October 08, 2009 12:26 ET

Survey Says: Long-Term Care Executives Believe New QIS Will Improve Quality of Care, But Just Not Sure When

Medline Poll of Executives at AHCA Expo Reveals One-Third Unsure When New State Survey Will Help

MUNDELEIN, IL--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services roll out the new nursing home Quality Indicator Survey process to states around the country, a new poll reveals more than one-third of long-term care executives believe the new QIS process will improve their quality of care. But they're uncertain how long it will take to make an impact. Thirty four percent of the more than 100 nursing home executives polled at the American Health Care Association's (AHCA) annual convention held this week in Chicago, said they were "unsure" when asked "At what point do you feel QIS will improve the quality of care at your facility?"

Conducted by Medline Industries, Inc., the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies, the survey also revealed that 62 percent of respondents said that improving the quality of care their residents was their most important issue right now. Nineteen percent said that understanding and performing well on the QIS survey was most important, followed by 12 percent who cited healthcare reform to be of highest importance and five percent who named obtaining a high Five Star rating as most important.

Currently, there are 14 states in the training program for statewide rollout of QIS, which is designed to improve the quality of care and provide a more resident-centered focus than the traditional state survey.

"What the survey shows is that long-term care providers believe the QIS process will help them improve the quality of care for their residents but because it is so new and different than the traditional process, they are unsure what changes it will bring and how long it will take to see real benefits," said Shawn Scott, Medline's vice president of corporate sales. "By obtaining training in the QIS methods and using the QIS approach, nursing homes are finding that the QIS process not only helps in preparing for the survey but forms a year-round quality assurance program to improve resident care."

Scott points out that although there are a number of new tools on the market to help providers prepare for QIS, only one, called abaqis®, exactly replicates the methods and procedures of the QIS survey. Medline is the exclusive marketer and distributor of the abaqis Nursing Home Quality Assurance System.

Abaqis is a web-based system that enables nursing home providers to identify quality concerns and focus their improvement efforts using the same forms, analysis and thresholds used by the state surveyors in the QIS.

About Medline Industries, Inc.

Medline, the nation's largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, manufactures and distributes more than 100,000 products to hospitals, extended-care facilities, surgery centers, home care dealers and agencies and other markets. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., Medline has more than 800 dedicated sales representatives nationwide to support its broad product line and cost management services.

Meeting the highest level of national and international quality standards, Medline is FDA QSR compliant and ISO 13485 registered. Medline serves on major industry quality committees to develop guidelines and standards for medical product use, including the FDA Midwest Steering Committee, AAMI Sterilization and Packaging Committee and various ASTM committees. For more information on Medline, visit our Web site, www.medline.com.

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