Ever had a day where nothing went the way you thought it would when you woke up? Your favorite shirt you wanted to wear is dirty, your car is on empty, and you’re running late to the office? In the hospital where you work, it happens, too, when one day you are faced with the challenges of an unexpected visitor, an auditor or surveyor waiting for you to answer all their questions.
The surveyor asks you to discuss your operational processes and provide all the necessary documentation for audit purposes to demonstrate health care regulatory compliance and maintain licensure or accreditation status. What happens to your stress levels when the accreditation organization or state regulatory personnel make an unannounced visit to your organization to perform an operational and clinical audit?
If you’re like most managers, you are tasked with daily challenges of overseeing clinical activities and driving operational functions to make them run smoothly. Maintaining health care organizational transparency, process implementations, and continuous process improvement, all while focusing on change management and employee engagement can be taxing for anyone.
Maintaining centralized document management in healthcare is a necessity if you want to get through an audit. In most businesses, many people keep various copies of policies, procedures, and guidelines. Some of those policies have been updated, some are outdated and are still in hard copy filed in a reference binder, and some are somewhere in the computer system that you can’t seem to locate at the moment.
Centralized Knowledge Hub
A manager who is unable to locate a relevant document can be viewed as incompetent and disorganized by surveyors during the accreditation process. Do you ever contemplate how to improve your organization’s document management system? Like most workplace cultures, if you’re the experienced manager, you may find yourself saying, “That policy has been updated. We actually do that process this way now."
Ask yourself how a new employee would be made aware of new policies. You might feel confident that everyone who works there, “just knows.” But this practice is unsafe and therefore a mistake. Employees must have these pieces of information readily accessible to them should the need arise because failure to abide by organizational policies can lead to legal sanctions for the employee and the institution made liable, too.
Having an electronic centralized knowledge hub is the answer to a manager's need to disseminate information and have them readily available anytime for access. Furthermore, communication among a team within an organization could be improved significantly with a centralized database of up-to-date policies and procedures, which employees could easily reach by just logging into the database as needed.
Not only would this improve employee compliance with organizational processes and requirements, but it could effectively promote patient safety as well as consistency in care delivery.
The accessibility of information also clarifies the employees’ accountability for their actions as guided by the policies. Updating critical organizational documents would be much easier and likely sustainable with updates. It also reduces the pressures of maintaining compliance for accreditation such as HIPAA compliance audits.
According to an article, it’s just a matter of time before these inspections take place. In a survey, 18% of the respondents stated that they would rather undergo a root canal procedure than go through a compliance audit. Indeed, HIPAA audits can make organizations nervous.
Operating an organization without fundamental documentation is not possible. Even healthcare employee development requires that their details be recorded. If documentation can’t be avoided, why not make the process of managing all the critical documents effortless?
Organized documentation is vital to operating a successful business. Should you determine that your institution needs help in this area, ManageUp can introduce you to its platform that has been proven to work for clients like you.
Snell, E. (2015, June 29). Healthcare not only industry nervous about compliance audits.