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May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2013
Independent Monitoring for Quality, or IM4Q, is a system of measuring quality that relies on information gathered from individuals receiving services and their families by people in the community who are independent of the services being delivered.
Independent Monitoring for Quality is an outgrowth of the Multi-Year Plan for Pennsylvania's mental retardation system. The Planning Advisory Committee(PAC) to the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), formerly the Office of Mental Retardation, presented it to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare in July 1997. The Multi-Year Plan called for the creation of independent teams at the local level to monitor the quality of services delivered. The teams were to be comprised of individuals with disabilities, family members, and advocates charged with the responsibility of assessing the quality of supports and services provided to individuals and families. Quality was to be measured in terms of outcomes as well as satisfaction.
Part of Quality Framework
Independent Monitoring for Quality is part of the Pennsylvania Mental Retardation System Quality Framework. This framework is guided by the values and principles of Everyday Lives. Responsive to customer feedback and informed by data, the quality management framework measures, addresses and enhances quality of life, services and supports and organizational practices.
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is committed to ensuring the health and safety of persons receiving services, implementing promising practices, and offering the highest quality services that promote choice and control in people’s everyday lives.
ODP acknowledges that quality is in the eye of the beholder. Various stakeholders can perceive quality differently. In general terms, quality means doing things right—working with the right people and doing the right things in the right ways.
Quality Management is the approach ODP uses to lead the service system in promoting the core values of Everyday Lives. ODP views quality management as a planned, systemic and organization-wide approach to data collection and analysis, performance measurement, and continuous improvement.
How Independent Monitoring for Quality Works
Independent Monitoring for Quality relies on trained independent monitoring teams to interview people receiving services and their families about the quality of their services in the context of their everyday lives.
People are selected to ensure that every individual who lives in a state-licensed community residence has an opportunity to be interviewed at least once every three years. Interviews are also conducted with people who live with their family, host or lifesharing families, independently, in intermediate care facilities (ICFs/MR), nursing facilities, personal care homes and state centers.
Local independent monitoring programs are contracted by County Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MH/MR) Programs across the state to support independent monitoring teams, to data enter information from the interviews, and to initiate a process called "closing the loop", which ensures that the individual/family issues and concerns are referred to the County MH/MR Program to take appropriate action. Technical support for Independent Monitoring for Quality is provided by qualified researchers at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University.
Reports generated from Independent Monitoring for Quality interviews are shared with provider agencies, County MH/MR Programs, and the Office of Developmental Programs' Planning Advisory Committee for the purposes of quality improvement. Actions are planned and checked for effectiveness through subsequent Independent Monitoring for Quality interviews, supports coordination and other quality improvement measures.
For more information on local independent monitoring programs or reports, contact the Intellectual Disabilities Customer Service Line.