Compliance in the healthcare industry equates to providing safe and quality patient care. As home health care, together with other healthcare sectors, deals with life and death matters, it is no wonder that home health is a highly regulated industry. With the help of accrediting bodies who check on these compliances through surveys, home health agencies can assure patients and the general public that they provide quality care services. Data Soft Logic, as your Intelligent Care Partner, wants to provide the best assistance to your agency during survey times. As such, we’ve made it easier for you to request assistance on survey reports and data by filling out this form.
As we enter 2022 and prepare for another round of surveys, we want to help you further through these useful tips you can keep in mind to survive your surveys.
- Know the ins and outs of the standards.
Most standards tell you what needs to be done but not why and how it should be done. To survive a survey, the first thing you should know is the intent of each standard and their corresponding interpretive guidelines. Make sure that you understand the ins and outs of these policies. Don’t hesitate to read materials or ask questions when something is unclear to you. Do not wait till survey time, ask the accrediting body, consultants, or state officials right away.
- Learn to prioritize.
Just like any to-do task, learn to prioritize which standards you would need to focus your attention on. Top of the list would be those with which your agency is not compliant. If your agency is not doing that particular standard now, then that ranks first in your list of things to work on. If your list is too much for one team to handle, learn to delegate and assign task forces to work on certain areas.
- Make an internal assessment.
You would only know how to strategize, develop, and move forward with plans if you have conducted an assessment of your current agency operations. You can do this by performing mock surveys, home visits, and clinical record reviews. During the mock survey, make sure that you perform it as if it was an official survey – select the dates, request data as if you are the surveyor, perform home visits to the approximate number that a surveyor would do, and interview the agency staff. Choose a variety of clinical records to review based on the diagnoses, length of stay, level of care, etc. Watch out for common deficiencies in your records especially in the plan of care, physician orders, and aide supervisory visits.
- Develop an effective QAPI program.
The next thing to do is to develop a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program that is designed to help your agency. Monitor activities that you know you are vulnerable to based on your identified deficiencies. Focus your efforts on those areas which tend to be high risk, high volume, and problem-prone. Immediately correct any problem that may potentially threaten your patients’ health and safety. Conduct quarterly clinical record reviews which take note of trends and analyze results to develop and implement an action plan.
- Educate and train your staff.
Make survey education a regular part of your daily agency operations via staff meetings, newsletters, games, etc. Educate your staff on the Conditions of Participation (COPs) whether they are newly hired or have been in the agency for a long time. Train them on the whole survey process and clearly communicate what their roles are to make your agency survey – ready.
Hope you can make good use of these tips for your upcoming surveys.
Data Soft Logic, as the software always on your side, cares about your achievements, however big or small. How were the 2021 surveys for you? Tell us your experience and let us celebrate with you. Through our social media platforms, we will share the good news with the rest of the world because we’re proud of what you have achieved. What are you waiting for? Celebrate and share with us through this link.
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