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The Basis Of A Good Policy And Procedure Manual Is Making It Clear, Easy To Follow, And Accurate! Is Yours All Three?

policy and procedure manualWith home care regulations changing so frequently, having an updated policy and procedure manual is very important. In fact, if you are not evaluating the accuracy of your manual routinely, it probably isn’t up-to-date. This is a compliance and operational problem for agencies.

A Policy And Procedure Manual In The Past:

Manuals used to be something to tweak related to internal operations. You added a new position or employee benefits and changed your manual with it.  The policy and procedure manual didn’t require complexity. If you think this is how your manual is today, then it definitely needs to change.

And Today:

Your policy and procedure manual requires routine changes. Outdated manuals set you up for deficiency before your survey gets started. The industry faced so many changes with the new COPs and Emergency Preparedness. You thought you could take a breather. Then, CMS dropped the final rule at the end of October.  Whether you are dealing with the Review Choice Demonstration or trying to wrap your head around the PDGM, it is a lot.

So, How Do You Start?:

Where you start often depends on how old the majority of your policies are.  The more outdated, the more overhwelming, time-consuming, and costly it is .So, you need a manual that is easy to edit and doesn’t seem like a never-ending maze. Consider purchasing a Medicare Ready or Accreditation Ready Manual that allows for easy updating to make the manual specific to your staff and organization. It should be something you can download and edit directly at anytime. Make the manual available online for employees on an intrasite so all can easily see changes when the occur. A manual that only requires updates to your current agency allows you to focus on all the other changes.

We Have Many Manuals To Help You Get Compliant:

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we have Medicare and accreditation ready manuals for CHAP and ACHC to get you up-to-date. They require changes only to what personalizes your organizational policy. It makes a big difference when you start with a manual updated with all the current regulations and COPS.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online if you would like to speak about our downloadable manuals. They are available directly from the website. Let us make your way to compliance a little easier.

What’s In A Name? Does Your Policy And Procedure Manual Mean Different Things To Different Employees? Make It Easy And Straighforward. It Should Be An Easy To Follow Road Map And Not A Never-Ending Maze!

Lost-Very LostThere is a lot of focus on home care changes in the last several years. COP changes, the new pre-claim review, EMR intergration etc.  However, all these changes occur around what appears to be a stagnant policy and procedure manual.  As much as your day-to-day operations change, your manual should reflect the same. Most of the time, this is not the case. Let’s discuss how to make your manual a tool and not a potential hindrance.

What’s In A Good Policy And Procedure Manual?:

This is important.  If you do not know the integral pieces, then they are often missed. The first step begins with a full review of what you currently have in place.  Then, let’s look at 5 key areas that need to have ongoing updates in your policy and procedure manual.

  • Regulatory Changes: This is not just a copy and paste of CMS or state regulation. It also means that your agency needs to understand and be able to communicate how the regulation has been implemented.
  • Organizational Chart: Sometimes, agencies will have the same organizational chart on the manual, but certain positions no longer exist in the business. It is also common for changes to the name of a position, but no change to the org chart, which puts you at risk for survey citation.
  • Job Descriptions: Make sure your job descriptions depict what your staff are really responsible to do.  This makes accountability easier and eliminates questions as to what role the employee plays.
  • Performance Evaluations: Your evals should mirror exactly what the job description says. However, this is often not the case.  If the employer wishes to address accountability or reward performance, then the eval tool must be clear. If not, then it also becomes difficult to evaluate all employees objectively.  This can be a problem for you as an employer. The “yardstick” by which staff are graded cannot change lengths for an arbitrary or vague rule book.  Employees need a clear guideline for expectations.
  • Clinical Procedures: Are staff taught clinical operations according to clinical procedure and best practice? This is very important.  For example: many procedure manuals have outdated policies on wound care priniciples. Do you still see wet-to-dry dressings part of best practice in your agency? If so, then you are definitely in need of updating. Look specifically to those with expertise in the field to update your clinical policies as needed. Employees need clear clinical policies to guide practice in the field.

