HQAA Blog

OSHA: More Than Just a Lunchroom Poster

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Jun 10, 2021 @ 03:26 PM

Many durable medical equipment company employees equate “OSHA” with those plasticized posters typically hung in a breakroom or kitchen in the organization. Training requirements by both accreditation standards and OSHA itself have gone a long way to educating employees about the various OSHA mandated requirements and led to a better understanding of OSHA. This in turn has led to better adherence to the rules and regulations and ultimately to a safer workplace.

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Topics: Employee Training, HQAA Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Compliance, Avoiding Deficiencies, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Warehouse, Infection Control

Team Building & Your DME

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, May 10, 2021 @ 02:04 PM

I like the analogy that compares an organization’s staff to a sports team. You have a coach (an owner, manager, or supervisor). You have players/team members (the staff). You have a common goal (winning the “game”; game defined as whatever your goal is—be it increasing sales, improving some process, or achieving better customer satisfaction). You have a set of rules (think of the myriad regulations, billing/reimbursements requirements, etc.). And you work toward that shared, common goal together; team members supporting each other to “win.

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Topics: Employee Training

Competency Assessments

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Tue, Apr 06, 2021 @ 09:44 AM

2-2-6-Respiratory

Imagine how hard it would be to adequately assess whether a person could do some specific task (such as teach school, perform surgery, re-wire a house’s electrical system, or build a bridge) without actually observing them doing that task. We hire employees based on applications and resumes, we evaluate their performance in a job by checking their attendance record to insure they show up to work on time, and we monitor a delivery person’s driver’s license or a clinician’s clinical license to make sure they haven’t expired or been revoked. But no tool works as well to assess a person’s ability to do their job as well as actually watching them do their job. Competency assessments are an integral part of the evaluative process and some would say, THE most important part of that process. If you are hiring a marksman for their ability to hit a target, at some point, you’re going to go out into the field and say “Show me what you’ve got!”

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Topics: Employee Training, Renewing Accreditation, HQAA Accreditation, Avoiding Deficiencies, Delivery, Clinical Respiratory Services, Competence, DMEPOS

The NEW Most-Commonly Cited Standards

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Oct 07, 2020 @ 04:09 PM

Surveyors for all the accrediting organizations are back on the road now, surveying up a storm and working to catch up the backlog of new customers and ongoing customers who were scheduled for survey in that March to July 2020 time period. It’s good to be back doing what we love, even with some accommodations and new processes in place.

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Topics: Employee Training, Renewing Accreditation, HME Accreditation Requirements, Avoiding Deficiencies, Competence, Surveys

Are You Ready to Re-Open?

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Mon, Jul 13, 2020 @ 10:55 AM

Because of the nature of our work, the durable medical equipment industry did not close our doors, shelter in place, or shut down for the Covid-19 Pandemic. We did, however, change the way we do business in many ways. Some of these changes will undoubtedly get back to normal as our nation and the world climb out of the pandemic. And of course, many of these changes will become the “new normal” and are destined to remain changed forever. At the time this blog article is being written, HQAA is carefully monitoring the industry as well as law and regulation and CMS policy to determine how accreditation surveys will be performed in both the short and long term. More on that in the weeks to come.

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Topics: Employee Training, HIPAA, HME Accreditation Requirements, Patient File Requirements, Materials Management, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Oxygen, Warehouse, Customer Service, Business Practices, Marketing, Infection Control

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

Customer Complaints Can Be a ‘Good Thing’

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 @ 08:32 AM

Nobody wants to have a customer complain about any aspect of their business.  Complaints are negative feedback, indicative of an unhappy customer, and generally a bad thing.  They can be harsh or mild, constructive or destructive, fair or unfair, deserved or not deserved.  But at the core of any customer complaint, there is feedback about a customer experience, or at least their perception of that experience.  And this information and feedback can be a treasure trove of information to use to improve the customer experience, your internal processes, and how your organization does business. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Quality Improvement, HME Accreditation Requirements, Process Improvement, Complaint Process, Customer Service, Business Practices

Effective ‘Onboarding’ & Improving Employee Retention Rates

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 01:21 PM

Statistics vary, but a general rule of thumb is that 35-45% of all new employees will leave the company that hires them within two years.  One piece of the data that is consistent is that the rule of thumb applies to all industries and sectors, high wage earners and workers making minimum wage, young and old, male and female.  That statistic should stun managers, supervisors, and business owners and should serve as a “call to arms” encouraging companies to study how they hire and orient new employees to their jobs. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Quality Improvement, Process Improvement, Competence, Business Practices

Staffing Issues & Summer Vacations

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Thu, Jun 06, 2019 @ 10:00 AM

Memorial Day Weekend, the end of the kid’s school year, or the first day of June all mark the beginning of summer for most of us.  Sure, scientists will tell you that summer begins with Summer Solstice, around June 21st, the day the Sun is the farthest north; but we all start our summer season based on man-made demarcations and arbitrary dates and times.  For many of us, summer means swimming pools, picnics, a long break from school, and of course, summer vacations. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Showroom, Retail, Delivery, Customer Service, Business Practices

Personnel File Audits

Posted by Steve DeGenaro on Wed, Feb 06, 2019 @ 03:58 PM

I remember filling out paperwork for the first formal job I ever had – a dishwasher and busboy for a restaurant.  Some family friends owned the restaurant, so the paperwork was a formality.  I remember that it included an application and some kind of a note from my parents since I was under 16 years of age.  I didn’t have a driver’s license or a passport, so it’s anybody’s guess what I used for identification or if they even asked for it.  I also remember that the simple paperwork seemed intrusive and complicated. 

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Topics: Employee Training, Personnel Files, HQAA Accreditation