“Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right” --Oprah Winfrey
Topics: Avoiding Deficiencies, Compliance, Billing, Employee Training, HIPAA, Delivery, Retail, Warehouse, Showroom, Personnel Files, Materials Management, Patient File Requirements, Process Improvement, Quality, Safety Officer, Quality Improvement, Patient Privacy, Quality Standards
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.
Companies going through an accreditation process usually experience at least some degree of anxiety. The importance of achieving and maintaining accreditation is often “life and death” to an organization—lose it and you may not be able to continue billing or receive referrals from a payer or a referral source. If it’s the first time you’re going through the process, you can also add the fear of the unknown to that equation. Add these factors together and you have a combination that can cause a lot of stress!
The nature of accreditation is that a company embraces a continuous quality improvement methodology and operates its business in compliance with laws, regulations, and industry best practices to the best of its ability. Accreditation is a journey not just a destination – a journey full of learning opportunities, education, and revision and tweaking of your company’s processes and procedures.
That process doesn’t lend itself well to quick “punch lists” and it is not advisable to look for shortcuts along the journey. However,
Home medical equipment companies frequently mention that it seems that the majority of survey (inspection) activity takes place in equipment storage, cleaning, and warehouse areas, as well as out in the field during “ride-alongs” to observe patient interactions with staff.HME staff is sometimes caught by surprise when the surveyor turns their attention to the retail showroom during the inspection. Why would a surveyor want to look at a retail showroom and what accreditation standards apply in that setting?
Say the word “warehouse” and many people 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 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.
In reviewing over 1,000 patient files in the past six years, here is a list of some of the most common patient file deficiencies I have found.
In order to determine if a grievance or complaint needs to be recorded, you must first decide what is, and what is not, a complaint. Your team must determine the threshold that it takes for a concern or question to truly be a complaint/grievance. Not every concern expressed may be a complaint. Let’s look at two examples:
Whether you keep paper or electronic personnel files, you must maintain them in a secure and organized manner so they will be ready for your surveyor during your unannounced survey. A good best practice is to audit your personnel files two to four times annually to ensure that the files are complete and up-to-date.
There are a few items that are commonly marked as personnel file deficiencies. Make sure the following articles are completed, organized and stored in a secure fashion.