New Ascension Living requirement designed to enhance quality care

To ensure high-quality care for those it serves, Ascension Living now requires all of its community medical directors to be certified through the Certified Medical Director (CMD) program of the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (formerly known as the AMDA Certified Medical Director Program,part of the American Medical Directors Association) within three years of becoming a medical director.

“We have seen how long-term care national physician leading voices advocate strongly for endorsing the CMD certification for all skilled nursing facility medical directors as a quality standard of medical and leadership role competency,” said Rafael Bloise, MD, MA, MBA, FACP, FAAHPM, Ascension Living Chief Medical Officer. “Our expectations are clearly defined: embrace a high performance and reliable-accountability culture to serve our communities with high-quality care.”

Dr. Bloise noted that California recently passed a law requiring all medical directors to have specific education consistent with what is provided in AMDA’s core curriculum, calling it as “a recent example of how AMDA's leading national voices support the state's standard certification for medical directors and skilled nursing facilities.”

“I also believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us immense opportunities to improve high-quality care in domains such as infection and prevention control, quality and safety standards, public health, and proactive leadership,” he said. “Based on what I saw during the pandemic, I agree with AMDA’s position on the need for SNFs (skilled nursing facilities) to improve 24-hour physician coverage, enhance infection control surveillance, and remove constraints in providing high-quality care and services for residents during a respiratory outbreak.”

This important and cutting-edge move by Ascension Living evolved over time and involved thought leaders and key decision-makers.
“We formed a new national medical director steering committee, and we gathered their advice and support. Those results clearly identified a desire for further education,” Dr. Bloise said. “We are living in the knowledge economy. We, as physicians, are trained with absolute rigor to be continuous learners and to reframe our scientific minds and clinical knowledge to provide the best evidence-based standard of care.”

The CMD certification offers a comprehensive, knowledge-based curriculum to help physician leaders become key clinical and organizational influencers to improve safety and quality outcomes, serve as resident and family welfare advocates, enhance communication standards, and impact regulatory industry applicable laws and compliance information that are foundational and critical for senior communities’ survival.

Dr. Bloise shares more about this in the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine's Weekly Round-up Spotlight.