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Policy And Procedure Manuals

A Great Policy And Procedure Manual: Why It Can Be A Best Friend In Human Resources!

policy and procedure manualWhen administration talks about tough parts of the job, it often isn’t regulation.  The most time-consuming portion is personnel. Right? Well, here is the perfect reason why a great policy and procedure manual can make things a whole lot easier to manage.

Compliance:

Whether accredited or not, compliance to regulations is key. You need a policy and procedure manual that shows that your agency follows and addresses all federal and state regulations. If you have already been through survey, then you know how important your manual is.  If you are a new start-up agency, you need to understand that your policy and procedure manual is not something to sit on a shelf. It needs to be functional and relevant to your daily activity.

Personnel:

As business owners, you know how huge this category is. You have to think about labor laws, wages, reimbursement, benefits, etc. It can be overwhelming. However, it is so important nonetheless. Any human resources manager will rely heavily on the policy and procedure manual to guide operations. Depending how your agency is structured, you may have multiple branch managers who are administrators for their own branch. It is important for human resources to guide these branch managers to follow policy in local operations too. A great policy and procedure manual provides consistency and clarification. This is both for employees and supervisors.

Employee Appraisals:

Make this a teaching tool for both positive work and constructive criticism. As an administrator, it is difficult to address serious performance concerns when you only see glowing appraisals. If your appraisals are not set up well, then you defeat your purpose. Do you address the things you need to address? Or, maybe the supervisor has a difficult time using the appraisal as a constructive tool. Either way, an appraisal is both a teaching tool and a way to commend a job well done.

We Have Policy And Procedure Manuals:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have online manuals for all lines of service including accreditation. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation to see if your manual does what it should.

You Bought A Policy And Procedure Manual And Still Got Cited On Survey? Yuck! Here Is The Way To Make Sure That Never Happens!

You made the investment for a survey-ready manual. That really is fantastic. But then, your policy and procedure manual got cited on survey. Did you feel cheated? Do you understand why? Well, here is why and how to make sure you prevent it in the future. 

Why Did You Get Cited? 

In entering agencies, we often see a purchased manual with nothing specific to the agency itself. This is something a surveyor will see. Any manual needs edited. You should never purchase one that does not allow you to customize the policies. This is cardinal rule number one! It should also be easy to customize. Make sure you know what you are buying. Online manuals comply with all regulations specific to what you purchased. You can find a policy and procedure manual for all lines of service and accreditation ready should you need it. The state level becomes another issue. Unless you find a manual specific to your state, you will need to add specific state rules into the mix. If you aren’t sure, then speak to the vendor prior to purchasing your manual. 

Take Out What You Don’t Need: 

This means anything that does not apply to your agency. If you don’t adhere to your policy and procedure manual, then you will be cited for it.  If your job descriptions don’t match what your staff does, then change what is necessary. Pull out job roles you don’t have in your organization. Change titles where it is applicable to your organizational chart. 

We Have Manuals And Help With Them: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have an online policy and procedure manual for all service lines and accreditation. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to speak to someone about customizing your manuals. If you do not know if this is the right route for you, we can guide you through which manual makes the most sense and why. 

A Great Policy And Procedure Manual Needs Staff Buy-In. Ask Yourself These Questions To See If You Have It!

policy and procedure manualEvery homecare agency needs a policy and procedure manual. You know that. However, do you have what you need in it? If you don’t know the answer, then you need to look a little closer. Make sure your manual has what it needs to be the tool it was intended to be.  

A Few Questions To Ask Yourself: 

A policy and procedure manual collecting dust isn’t worth the paper and ink you used to print it. So, make sure your investment was worthwhile. Here are some items to determine if your manual is truly functional.  

  • How Easy Is Your Manual To Access?  Your staff is busy. If it is difficult to find or access the information they need, then they probably won’t look. Staff should have easy electronic access. 
  • Are Staff Involved? Does your agency review policies with staff? This has a dual purpose. Not only are you alerting them to changes, but you also receive input. You may decide based upon employee feedback that a policy needs changed. It doesn’t make sense to have a beautifully written manual that no one can follow. 
  • Do You Reference Your Manual In Decision Making? The easiest way to show consistency in how you function is to use the backing of your manual. Whether it is personnel management or clinical procedure, consistently reference the guidance of your manual. 
  • How Often Do You Update Your Manual? Regulations change all the time. Whether it is state or federal law relating to practice or labor, you need to keep it up-to-date. This makes sure you follow the law and keep yourself in the loop to any changes in law.  

Let Us Help You:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have customizable manuals that are compliant for all types of service lines and accreditation. Check out our online templates today. We can also be called at 206-721-5091 or contacted online for further assistance.

Are You Abusing Your Policy And Procedure Manual? Read This to Understand Why Misuse Can Abuse Your Policy. Make Your Policy An Asset Instead Of A Hindrance!

decisionLet’s face it. This is a litigious world. You run your agency the best way you know how. If you make the patient the focus, then you should be good. Right? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Let’s look at ways to make sure you unknowingly don’t “abuse” your policy and procedure manual.  

