State Quality AssuranceWhy This Is Important
How do you measure the quality of a public system of supports, a program, or a service? The answer to this question is different today than it was even five years ago, as ideas about quality assurance grow to reflect the principles of person-centered services and supports. Recent efforts to change quality assurance processes have begun to set standards based on person-centered outcomes, rather than relying solely on facility-based measures, such as the number of square feet of a person's room. These innovative systems often have at their core a commitment to gathering information directly from individuals and families who receive services and supports. "Person-centered services and supports" are defined here in QualityMall.org as a means to achieving "more independent, self-determined, and personally satisfying lifestyles." These achievements or "outcomes" are what new quality assurance systems strive to measure. Outcome-based quality assurance methods ask questions about personal choices, participation in communities, relationships, natural supports, meaningful work, self-determination, family supports, and access to supports. The products found in this department will encompass the features described above and will be drawn from a diverse group of sources, including national accreditation agencies, states agencies, advocacy groups, provider agencies, and research projects.