HQAA Blog

Steve DeGenaro

Recent Posts

Death, Dying & DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

A cousin of mine just passed away a few months ago after a long illness.  He was fortunate to be able to spend his last few weeks at home with the family and friends he loved around him, either looking out the window at his beautiful backyard or some days, on the back porch.  “Fortunate” is a relative word: he was in his early 50’s and should have lived a lot longer.  On the other hand, after weeks in hospitals and long term acute care (LTAC) facilities, he (and his family) were grateful that he was able to spend his last days at home.  During those last weeks, he tapped into the durable medical equipment industry more than most people do in a lifetime.  

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Topics: Quality Care, Delivery, Oxygen, Customer Service

Ongoing Staff Education in Your HME Organization

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Jun 05, 2018 @ 03:12 PM

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today” ……………Malcolm X

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Topics: Employee Training, HME Accreditation Requirements

Isn’t All Ventilator Care ‘Clinical'?

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 03:53 PM

HQAA fields quite a few questions about ventilator care and whether or not the care is “clinical” in nature or non-clinical.  It may be helpful to clarify some points about ventilator care and review the definition of clinical respiratory services. 

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Topics: Clinical Practice Guidelines, Ventilator Unit, Quality Care, AARC

Emergency and Disaster Preparedness

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Apr 04, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

The last year has given us several natural disasters.  We’ve seen “Nor’easters”, major fires, hurricanes, floods, and mudslides, which left major highways destroyed and communities completely isolated.  It’s been a rough year! 

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Topics: Disaster Preparedness, Emergencies

A Brief History of Home Oxygen Therapy

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Mar 06, 2018 @ 09:27 AM

Mathematician and author Vernor Vinge popularized (and named) the notion that technological change grows exponentially.  He called the phenomenon “exponentially accelerating change” and wrote both scientific articles and popular culture fiction about the concept.  We have all heard statistics thrown around; such as the fact that your child’s IPOD has more capability than the computer on the Apollo mission that landed on the moon in 1969.  Or that we’ve developed more technology in the last 25 years than in the previous 10,000 years.  

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Topics: Delivery, Oxygen

The Lost Art of Customer Service

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Feb 02, 2018 @ 11:26 AM

Early in my consulting and inspecting career, I became fascinated by the concept of customer service.  Why are some organizations more customer service-oriented than others?  How do organizations promote a culture that encourages excellent customer service?  What can staff and management do to make customers happy with their experience?  I noticed that some of the medical equipment companies I visited had excellent customer service, others had mediocre customer service, and still others (not many, thankfully!) had horrible customer service.  I set out to understand the art of customer service and tried to answer the above questions by gathering fact patterns and collecting observations about the customer service I witnessed on my visits. 

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Topics: Customer Service

Resolutions for the New Year - DME Style

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Fri, Jan 05, 2018 @ 02:32 PM

Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right” --Oprah Winfrey

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Topics: Quality, Employee Training, HIPAA, Personnel Files, Quality Improvement, Billing, Quality Standards, Patient File Requirements, Compliance, Patient Privacy, Process Improvement, Materials Management, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Safety Officer

HIPAA – Ten Years Old & Still an Issue

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Dec 07, 2017 @ 11:36 AM

Confidentiality, privacy, and the protection of their medical records and information is something that our customer/patients have come to expect.  It’s been over ten years since HIPAA (the Healthcare Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996) went into effect and consumers have had over a decade of education every time they interact with any business related to healthcare. The consumer is a lot more well informed about their rights now compared to a decade ago.  So, it might surprise some of us to find out that in the DME world, there are still instances of security and privacy breeches where medical information is NOT protected.  

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Topics: HIPAA, Patient Privacy

Tracking Your Equipment

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 03:34 PM

All accrediting bodies, HQAA included, have standards that require an effective equipment tracking system in place at every organization surveyed.  Tracking systems are essentially a tool to help you keep track of where all your equipment and supplies are at any given time. The purpose of these tracking systems is for not only good overall inventory control and management, but also to facilitate a recall in the event a manufacturer or the FDA institutes a recall. 

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements

A Stroll Through Your Warehouse: Standards Compliance in Equipment Storage Areas

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Oct 05, 2017 @ 12:13 PM

Say the word “warehouse” to many people, and you conjure up images of a dark, dusty, damp place with rows of equipment and boxes, piled to the ceiling.  A home medical equipment company’s warehouse certainly can be the source of problems, deficiencies with standards, safety hazards, and infection control issues.  But with just a little planning, some elbow grease and hard work, and a bit of ongoing monitoring, you can turn your warehouse into a clean, safe, even pleasant environment that improves operational efficiencies and helps your employees do their job well. 

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Topics: Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, Warehouse