HQAA Blog

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.

A well-crafted policy manual should contain not only policies, but also procedures. Think of a “policy” as a guiding principle, used to steer an organization in some direction. A policy should also define or describe a course of action that is to be taken. “Procedure” is the steps to be followed to accomplish whatever the policy described. The steps are spelled out so that the organization’s staff can accomplish a task in a consistent manner. The policy is the what and the procedure is the how to.

Policies and procedures may be contained within the same document or within two separate documents. They can be hard copy, old-school paper in a binder or electronic files stored on your organization’s hard drive. The key to the success of your policy manual is that it is accessible by all staff and well understood and followed. Since the manual is considered a set of rules, the staff must be aware of the rules and where the rule book is stored, so they can use the manual on an on-going basis to refer back to when questions arise.

DME policy manuals are sometimes written by the staff and management of an organization. Other times, home medical equipment organizations will purchase a template, which uses boilerplate policies and procedures. Both can be used effectively. If you write your own, include the staff that actually has to live with the policy and utilize the procedure as you craft the document. If you use a template, be sure to customize and personalize the policies and procedures so that it accurately defines the principle and the steps to be followed in the procedures. Change the template’s verbiage to match your actual practices, not the other way around.

Written policies and procedures that are required by law and regulation, payer requirements, or accreditation standards include:

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

Hepatitis B and DME Personnel

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, Oct 08, 2018 @ 09:27 AM

New employees who apply and secure jobs with durable medical equipment companies are often surprised to find out that they are being offered vaccinations to protect them against Hepatitis B.  In fact, some new employees find it unsettling to learn that their new job offers this “benefit” because of increased exposure risk to this dreaded but somewhat misunderstood disease.  Let’s dispel some myths and lay out the basic facts about the disease, its prevention, and why healthcare workers are being offered this vaccination.  

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Topics: Business Practices, Delivery, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Personnel Files, Employee Training

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

O2 Orders 101

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, May 04, 2017 @ 10:14 AM

It might surprise some readers to learn that there are enough rules and regulations, quirks and nuances, and potential problems to devote an entire blog article to a topic limited to “oxygen orders”.  The fact is that oxygen orders are a complex enough issue to devote an article to, and more importantly, for your company to devote resources including training time --toward the goal of compliance.

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Topics: Oxygen, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Compliance, Delivery, Employee Training, HME Accreditation Requirements

Top 3 Reasons to Seek Facility-Based Ventilator Unit Accreditation

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 02:15 PM

Now available from HQAA: Facility-Based Ventilator Unit Accreditation

HQAA’s newest accreditation product, Facility-Based Ventilator Unit (FBVU), is starting conversations about quality throughout the long-term care industry.

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