The Arc of Tennessee ®
Quality Improvement and Systems Change
The People Talking to People project (PTP) is an independent quality assurance program for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) that helps to improve the system for the people it serves.
Frank Meeuwis is the Director of Quality Improvement and Systems Change at The Arc Tennessee, and supervises nine Regional PTP interviewing teams. The 27 part-time employees are self-advocates and family members of people with disabilities who interview a random set of persons receiving services through DIDD. Interviews are voluntary, confidential, and completed face-to-face with the person receiving services and/or their conservator.
When PTP began in 2002, the interview teams used an approved survey tool created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Beginning in 2013, PTP’s work supported Tennessee’s participation in the National Core Indicators (NCI) to gather a standard set of performance and outcome measures with 47 other states. These measures are used to track Tennessee’s performance over time, to compare results across states, and to establish national benchmarks. The latest NCI reports may be found at this link: www.nationalcoreindicators.org/states/TN/.
That same year, in recognition for “outstanding accomplishments of researchers who have intellectual and developmental disabilities,” PTP was awarded The Arc US Participatory Action Research Award for demonstrating the power of data and how it can be used to make changes in a system!
Increasingly a national movement, PTP’s collaboration with multiple stakeholders such as the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) like Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), and our state DIDD, underscores and emphasizes the importance and improved validity of peers—people with disabilities talking to other people with disabilities—to gather information to measure and report quality indicators within a system!
In addition, PTP to conducts statewide satisfaction surveys by phone with the people and families receiving Nurse Care Management services through BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST). PTP is viewed as an important component of a larger Quality Improvement effort by DIDD to excel in providing support services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
To read Yearly Reports click links below. Previous reports are available by contacting Frank Meeuwis.