We Can Help!:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have Medicare accreditation ready manuals available on the website under Kenyon Marketplace. Whether you need private duty or a skilled policy and procedure manual, you can find it there for download. It has the abaility for you to edit anything you need specific to your state and your agency.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online with any questions.

A Policy And Procedure Manual Is Much More Important Than What You Realize. Why Updating It In A Regular Basis Is Like Putting The Car In The Shop To Make Sure It Runs Like A Well-Oiled Machine.

policy and procedure manualYour policy and procedure manual is something that needs attention to be functional.  This should not be new information. But, looking at your manual with objective fresh eyes may be.  Let’s look at some things you may overlook in updating your manual, especially in the clinical realm.

Job Descriptions:

When you look at your policy and procedure manual, when was the last time you tweaked job descriptions? If you pull the one for your nurses, then you may see the same thing that has been there for years.  Well, think about that for a second. Is the job of the the RN in home health the same as it was 10 years ago? Absolutely not.  Although basic requirements remain, the day-to-day is very different. EMRs, ACOs, Value Based Purchasing and regulatory changes all make what your nurses must do today very different than the past. If you think about the job description today, it needs to match the performance requirements that go along with it.

Performance Evaluations:

As you work very hard for your agency, you want the same type of commitment from your staff.  Outdated performance evaluations don’t give you or the employees the feedback needed to be useful. Make your job descriptions clear and thorough to allow your evals to truly paint the picture of performance. Doing so allows you to address performance issues as well as commend employees when things have been done over and above the call of duty. If your agency provides performance bonuses, it is important to make the process consistent. This is difficult to do if evals don’t clearly define performance measures.  Evaluations should have a range for performance.  An exceeds, meets, or needs improvement scale doesn’t give you the flexibility of defining performance.  A 1-5 scale or something of the like gives the employer a better system for evaluation.

Clincal Procedures:

These are very important when you look at day-to-day operations. Do your current policies incorporate best practices? Do you know? A good example is wound care. Some manuals show policies that do not show up-to-date moist wound healing principles. These are all things to consider when updating clinical policies. With advancements in technology and product selection, an outdated manual may not even list particluar classes of product that are useful today. If your policy and procedure manual doesn’t distinguish the difference in care of a surgical wound versus a stasis ulcer, if isn’t useful to care. It also creates compliance issues.

Let Us Help Update You Manual:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, policy and procedure manuals are available directly on-site for download at the Kenyon Marketplace. There are accreditation ready manuals for both home health and private duty. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to learn more.

What’s In Your Policy And Procedure Manual? Is It The Nuts And Bolts Of Your Business? Why Or Why Not?

policy and procedure manualsPolicy and Procedure Manuals may be something you don’t think about in your day-to-day operation.  You run your business making decisions everyday. Maybe the idea of your manual is just for procedures and not about personnel management or development of a smooth running agency.  Let’s make sure you see the value of updated policy and procedure manuals.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

If you think about your policy and procedure manuals, then there are a few things to consider.  Ask yourself these things:

  • How Often Do You REALLY review policy?
  • How Often Do You Refer To Your Manuals In Day-To-Day Practice?
  • What Is Staff Perception Of The Policy And Procedure Manuals? Do You Know?
  • Is Your Manual Up To Date?

Problems With Policy And Procedure Manuals:

Too often, agencies do not use manuals in a way that helps to run the business.  If you are an agency that does, then that is super.  If your policy and procedure manuals are not used in a functional way, then decisions are not uniformly made throughout the agency.  Outdated manuals lead to issues with regulatory compliance and personnel management. If you do not refer to your manuals routinely, then your manual isn’t what it needs to be.  You need to have something that all employees refer to from administration down to line staff.

Making It Your Nuts And Bolts:

First and foremost, update your manual.  Agencies often work from outdated policies that have not been adhered to for years. Employees need to have a manual that functions as reference material. If it isn’t reference material, then mistakes are made. Surveyors look closely at policy manuals. Policy and Procedure manuals need  to be useful. If employees don’t know it is your agency bible for decision making, then your manual becomes a weakness as opposed to a strength.

