Regulatory Compliance and Beyond: Using Ongoing Assessment and Performance Improvement to Go from Good to GREAT!


Mar 25, 2015 | Marketing & Branding

Today, compliance with state and federal regulations for assisted living and long-term care communities remains extremely important. The question is, “Is it enough to attract residents in a competitive environment?” The evidence of the marketplace suggests it is merely a baseline or starting point and that the mature market and their savvy adult children are looking for more.

Above and Beyond Basic Compliance

Karen Nelson Crolius, Senior Vice President & Senior Consultant at SageAge Strategies, says, “An overall and ongoing Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement process that measures, evaluates and analyzes each critical area of service – not just for maintaining compliance, but to achieve resident and family member satisfaction – is key to achieving a strong reputation with customers and brand dominance in the marketplace.”

Karen, who has 20 years of leadership experience on the provider side of the senior living industry adds, “It’s not something they should do “once a year” just because they are in the survey window with the state coming back in. It is something that should be viewed as a Total Quality Measurement system which assesses performance in every area that touches the lives of residents and impacts their quality of life in the community, like food service, housekeeping, resident services – all of the clinical and care aspects – maintenance, life enrichment, marketing, and transportation.”

“It should be used as an internal dashboard or scorecard to ensure that you are not only meeting the expectations of the state required regulations, but also achieving high levels of ongoing satisfaction with current residents and their families.”

In her extensive consulting work, Karen has created 48 different customized assessment and improvement tools for specific senior living clients.

New Senior Living Ratings Systems Look for More

Last year, senior housing reporter Elizabeth Ecker announced that had launched a first-of-its-kind numerical rating system for senior living communities. In light of our society’s thirst for information and the ease of accessing and sharing data today, the announcement of the new site should come as no surprise – especially given the increased interest in compatible living environments for older adults. will be assigning ratings based on a 10-point scale to senior living communities in the top 50 markets across the nation. The top-rated communities in each of these markets are then recognized in their Best Senior Living Awards program.

Specific Criteria Evaluated

The rating system uses the following process:

  • Local experts will weigh in on each community. “Experts” are defined as individuals who spend their working lives in and out of senior living communities and span a range of roles, including home care professionals, hospice care professionals, geriatric care managers, social workers, referral agents, and more.

  • Additional information will be gathered from state inspection data, consumer reviews, satisfaction surveys and more.

  • uses a proprietary algorithm to generate the numerical rating scores.

  • The ratings are then posted to the community profiles on co-founder and CEO Chris Rodde stated, “We want to identify and recognize providers who are setting a high standard of quality. Our awards program is designed to give top-rated communities industry recognition and lots of exposure in the media.”

What to Consider in Assessing Your Brand Value to Consumers

Are you doing all the things necessary to assure your community scores high marks with prospects and current residents? By addressing the following questions, you can help your community to stand out from the competition:

  • Is your facility clean and fresh looking?

  • Is your community safe and in compliance with all applicable codes?

  • Is your environment positive and cheerful, and are you staff friendly and helpful?

  • Do you frequently ask your residents and their families to provide feedback on their satisfaction and their ideas for improvements?

  • Do you use mystery shopping techniques and competitive analyses to assess the quality of your services and measure how you compare with competitors?

  • Is your sales team trained in best practices for responding to your prospects’ needs and concerns, asking the right questions and communicating your brand’s most relevant benefits and advantages?

  • Are you effectively communicating your value proposition to consumers and referral sources?

  • Does your brand performance match your brand promise?

  • Do your internal and external communications address the priority needs, problems and expectations of your customers and reflect the quality of your community?

  • Do you place special emphasis on social engagement and activities?

A thorough and objective self-assessment and continuous improvement are now important priorities for all senior living communities. In many cases, the most effective assessments and recommendations for improvement are made from the “outside-in,” for example using an outside independent organization that provides complete objectivity. SageAge Strategies operates exclusively in the senior living industryand has an exceptional record of accomplishment for communities in both compliance services and performance improvement.

Compliance Services for Zero Deficiencies

SageAge Strategies’ professional team has successfully supported many senior living communities and has been responsible for their successful compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to partner with providers in the areas of operations management, procedural review and performance improvement.

We specialize in partnering with senior living organizations to help them succeed in both regulatory compliance and operational excellence. Our goal is to successfully implement and integrate compliance activities, measurable quality assurance programs and key measurable metrics into all aspects of your community’s daily operations – not just in anticipation of your next survey.

Our compliance support services address a variety of key areas that are essential to your safe and effective operations, as well as your public reputation. The on-site audit and evaluation services focus on the primary areas of regulatory compliance deficiency and include:

  • Resident Chart Audit

  • Employee Audit

  • Dietary Audit

  • Life Enrichment Audit

  • Facilities Maintenance and Housekeeping Audit

Performance Improvement Services for the Ultimate Resident Experience

In today’s highly competitive market for senior living providers, those organizations that perform at their highest levels have a distinct advantage over their competitors – particularly with more performance information being made available to the public. The SageAge Strategies team provides a unique level of expertise and insight in the discipline of performance improvement derived from years of senior living experience and functional expertise in key functional areas. These areas include community administration, operations management, census building, sales and marketing strategy, resident satisfaction, customer service and sales training, as well as productivity and efficiency management. We help our client-partners move from good to GREAT.

Our professionals work closely with your business, as an extension of your own staff resources, to help identify and improve underperforming areas in order to achieve higher resident satisfaction, a stronger brand reputation, enhanced financial performance and strategic growth. Our recommendations are practical and evidence-based using current industry best practices.

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions on the value of regular compliance review and performance improvement in shaping your brand, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any experiences you’ve had in this area, whether they have been successful or not. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Proven Market Compliance and Performance Improvement Expertise Bolster Your Brand Reputation

If you are a senior living community considering the need for assistance in assessing your compliance requirements and improving your performance for residents and their families, we encourage you to contact us for more information. SageAge Strategies is an award-winning strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry, and was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 202 /

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