When it comes to running a homecare business—whether a licensed home health, a Medicare hospice, or a non-skilled homecare agency—getting organized is half the battle. Having a single, easily accessible place for team members to go for the answers they need is ideal. A well-written manual covering your agency’s policies and procedures is crucial to the continued growth of all types of homecare organizations.
Quiz to Take Before Creating Policies and Procedures
Many agency owners attempt to create their own policies and procedures manuals, or have staff members create them. Depending on your situation, this could be disastrous. Before going down the rabbit hole of this overwhelming time and money stealer, take this ten question quiz.
1. Do you have a clear understanding of how to communicate with your staff?
Employee standards, whether part of your policies and procedures manual or as a separate employee handbook, must be written clearly and with no room for interpretation. Things you include or fail to include may lead to miscommunication, a lack of compliance, or even legal action.
2. Are you always in the know about federal and state regulations?
It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the ever-evolving regulations that both your state and the federal government impose on homecare agencies. What’s worse is that regulations differ depending on the type of organization or skill level of your staff. For example, do you provided skilled or non-skilled care? Accept Medicare or Medicaid clients? Many factors play a role in determining policy and procedure requirements.
3. Do you have the tools necessary to make manuals readily available?
What good is a fabulous updated manual if it can’t be assessed? Each employee must be able to easily look up policies and procedures from any care location. And as home care industry trends and stipulations change, you’ll want to be able to quickly update your manual electronically without hassle.
4. Can all guidelines regarding client care be remembered?
No one is able to recite every client care practice, rule or regulation that needs to be followed. Confident staff members know how to find what they need from reliable updated policies and procedures. Following these guidelines ensures your agency remains in compliance and out of trouble.
5. Do your employees understand what is expected of them?
When faced with a challenging employee situation, such as a dress code violation or overstepping boundaries with a client, you must have a reliable resource outlining consequences. A comprehensive employee handbook will contain HR policies and procedures and serve as that resource.
6. How often do you review and update accreditation standards?
If your organization is accredited or seeking accreditation, your manual needs to be regularly updated with changing accreditation requirements. But, like most entrepreneurs, you’re likely bombarded with enough daily tasks to prevent you from staying on top of these updates.
7. Do you have extra time to devote to creating and updating your manual?
Writing and updating a manual takes time and experience, if you want to get it right. It must be personalized for your agency and incorporate federal, state and accreditation standards. Because of the different details for each type of homecare organization, do you have spare time to reinvent the policies and procedures wheel?
8. Do you have sufficient staff to cover client care?
If you don’t have the time or knowledge to write policies and procedures, is there a staff member who can take on the challenge? Keep in mind that taking caregivers away from their daily responsibilities means you’ll need additional staff to pick up the slack.
9. How skilled are you with design?
No, you aren’t competing for a graphic design award, but getting the layout of your manual right is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. A poorly designed manual appears unprofessional and hard for staff to navigate.
10. Are you a naturally organized person?
Some people are born to organize. The office label maker is their best friend. But if that’s not you, it may be time to outsource your policies and procedures needs.
Kenyon HomeCare Consulting’s Policies and Procedures
If you weren’t happy with your answers to any of these quiz questions, don’t fret! At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we can meet all of your policy and procedure manual needs. Contact us or visit Kenyon Marketplace to learn more.