HQAA Blog

The ‘New Normal’ in DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Jun 02, 2020 @ 02:38 PM

A phrase we’re hearing a lot through this crisis and pandemic is “new normal”.  As in, there’s a new normal out there that involves social distancing, wearing masks, working from home, restaurants and non-essential businesses closed or working limited hours, and on and on and on.  Every person has had some aspect of their life changed in sometimes small, sometimes profound ways.  Of course, this applies to medical equipment providers as much as anyone else. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Materials Management, Physicians, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Customer Service, Marketing, Infection Control

Cleaning Equipment

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Feb 06, 2020 @ 08:12 AM

On a recent survey, I was chatting with the staff member who was responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the rental medical equipment.  This particular organization had traditional DME patients, but also serviced a Hospice contract, so the equipment flowed mightily through the warehouse’s clean, dirty, and waiting to be repaired areas.  As I was asking him about the cleaners and disinfectants he used, I noticed a poster above his workbench.  It was one of those pithy and ubiquitous “keep calm” sayings: “KEEP CALM & MAINTAIN CLEANLINESS.”  He smiled and shrugged when he saw me eyeing the poster. This staff member took his responsibility very seriously and was doing an excellent job.  His paperwork and technique were both very good, his workspace was orderly and clean, and he understood the underlying reasons it was so important to clean equipment properly for staff safety as well as patient safety. 

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Topics: Quality Standards, HME Accreditation Requirements, Materials Management, Avoiding Deficiencies

Mistakes from the Past

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 @ 09:24 AM

New Year’s Day --with its resolutions, new beginnings, and fresh start attitude-- is a perfect time of year to reflect on continuous improvement and making ourselves better as not only individuals, but as companies set up to serve the public and our customers.  It is also a good time to review ways to improve our bottom line, our operational efficiencies, our general attitude, and our business practices.  This sometimes requires revisiting mistakes from our past, things we did wrong, and looking at how we’ve improved them.  Deficiencies from our past surveys are certainly a worthwhile thing to look at it in an effort to improve.

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Topics: Renewing Accreditation, Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Process Improvement, Avoiding Deficiencies

DME Policy Manuals

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Nov 08, 2018 @ 10:28 AM

Many in the home medical equipment industry equate policy manuals to their accreditation inspections. And of course, these bulky tomes are certainly a large part of the accreditation and survey experience for every DME. Policy manuals serve as the road map for how work gets done within an organization, a set of rules for the organization, and the document that defines the structure, function, and philosophy of the organization. Let’s look at what a policy manual should contain and how it impacts not only accreditation, but also the overall day-to-day operation of an organization.

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Topics: Employee Training, HIPAA, Security, Personnel Files, Quality Improvement, Billing, Renewing Accreditation, Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Compliance, Patient Privacy, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Materials Management, Avoiding Deficiencies, CMS, Complaint Process, Quality Care, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Clinical Respiratory Services, Oxygen, Warehouse, Safety Officer, Competence, Customer Service, Disaster Preparedness, Emergencies, Business Practices, Marketing

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

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

What to Expect During an Accreditation Survey

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 02:04 PM

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!

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Topics: Renewing Accreditation, Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies

Top Ten Deficiencies & How to Prevent Them

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

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,

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Topics: Quality Standards, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies

Retail Showrooms & Your Accreditation Survey

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Oct 04, 2016 @ 04:10 PM

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?

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Topics: HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail

4 Easy Steps to Ensure Your Warehouse Meets HME Accreditation Standards

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Feb 04, 2014 @ 03:55 PM


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. 

Read More

Topics: Quality Improvement, HME Accreditation Requirements, Avoiding Deficiencies, Warehouse