Typically when you hear words like wish, want, hope, dream and desire, you don’t think of data collection and trend analysis. You’re more likely to imagine someone’s aspirations at an individual level, understanding what is important to the person, where they want their life to lead and how to help them get there. That’s the heart of person-centered planning.
Providers can then build upon that approach by taking a broader view, for strategic-planning. Human service organizations can identify priority areas for improvement, reallocate resources and evaluate the effectiveness of services, by examining outcomes over the course of time. Taking that extra step is what makes a provider’s commitment to quality, distinct.
That commitment is embedded into the values of Ray Graham Association (RGA), which recently became the first human service organization to achieve Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation, With Distinction, through CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. RGA has been accredited through CQL for nearly two decades, empowering people with disabilities by focusing on Personal Outcome Measures®, and the important data it offers.
“It’s all very central to our strategic planning. We really look at all of our data to examine where we’ve been and where it is that we want to go,” says Kim Zoeller, President and CEO of RGA, adding, “We plan with that data; everything from our staff training, to how we budget our funds, to whether or not we create a new initiative to better support people.” One such initiative is RGA’s Monarch Services, which offers community-oriented supports, involving life-coaching, employment, social capital and other customized options.
RGA not only uses data at the individual and organizational level, but also at the state and federal level. In light of the recent Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) regulations and reporting requirements to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), they’re equipped to tell their story.
RGA utilizes Personal Outcome Measures®, CQL’s PORTAL Data System and a free HCBS Settings Rule: Toolkit for States, to educate lawmakers and governmental agencies through valid and reliable data, about the implementation of person-centered services and the achievement of individual outcomes. In describing CQL’s Toolkit for States, Zoeller says “I think it’s a fantastic guide for us to not only do the right thing, but to also do what’s expected.”
This focus on outcomes and what really matters to people is deeply rooted into the organizational values and vision of RGA. “The RGA board and staff should be proud of amazing accomplishment in accreditation,” says Cathy Ficker Terrill, former President and CEO of CQL, adding “Once again, RGA is the first organization in the world to reach this level of distinction, under the newest CQL accreditation levels.” While exploring the hopes wishes, wants, dreams and desires of the people RGA supports, they also pursue a broader view for strategic planning, establishing new service models, evaluating supports and communicating with governmental entities.