The National Quality Forum for the first time has endorsed a set of assisted living customer satisfaction measures, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, developer of the measures, said Thursday.

The two surveys, called the “CoreQ,” assess satisfaction among assisted living residents and their loved ones.

“As a profession that prides itself on providing person-centered care, assisted living should continue to [home] in on customer satisfaction,” NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said in a statement. “This endorsement of CoreQ by NQF will bring consistency between assisted living providers in capturing this important feedback.”

The CoreQ questionnaires measure individual experience with staff, care and overall satisfaction. Residents also are surveyed about the food offered in their communities. Each measure calculates the percentage of individuals who are satisfied, resulting in an overall score of satisfaction.

Committees of patients, providers and payers evaluate measures for endorsement by the not-for-profit NQF. The federal government and some private-sector entities use the measures because of the consensus process behind them.

“Studies show that customer satisfaction is directly linked to ensuring high-quality care,” said AHCA / NCAL Associate Vice President of Workforce and Quality Improvement Lindsay Schwartz, Ph.D. “We worked meticulously with our partners in developing the CoreQ questions to get at the heart of what matters to assisted living residents and their loved ones. With this endorsement, we hope more providers will incorporate CoreQ into their satisfaction surveys to better understand how they’re doing and where they can improve.”

AHCA / NCAL previously developed and released CoreQ as part of the association’s Quality Initiative to help ensure that at least 90% of residents and/or family members are satisfied with their assisted living experience. Since then, 16 customer satisfaction vendors have agreed to offer CoreQ in questionnaires issued to assisted living customers, as well as automatically upload results on a member’s behalf into AHCA / NCAL’s quality and data-tracking tool, LTC Trend Tracker. Member providers may then monitor their customer satisfaction results over time and in relation to their peers.

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