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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Quality Management Overview

The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) emphasizes an approach to service provision that is person-centered. This approach directs service providers and other people to support the person, their preferences, and needs, rather than existing programs. With the person at the center of the efforts, people with disabilities and their families are given the power to use the resources allocated to them in ways that make sense in their lives. Focusing on the person, increasing choice, and offering more control ultimately leads to a higher level of satisfaction and a better quality of life.

Experience with person-centered services has shown us that successful service provision requires more than just developing and implementing a person-centered plan. Quality can no longer be individually measured through traditional models based on compliance with process oriented standards. To be successful, quality must be built into the service delivery system on the front end, using a systems approach.

In order to be successful, quality management programs must be management-led and people oriented. This may require fundamental changes in the way organizations do business.

DDSN employs a Quality Management system that includes the cycle of design, discovery, remediation and improvement. DDSN contracts with a Quality Improvement Organization, Alliant ASO, to conduct assessments of service providers by making on-site visits in its quality assurance process. During this process, records are reviewed, consumers and staff are interviewed, and observations made to ensure that services are being implemented as planned and based on the consumer’s need, that the consumer/family still wants and needs them, and that they comply with contract and/or funding requirements and best practices. In addition, the service provider’s administrative capabilities are reviewed to ensure compliance with DDSN standards, contracts, policies, and procedures. Any deficiencies found with the provider’s compliance will require a written Plan of Correction that addresses the deficiency both individually and systemically.

Most quality management strategies have a common focus: leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, measurement, analysis, knowledge management, human resource focus, process management, and results. Anything with input and output constitutes a process that can be measured.

Please review the following links to individual components of DDSN’s Quality Management System. If you have further questions, please email us at