A recent LeadingAge/CAST case study shows how a software as a service (SaaS)-based data analytics system helped a LeadingAge member life plan community raise its caregiving, compliance, and quality measures to laudable new levels.

Nearly a decade ago, the life plan community John Knox Village, a LeadingAge Provider Member, sought the tools to make sense of what was coming out of the minimum data set (MDS). Based in Lee’s Summit, MO, John Knox encompasses a full range of independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care options.

“We knew we had to get our arms around the massive amount of data being captured in the MDS environment in order to make it meaningful and useful,” said John Knox’s Director of Compliance, Tim Bowers. “At the time, it was impossible for us to manage that amount of data, collect it, organize it, and assimilate it.”

In 2008, John Knox implemented a solution from ABILITY® Network, a LeadingAge Silver Partner with CAST Focus. ABILITY | CAREWATCH® offers SaaS-based data analytics to improve care quality, planning, and coordination. The solution scrubs the MDS for errors and omissions before submitting data to CMS. ABILITY | CAREWATCH® also offers effective quality assurance and management tools across the entire community. It can aid in survey preparation, reimbursement accuracy, and enhancing resident care and quality of life.


Nine years after implementation, John Knox executives and caregivers are as optimistic as ever about CAREWATCH’s ability to raise caregiving, compliance, and quality assurance even higher within the community.

“It has functionality that’s completely integrated, it’s a really smart tool in terms of accuracy and reliability, and it walks the talk by turning data into action," said Bowers. Now, staff can identify patterns or connections between quality measures and the residents who are triggering them. They can identify a problem with the MDS before it goes to CMS, avoiding errors and delays in reimbursement.

CAREWATCH also has enabled John Knox Village to make great strides in quality that have led to public recognition. At implementation in 2008, John Knox had one Nursing Home Compare star. By 2013, the community was sporting five stars.

John Knox reports substantial improvement in multiple quality measures: 

  • The incidence of long-stay pressure ulcers dropped by 71%, below the state average.
  • Anti-psychotic drug use fell by 45%.
  • The community sustained a 60% reduction in urinary tract infections (UTIs), from 10% to 4%, landing below the state average.
  • Long-stay pain improved by 45%, from 16.7% to 9.2%, dropping below the state average.
  • Hospital readmissions dropped by 14%.
  • The frequency of falls among residents is down.
  • More residents have transitioned more effectively to higher levels of care.

The data, in conjunction with other tools, such as the Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT), also helped John Knox Village Care Center secure a preferred provider status in a large local hospital’s provider network.
Read the full John Knox Village/ABILITY case study.