DIDD First State Agency Ever to Receive Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation from CQL

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities; January 22, 2015:

DIDD Earns Network Accreditation; First-ever recognition for a state agency

NASHVILLE—Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) Commissioner Debra Payne today received official Person-Centered Excellence network accreditation on the department’s behalf from the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).

The Person-Centered Excellence accreditation process is designed to assess the quality of services and supports delivered by the department and its contracted providers.  As a result of the accreditation process, DIDD better understands how people using their services define quality of life.  The department will use that information to guide changes to improve quality of life system-wide.

DIDD and CQL worked toward this milestone for more than two years through interviews with people using services, focus groups of families, staff, and managers, provider assessments, and a self-assessment of DIDD policies and practices.

“What’s most important in this journey isn’t the ‘accreditation’ label,” Commissioner Payne said.  “It is truly about ensuring what we do is what people we support really want, not just what we think they want.”

The process highlighted areas where DIDD excels and where there is room for growth:

Current Successes

  • Protection from Harm
  • Health Supports
  • Safe Environments

Areas for Growth

  • Understanding and Exercising Rights
  • Education to Make Informed Choices
  • Support for Direct Support Professionals

DIDD has submitted a four-year plan to CQL to bring these factors into alignment, which includes increasing self-advocacy, assisting persons supported in learning about their rights, and refining the department’s Quality Assurance system to monitor compliance with CQL’s Basic Assurances®.

“As a department, we strive to be the most person-centered and cost effective service delivery network in the nation, and this accreditation process really helped us focus on providing support in the way people want it,” said Commissioner Payne.

Not only was DIDD the first state department in the country to receive network accreditation, it also was the first state service delivery network to pursue accreditation with CQL.

“It has been a tremendous experience to work with people who are so committed to improving quality in their supports and services on such a large scale,” said Cathy Ficker Terrill, President and CEO of CQL.

Read more about DIDD and accreditation at http://tn.gov/didd/accreditation/index.shtml

CQL is dedicated to the definition, measurement and improvement of personal quality of life for people receiving human services and supports.  For more background on CQL, visit their website at http://www.thecouncil.org