Abt Associates was engaged by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop online learning to teach state surveyors, responsible for nursing homes in their state, about quality management and performance improvement principles, in anticipation of upcoming government regulatory changes. One of the challenges: The government QAPI standards were in flux. Abt engaged long-time development partner, Illumina Interactive, to help on the project. 

Together with Abt Associates, Illumina designed and developed two self-paced course, one on the Principles of Nursing Home Quality and the other on Reducing Adverse Events. A rapid, and highly iterative prototyping and development approach was used to put fully functional the learning materials in front of the client as early as possible. The 508 compliant courses utilized a number of specific interactive case scenarios that surveyors might encounter in nursing homes today. Illumina developed the graphic design for the user interface to CMS requirements, and produced the courses using stock characters and imagery. Illumina participated in a beta pilot with Abt and CMS state surveyors.

At the completion of the project Abt Associates nominated Illumina for the US Small Business Administration Subcontractor of the Year Award.

“Illumina staff… spent hours learning about the subject and meeting with Abt staff to ensure they fully understood the content before starting the e-learning module development… [they] provided excellent customer service to both Abt Associates and to CMS staff, in the face of many unanticipated delays on the part of the government and interruptions in training development… exceptional quality products and all deliverables were on time and within budget…”

“Cognitive testing of the modules among nursing home surveyors indicated that the content was extremely helpful to surveyors and the modules were interesting and engaging. The modules are slated to be posted on the CMS website in 2017, which is a testament to their quality and usefulness, as many training modules developed by other contractors have languished in the CMS clearance process and have not been approved for dissemination.”

– Allison Muma, Associate, US Health, Abt Associates, Inc.