Let Us Help You With New Policy And Procedure Manuals:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have policy and procedure manuals available for purchase online. There are home care, home health, and hospice manuals.  We also have updated manuals with accreditation policies in place as well.  They are easy to edit and add anything particular to your agency as you see fit.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help your agency run smoother with updated manuals. If we can help, then we would love to do it.

Do You And Your Staff Follow Policy And Procedures? Maybe The Better Question Is, Do You Really Know What Your Policy And Procedure Manuals Say? It Should Really Be The Right Hand Of Your Decision Making!

Successful ToolsSo, in your home care agency, do you ever feel like the right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing? Do your managers know how things should be handled with personnel? Well, if the answers are yes and no respectively, then you need a better understanding of your policy and procedure manuals. Let’s look at why your manual should be the icing on the top of your home care cake.

Make It A True Management Tool:

Most employees do not see a policy and procedure manual the same way management does.  So, when you have line staff promoted to management, this may be a big shift. Teach your clinical managers how to utilize policy to make effective and consistent decisions. It provides guidance and a way to assist them on a routine basis.  If your agency has multiple locations with multiple managers, it keeps all staff working by the same set of guidelines.

Once, a home care partner stated to me, “You take your best clinicians and give them supervisor jobs”. In thinking about that, it makes perfect sense. Those who are the best nurses should be promoted and move forward.  However, this doesn’t mean that they know how to be a great leader in a management role.  You should instruct your nursing supervisors on how to effectively use the manual. It should be a tool that makes decision-making easier. If it isn’t, then you should look at whether you need a new one.

Clarity For Staff:

If your policy and procedure manuals clearly define your operations, then there is nothing staff can’t understand.Vague policies will always cause a problem in personnel management.  This becomes really important in the case of reimbursement and benefits. Doing so prevents arguments or disgruntled employees. This is really important to prevent grievances or employee turnover.  Employees should be instructed on the importance of the manual at time of hire.  Refer them to the personnel policies and all things that pertain to day-to-day operations.  Having manuals that are outdated and irrelevant sets you, the employer, up for problems.

When Is The Policy Manual A Problem:

This is simple.  Policy and procedure manuals are a problem if unused or outdated. In these cases, decision making can be often be made by what each manager or nursing supervisor thinks is right.  Conjecture is not appropriate where policy is concerned.  If you think this happens in your agency, then think about a new manual. This way, you have all the updated regulations for Medicare as well as and accrediting body.

We Can Help You Start Anew:

If you need new policy and procedure manuals, then Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to speak to a senior consultant.  See Kenyon Marketplace to download your new policy and procedure manuals today.  You only need to edit what you want to change!

Is Your Policy And Procedure Manual Really Useable for Your Home Care Agency? If You Are Not Ultilizing It In Day-To-Day Operations, Then Probably Not. Make Your Manual A Living Breathing Document And Functional For You!

Many people see a policy and procedure manual as being a document collecting dust on a shelf.  Or, maybe it is something that is kept just for when survey time comes.  If this is the case, then you miss the overall purpose of the manual in the first place.  Let’s look at why the document needs to be a living and breathing thing that changes with your agency.

4 Reasons An Updated Policy And Procedure Manual Is So Important:

There are so many ways an updated manual can become a functional part of your day-to-day.  If it isn’t, then you face issues with compliance to regulations, labor laws, and personnel management. Let’s look at these 4 reasons why:

  • Regulatory Compliance: As regulation on both state and federal levels change, outdated policy can interfere with the survey process and cause deficiencies for your agency. You may be doing things properly, but if the manual is not updated, you aren’t following policy.
  • Personnel Issues: Your policy and procedure manuals should be something any employee can refer to at any time.  All supervisory staff should refer to manuals whenever a personnel issue arises. Then, there is no question as how to handle the issue. Your supervisory staff will have policy to address directly with the staff member.  Being able to see it in writing makes things much easier for those addressing personnel issues.
  • Hiring Process: From a Human Resource standpoint, making sure everyone completes the same process is vital. If you are the only one that does hiring in your agency, then you may not see it as an issue. But, where multiple branches or lines of service are present, many people will complete the process. Background checks, drug screening, and interview processes need completed uniformly.
  • Reimbursement/ Disbursement: Things like mileage and uniform allowances need spelled out within your agency. If not, you will pay for something that was not intended for reimbusement.  Or, if things are too vague, an employee may think he is due more reimbursement. This can cause the employee to be disgruntled or feel misled. A clear and functional policy will minimize any confusion.

