CQT feedback meeting
"Tell someone what you need and see what happens."

CQT's primary goal is to address the needs of individuals.

Taped to the door of one CQT staff member is a card that reads:

Tell someone what you need and see what happens.

Sometimes all it takes is one voice.

Here are a few stories about how a CQT interview, site visit, report or meeting improved an individual consumer's quality of life:

Special Dietary Needs to Successful Community Life

A consumer interviewed at an inpatient facility told CQT he needed kosher meals. He had not been eating because the meals served didn't meet his needs. When CQT brought this to the attention of hospital staff, they reported they had not heard this request from the consumer. The facility immediately provided appropriate meals for the consumer. Now receiving the proper nutrition, the consumer was able to get physically stronger, meet his recovery goals, and was recently discharged into a community program.

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Staff Misconduct to Safe Program

At one of the first site visits CQT conducted to a PRP, consumers told CQT about abuse by staff and their fear of retribution for reporting it. Program staff repeatedly violated the confidentiality of the interviews, so CQT terminated the visit and immediately reported this information to the CSA. Two days later, the program director phoned CQT to report corrective measures had been taken; a follow-up visit was scheduled for two weeks later. On the subsequent visit, consumers reported that the abusive staff had been replaced, the program curriculum had been improved, and the facility had been cleaned.

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A Glass of Water in the Night

On one inpatient facility unit, a consumer interviewed reported they were not able to have drinking water upstairs where the bedrooms are located. They took medication that caused them to be frequently thirsty, and they requested an option for having drinking water available upstairs throughout the night. When CQT reported this request to the unit staff, they shared that carrying cups of water upstairs posed a safety issue. Water was available downstairs during the evening snack time. CQT reviewed this request with the senior management of the inpatient facility during the next Feedback Meeting. They subsequently worked with the unit staff to create a safe water station upstairs in the unit, and consumers are now able to get a glass of water during the night.

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Uncovering Trends and Finding Solutions

While CQT hears comments about food at nearly every program, teams heard consistent and repeated complaints about the food from consumers at three sites run by the same agency. In reporting these concerns to staff, CQT learned that while each site had different capacities for serving the food provided, the same caterer was being used for all sites. Agency staff started looking for a better option and ultimately contracted with a new caterer. CQT heard directly from consumers in interviews on subsequent site visits that the new food was much better and included healthier options.

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Improving Procedures for Safety Issues

Safety concerns reported during CQT interviews are immediately referred to the appropriate staff and/or funding/oversight agencies. (Read more about how CQT handles confidentiality.) In the inpatient facilities, issues with safety, abuse or rights violations are immediately referred to the Resident Grievance System. One Rights Advisor shared with CQT that the facility had begun revising its reporting guidelines for abuse and rights violations after CQT reported new, uninvestigated concerns from consumers in the hospital.

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Individual Choice and Staff Education

CQT heard from consumers at one agency that the residential program staff was pooling individual consumers food stamps together to buy food for the house as a whole. The consumer wanted to have control over their own food stamps. When CQT reviewed this Site Visit Report at the monthly Feedback Meeting, attendees responded that this was not an appropriate or legal way to manage food stamps. The Community Behavioral Health Association of Maryland (CBH) started a discussion group among member agencies to clarify the regulations and solicit feedback on how programs could appropriately help consumers best manage their food stamps.

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Consumers Becoming Advocates

At a PRP site visit, CQT interviewed a consumer who requested information about her personal rights in the public mental health system. CQT staff reported her request to program staff and gave her information about local consumer-run advocacy organizations. She stopped in during the next site visit to thank CQT the program staff gave her the information she requested immediately. She also contacted the local consumer group, had gone through training and was now going to be teaching a class on advocacy! Another PRP has integrated information about CQT into their classes on self-advocacy.

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Unlocking Doors to a New Home

A consumer shared their CQT Success Story: I talked to CQT a few times when I was at [one program], and then when I moved up to [another program], CQT came there too. One of the things I talked to them about was how I needed housing. I have some criminal charges on my record and I have a limited income, so it was hard to find housing. CQT talked to the program staff and to the Core Service Agency. The CSA got in touch with me and helped me get into Shelter + Care housing. I still have that housing today and it's going very well. In my experience, CQT has been very helpful over the years. You can bounce ideas off of them and they will give you things to think about. They've been there to listen and have been really supportive.

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CQT And Beyond!

Visting one PRP, Cat heard from a consumer that one of their goals was to work for CQT. When Cat had an opening, he applied and was hired in a part time position. 6 months later, there was a full time opening and he was promoted into the position. He is a great interviewer and also is a great trainer. He used his experience to teach other staff additional information about the behavioral health system.

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