May 2022
July 18, 2023

Performance Tracking for Quality Assurance

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Plains Quality Improvement Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) team worked to promote COVID-19 infection prevention and control best practices. When Great Plains was providing one-on-one technical assistance with nursing homes, the team identified an opportunity to improve how the facilities were using their data to related to COVID-19 infection prevention and control.

When comparing the confirmed resident COVID-19 infection rates for nursing homes referred to Great Plains QIN-QIO as a Targeted Response Quality Improvement Initiative (TR-QII) to national benchmarks for resident COVID-19 infection rates [through 02/28/2022], the cost savings as a result of improving infection rates and addressing potential infections related to COVID-19 was an overall savings of $7.1 million to date since technical assistance for the TR-QII referred nursing homes began in April 2020.[1]

This savings was achieved in part by using a performance tracking tool, which was developed to collect data in a meaningful way.Performance Tracking tool for Quality Assurance Since inception, the tracking tool has been downloaded nearly 250 times from organizations in ten states.

The performance tracking tool has enhanced nursing homes’ ability to track important COVID-19 infection prevention and control tactics. For example, prior to using the performance tracking tool, a nursing home reported their cleaning of handrails, per shift, was done 60 percent of the time. Once their team began tracking and reporting weekly, via the performance tracking tool, they improved their rate to 100 percent within six weeks.

“Using the performance tracker increases the ability to quickly identify problem areas from data collected and track the effectiveness of COVID-19 infection prevention and control mitigation tactics. An organization has a better understanding of what needs to be improved to enhance the quality of care,” explains Dee Kaser, RN, CDCES, Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisor.

The performance tracking tool has been proven valuable. Nursing home leaders are able to share progress and results with their QAPI team and board members. The tool also provides a vehicle to identify and celebrate successes. Nursing homes for whom Great Plains QIN-QIO is providing TR-QIIs utilized the tool; nearly 85% of those facilities continue to use the tool on an ongoing basis. Reactions from users have been positive. 

“The graphs on the audit tracking tool were helpful in giving a visual of the indicator and audit tracking results.” ~ Shantelle Wade, RN, Infection Prevention, Wheatcrest Hills, Britton, SD.

“Oh, I love graphs and charts. I ‘geek out’ at that stuff. Thank you!” ~ Kelly Lyons RN, Director of Nursing, ND Veterans Home, ND

Performance Tracking Tool Video Tutorial (30 minutes)

Performance Tracking Tool Video Slide Deck

Performance Tracker Excel Template



[1] Source: The Potential Health Care Costs and Resource Use Associated With COVID-19 In The United States | April 2023. Authors: Sarah M. Bartsch, Marie C. Ferguson, James A. McKinnell, Kelly J. O'Shea, Patrick T. Wedlock, Sheryl S. Siegmund, and Bruce Y. Lee


This material was prepared by The Bizzell Group (Bizzell), the Data Validation and Administrative (DVA) contractor, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement of that product or entity by CMS or HHS. 12SOW/Bizzell/DVA-1130-07/18/2023

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