Let Us Help With Functional A Functional Policy And Procedure Manual:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for all lines of business.  Whether you need home health, private duty, or hospice, we can help with manuals for Medicare as well as CHAP, JCO, and ACHC. Call us at 206-721-5091 or see Kenyon Marketplace to order any manual.

How Updated Is Your Home Care Policy And Procedure Manual? You Need To Consider Getting A New One Instead Of Trying To Fix The Old One. Save Yourself Headaches, Time, And Money!

Home Care policy manualsOne thing you know for sure in today’s world of home care, it will continue to change.  If it isn’t regulatory changes of practice, then it is labor laws or something else that you have to do.  It is really clear today that an updated home care policy and procedure manual is vital to backing up operations and passing your survey!

Why Not Just Fix The Old One?:

A truly workable policy and procedure manual can be so helpful in day-to-day operations.  If you are an agency that functions without really referring to your manuals, then it is probably really outdated! Here are 5 reasons you should just get a new one as opposed to fixing the old.

  • Up-To-Date Regulations: Whether you work with an accrediting body or not, purchased manuals always have all the updated regulations. You can get manuals specific to your accrediting body so you have minimal changes.
  • Less Time-Consuming: If you are working from an old manual, it becomes quite difficult to do every policy and make sure everything is there.  It takes a lot of staff time and you are not sure everything is there.  It is not uncommon to see home health policy and procedure manuals that have not been updated in 10 years.
  • More Cost-Effective: It becomes very costly for agencies to allow staff to spend the time it takes to update a complete policy and procedure manual.  Doing so includes high cost staff in operations, clinical management, and administration.  A manual that only has to be tweaked is much cheaper in the long run.
  • Eliminates Null Policies: As previously noted, old policy manuals may have policies that you have not followed for years.  Getting a new manual allows you to only add what is pertinient now.  This will help you when it comes to compliance and allow you to add and subtract from job descriptions and roles where it makes sense.
  • Better Compliance For Survey: If you work from an updated home care policy and procedure manual, you are better prepared for survey. You don’t have to worry about deficiencies because of manuals.

We Can Provide An Updated Home Care Policy And Procedure Manual:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have updated policy and procedure manuals for home health, private duty, and hospice.  We also have manuals specific to JCO, ACHC, and CHAP.  Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30 minute consultation.  Let us help you get your Homemanuals ready! Our manuals are ready for purchase from the website.

Save Time And Money Creating Your Own Customized Homecare Manuals And Updates

Running a homecare organization is no easy task! The process of keeping your agency running smoothly can quickly become overwhelming. In the throes of your day-to-day responsibilities, you may even consider it insanity. Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of tunnel—at least when it comes to customized homecare manuals.

Cost of Creating Your Own Customized Manuals

Customized Homecare Manuals

Time is money don’t go waisting time, isolated clock with money time icon

Customized manuals are crucial to the success of your homecare agency. In these manuals, you find all the information necessary to maintain your organization’s integrity, remain in legal compliance, keep employees on track and so much more.

Writing your own manuals is an overwhelming task, one that is best left to manual experts. Otherwise, you simply add to the insanity of your daily routine.

The Time Aspect

Research has found that it takes approximately 300 hours (otherwise known as six 40-hour work weeks) to create a typical homecare manual from scratch. As crazy as that amount of time sounds, it doesn’t even include other important factors, such as:

  • Researching what to include;
  • Designing the template and content structure;
  • Incorporating accreditation standards;
  • Adding state-specific standards.

