressive and/or sustained achievements in quality of clinical outcomes
  5. Consumers will report high satisfaction with care and services
  6. There will be demonstrable improvement in employee retention and turnover rates.

By endorsing these principles and outcomes, aging services providers are leading the effort to forge a collective and constructive response to the challenges our field faces. We are committed to peer review to solve problems and provide consistent, high quality education, training and technical assistance to ensure compliance. Through Quality First, we will work in partnership with consumers and government to create a field of care and services in which consumers can feel confident that they are receiving the high quality care and services they deserve.

For more details including a step-by-step guide, the Quality First Covenant, a self-study, frequently asked questions, a power point presentation, video and discussion guide, and sample PR materials, go to http://www.leadingage.org/quality.

Our national partner LeadingAge is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age.