November 3rd, 2005

The Great River Klein Center is one of two long-term-care facilities in the state to be recognized for meeting criteria for the new Quality First 5-Star Award.

The objective of Quality First is to achieve higher levels of resident care and customer satisfaction, retain employees by focusing on workforce excellence, and exceed federal and state standards. The program builds on the federal government’s Nursing Home Quality Initiative that led to public reporting of key quality measures for nursing facilities.

Alverno Health Care Facility in Clinton is the other recipient. Both facilities were honored Sept. 28 during the Iowa Health Care Association’s (IHCA) state convention in Des Moines.

A facility must formally pledge to the Quality First covenant. By taking the voluntary pledge, facilities agree to abide by the initiative’s core principles, and to meet or exceed six performance outcomes:

• Improvement in all Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services continuous quality-improvement measures
• Improvement in compliance with federal regulations
• Improvement in customer satisfaction
• Improvement in employee retention and turnover rates
• Progress in promoting financial integrity and preventing fraud
• Progress in the quality of care and prevention of confirmed abuse or neglect

“Long-term-care needs are changing as people live active, healthy lives well into their 80s and 90s,” said Klein Center Administrator Dick Miller. “Consumers are more knowledgeable and demanding of the services they receive. We’re committed to putting our residents and quality care first. This award recognizes the dedication of the Klein Center staff in achieving the Quality First standards.”

“In today’s environment, the long-term-care profession is being asked to lead the way in defining new standards of quality and in holding ourselves accountable to higher public standards of quality,” said IHCA Deputy Director Cindy Baddeloo, Ph.D. “As a Quality First 5-Star facility, the Klein Center has proven its readiness and commitment to show the public that the needs of their residents and families are important, above all else.”

The Klein Center is a 125-bed nursing home located at 2910 Madison Ave., Burlington. In 2003, it was named one of America’s Top Nursing Homes by Consumers’ Research Council of America, the nation’s leading consumer group that evaluates professional services throughout the country.

The Iowa Health Care Association is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 550 nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, residential care facilities, senior housing facilities, and home- and community-based organizations.