In all that time, you or whichever management-level employee you hand the task to, should be performing numerous other tasks that will help grow your business. Here are some ideas of better ways to allocate your time:

  • Investigating and developing ways to branch into additional services
  • Focusing on approaches to increase referrals
  • Finding new marketing avenues
  • Researching what competitors are doing better than you
  • Educating employees to create an elite staff
  • Attending home visits with staff
  • Evaluating goals and creating new ones
  • Brainstorming ways to improve your daily operations

The Money Aspect

Time is money, right? So, just to give you an idea of the kind of resources you’d be spending by creating your own manuals from scratch, we did the math.

At $25 an hour, a respectable wage for a leadership role in your agency, you would pay someone roughly $7500 to write a compliant manual. And, as we mentioned above, this doesn’t even include the preliminary research time, or regular updating once the manual is complete. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change. Think of all the ways you could spend that money to further improve your organization!

Peace-of-Mind Benefits of Purchasing Customized Manuals

Instead of driving yourself more insane by creating your own homecare manuals, consider purchasing customized manuals from an industry expert. Doing so helps you maintain peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what’s most important. Here’s how.

  • Purchasing customized manuals helps you stay organized and up to date.
  • Know your staff’s time is being spent in the most productive ways possible.
  • Customized manuals are effective and accurate, allowing you to rest assured that nothing important is missing.
  • Custom designed by knowledgeable experts to include necessary requirements for your state and specific agency type.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, be sure your customized manuals are electronic making them easy to access, maintain and update. This alleviates the stress of overhauling and reprinting your manual every time a regulation changes.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting’s Customized Manuals

Whatever your needs, Kenyon HomeCare Consulting has a manual for you! Our manuals follow best practices, are easily customizable, are accreditation ready and simple to update. So, we offer something for everyone! Simply click on a title below to learn more about how we can meet your specific needs.

In addition to these manuals, we offer many other services—ICD-10 Coding Plus, Chronic Disease University, Interim Management, numerous consulting services— to help your agency thrive. Reach out to us today to get started!

How To Spend The Time You Save When Purchasing Made To Order Manuals

Time is money, especially when you run or manage a home care organization. Every minute spent on a mundane task is one that could’ve been spent growing your client base or educating your team members.

One such task is that of writing manuals. From policy and procedure manuals to employee handbooks and more, creating the manuals your agency needs takes significant time and effort—not to mention the resources required for keeping your manuals current.

Made To Order Manuals

The Benefits of Made to Order Manuals

Instead of writing your own manuals from scratch, consider purchasing custom homecare manuals. With these documents, everything you need is already included, and you can customize them even further to meet the specifications of your agency.

Here are a few other reasons to consider premade manuals:

  • They’re electronic and easy to access, meaning changes are no problem.
  • They include the necessary elements for your specific agency type and area.
  • All the necessary research is done for you.
  • Choosing made to order manuals saves you and your staff time.

Saving Time with Made to Order Manuals

We’re all looking for ways to save time, right? In business, routine chores, in every aspect of our lives. Saved time means more chances to focus on the things that are most important to you.

Here are some ideas we have about how to spend all that time you’ll save after purchasing made to order manuals.

1. Work on goals and strategies for 2017.

Planning for success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to come up with realistic goals and develop ways to meet those goals.

2. Visit with clients.

Spending time with clients is an excellent way to use the time you otherwise would’ve spent working on manuals. It allows you to gauge how your services are working, how client lives could be improved, and what other services they would find useful.

3. Contact referral sources.

It’s important to nurture the relationships you’ve developed with professional referral sources. Showing them appreciation and listening to their needs ensures they will continue to trust you with their patients.

4. Strengthen your staff.

Helping your team members succeed is always time well spent. Observe, listen to (and address) their concerns, and then find ways to show your appreciation for the work they do. Consider singling out employees who go above and beyond.

5. Perform a competitor analysis.

Take this time to research what other homecare providers in your area are doing that might work for your agency as well. This is a crucial part of staying one step ahead of the competition.

