Seattle, WA, January 30, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday business, especially when your agency is trying to manage issues with internal operations, finances, staff, and clients. These challenges can cause you to overlook changes that need to be made to your home care manual’s policies and procedures.
How often do your staff members ask you how to handle a particular situation? Do you find employees using inefficient or non-compliant techniques? Even seemingly small errors can cost your agency—or worse, close your doors—so it’s important to have the right polices and procedures in place to guide your staff.
The Basics of Home Care Manuals
Every home care agency needs a policy and procedure manual. Your manual addresses everything from compliance requirements to client care to training processes. It essentially outlines every policy you must follow and defines procedures for every possible situation. A well-written home care manual provides direction and keeps your agency compliant with state and federal regulations. Not having a manual puts your agency at significant risk.
You need to make sure your policy and procedure manual is accessible by all staff. If you have a large agency, consider making a digital version available so that staff members can access it whenever the need arises.
Updating Your Manual
You should update your home care manual on an annual basis. Once it is updated, make sure all old versions are removed from circulation, and put the date of the revision on the manual itself so employees know they’re reading the latest edition. If an update occurs, broadcast the changes to all staff members. If the file is digital, send a copy or a link to the updated information so employees have direct access.
Reviewing Your Home Care Manual
While you should update your policy and procedure manual every year, you should review it much more frequently. Review any issues that occur in your agency on a weekly and monthly basis, and see if there are any ongoing trends. This can provide you with insight into current policies that need improvement and new policies that need to be created.
For example, you may see that members of your field staff aren’t contacting a physician for interim orders after opening a case, or they aren’t following visiting orders. Maybe billing staff members aren’t completing pre-billing audits, or intake staff isn’t checking the common working file to make sure clients are not already receiving care from another provider.
These types of critical errors need policies and procedures to be created immediately. Develop the proper course of action and let staff know about the issue you discovered. Then broadcast the resulting policy change throughout your building and in email communications.
Sharing Your Home Care Manual
Employees who have been with you for a while may rarely review your agency’s policy and procedure manual. To keep everyone up-to-date, consider highlighting critical policies on a weekly basis. Choose one policy each week and either include it in an email, add it to a newsletter, or write a blog for employees to review. This will keep them more involved and help ensure compliance across your agency.
Having a well-written home care manual is the first step in organizing your agency for success. If you need assistance creating your policy and procedure manual, contact the home health experts at Kenyon HomeCare Consulting by visiting www.KenyonHCC.com. We can help draft a manual that is aligned with your goals and compliant with state and federal regulations.
You can also visit Kenyon HomeCare Consulting's Marketplace (http://www.kenyonhcc.com/marketplace) to download a comprehensive policy and procedure manual that can be easily customized to suit your needs. We have manuals for every type of home care, home health, and hospice agency.
About Kenyon HomeCare Consulting
Kenyon HomeCare Consulting gives you a market advantage, promotes creative product development, and offers viable ways to achieve and sustain organizational and fiscal success. Through thoughtful development of customized, comprehensive solutions and hands-on assessments, we develop unique plans of action that allow you to achieve your goals and sustain success. Visit www.KenyonHCC.com or call 206.721.5091 to learn more about Kenyon HomeCare Consulting.