6. Find ways to partner with other professionals in your area.

Working with other homecare agencies that don’t provide what you offer or other business types with services that may benefit your clients, is an effective way to become active in your community, while simultaneously growing your organization.

Reach out to these companies to brainstorm ways you can help each other.

7. Evaluate your marketing strategies.

Continuous growth means continuous marketing. With a constantly evolving society, you can’t expect to use the same marketing methods that worked five years ago. Dedicate a bit of time to creating new, innovative ways to promote your agency.

8. Work on yourself.

We often push our personal needs to the bottom of our to-do lists, but this isn’t healthy. The time you save by purchasing customized manuals can be dedicated—at least in part—to improving yourself.

Enjoy friends and family, take up a hobby, and put those 2017 New Year’s resolutions into practice.

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Made to Order Manuals

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer seven different types of manuals to meet the needs of seven different types of homecare agencies. Each one is Medicare, OSHA, ACHC, and CHAP compliant, and our professional consultants are able to incorporate state-specific requirements into any manual.

Additionally, our made to order homecare manuals are up to date, with yearly updates available for purchase. They’re also electronic, allowing you to modify policies to match your organization’s specific culture.

When you’re ready to get started with customizable, made to order homecare manuals, give us a call.


What Resources Are Saved When Outsourcing Your Policy Manuals?

Writing your own policy manuals may sound like a good idea at first, but the process can quickly become daunting and all consuming. What you thought would be a simple task turns into a project that expands to take over your entire work life.

Saving Resources by Outsourcing Policy Manuals

What’s the solution to the policy manual conundrum? Outsourcing the writing and creation of your homecare policy manuals. Maybe you’ve never considered this option because you assumed it would be too costly. On the contrary, outsourcing the task of writing your policy manuals actually preserves your resources.Policy Manuals

Take a look at these five resources you’ll save when you choose to purchase customized manuals.

1. Time

Time is something we never seem to have enough of, whether at home or at work. There are many productive ways to spend your time—growing your agency’s client base or mentoring staff, for example. But writing, formatting and incorporating state requirements hour after hour should not be on your to do list.

Outsourcing your manual writing (to buy ready-made customizable manuals) is more efficient than attempting to create these documents from scratch. It keeps you from spending time researching to be sure you are compliant and integrating accreditation standards.

2. Money

Surprisingly, purchasing customizable home care manuals from a trusted professional is less expensive in the long-run, than creating your own. This is because of the time you save (we all know time is money) as well as the materials required to draft the manuals. The costs keep adding up when reprinting as errors are found and keeping them up to date as industry legal regulations change.

3. Staff

If you’re like many business owners, each team member plays a vital role in the operation of your agency. Sparing one or two employees to work on policy manuals often leads to strain on your everyday processes—not to mention overworked staff that may lead to a higher turnover rate.

Outsourcing your policy manuals means freeing staff members up to do what they were trained to do and what they do best: care for your clients and manage your office.

4. Office Supplies

Writing your own policy manuals requires using your own materials. Think about the supply costs of paper, ink, binders, paperclips, etc. And double or triple that if you need the added benefit of multiple paper versions for your staffs’ easy access.

Consider this expense as well. When writing policy manuals yourself, it’s very likely you’ll print multiple versions as you find and correct mistakes and make necessary updates.

5. Computer & Software Space

Even if you decide to keep one final master print or electronic copy of your manuals, think about the amount of digital space you’ll need. Space for saving research, outlines and notes for months as complete your manuals. When you outsource your manual projects, you save time, money, overworked and overwhelmed staff, office supplies as well as valuable digital space.

Outsourcing Policy Manuals with Kenyon HomeCare Consulting

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we offer six specific homecare manuals for every type of agency. Our manuals are written by experienced experts, are compliant with Medicare CoPs and current CHAP and ACHC accreditation standards. Additionally, all manuals are easily customizable, and we can incorporate any specific state regulations.

Also check out our employee handbooks, aide competency testing kits, and skilled and non-skilled homecare forms.

Reach out to us today for more information. We are here to help you succeed!