The “Do Not” Of The Policy And Procedure Manual: 

It is important to avoid landmines in use of your policy and procedure manual. Here are some mistakes agencies make. 

  • Do Not Have A Manual In Pieces: All policies should be together in one place and easily accessable for all employees. Regardless of what type of policy, everyone need to know where to see every policy.  
  • Do Not Make Changes To Suit Every Situation Differently: This is a big one when it comes to employees. You put a policy in place for a reason. So, do not make changes to how you run your agency based on one employee. An employer can get into trouble if one employee is treated differently than another. Consider the employee who has been stellar and makes a policy infraction worthy of termination. If you terminate one and don’t another, you can get yourself into trouble.   
  • Do Not Make Changes Contrary To State And Federal Regulation: This is a common agency mistake. Sometimes, operational changes may make sense for your agency, but make sure regulations don’t get violated in the process.  
  • Do Not Put Your Manual On A Shelf To Collect Dust: The manual needs to be a tool that allows you to run your agency properly. If you don’t use it, then it isn’t a good tool.  The “fly by the seat of your pants” method is stressful and risky for you as an owner. You also need to keep it up to date. This means it needs to be evaluated for efficacy and compliance regularly.  

Ok, My Manual Needs Help: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for all types of home care services. Please call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see if we can help you get the manual you need. All our manuals can be downloaded online and are fully customizable.  

To Purchase Or Not To Purchase? That Is The Million Dollar Policy Manual Question. Now, You Just Need To Make The Decision.

QuestionWhether you are starting a brand-new agency or have been in business for years, you need an up-to-date policy manual. It needs to be useful and effective to help run your business. If you can’t say it is either, you need to look at a new one. 

Do You Write The Policy Manual Yourself? 

If your manual has been kept up-to-date and ultimately just needs a few things added, then doing it yourself may be your best bet. This may be a very easy process if you have been in the industry for a long time. If regulatory compliance is old hat for you, then it may seem easier. In order to make this decision, you may need to “grade” your current manual first. Ask yourself a few things: 

  • Do you clearly communicate with staff? 
  • How often do you review and update? 
  • Is your manual easy to access and update? 
  • How organized are you? 
  • How easy is your policy manual to follow for someone who didn’t write it? 

These affect how well you can write a manual. You can’t be unorganized and unable to communicate well but put out an easy to understand and follow manual. Unfortunately, this happens more than you think. 

Benefits To Purchasing A New Manual: 

Benefits to purchasing an updated manual often outweigh the alternative for business owners. Here are some of the bigger ones. 

  • Saves time 
  • Saves money 
  • Easy to update 
  • Compliance Ready 
  • Can be customized to include state and agency operations 

Now, You Need To Decide: 

If your policy manual is in great shape and you don’t need to consider a new one, then you are good to go. If you aren’t sure, then the answer is to talk with someone about it. At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can evaluate your current manual, help you update it, or get you an up-to-date customizable one. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior associate.

We Purchased A New Policy And Procedure Manual? Now What? What Is Next In The Road Map?

EditIn home care and hospice, having an updated policy and procedure manual is necessary. Whether you are considering a purchase or have already done so, there are some steps to finish the process. Let’s look at what still needs done. 

Add Your State Rules: 

Even though customized manuals have updated regulations for Medicare and accreditation, it doesn’t have your state regs. Unless you buy a manual that has your state accounted for, you must add what is necessary for compliance. You may be able to find manuals specific to your state regs through state associations or consulting agencies contracted to provide them to your state. 

What’s In Your Manual: 

If you purchase a manual, print it and sit it on a shelf, then you miss what you gain. The manual is customizeable for a reason. It allows for easy updates and changes specific to your workflow. You still want to make it easy and clear to follow how your agency complies with specific regulations. This doesn’t mean you need to update everthing in your new policy and procedure manual. It means you will want to customize some. An updated manual saves time and money, but still requires you to add specificity. 

Operation Manuals: 

Customizing your manual is huge in operations. You should have HR involved in what relates to employee procedure. This helps erase ambiguity handling employee benefits and personnel issues. Ambiguity can be difficult to defend in times of both. Workflow, chain of command, job descriptions, and evaluations are all part of a functional manual. Add or subtract what is specific to you from your purchased manual. 

Do You Need To Update Or Customize? 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we offer online policy and procedure manuals for purchase. A senior consultant can also help you customize for your state or agency dependent upon your needs. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today for a free consultation with a senior consultant. 

Customizing Your Puchased Policy And Procedure Manual Is Very Important. Make It Specific For Employees And Very Specific For Surveyors!

policy and procedureMany of you out there purchased an updated policy and procedure manual. That’s great. You saved time and cost. Now, the next important step is completing the manual edits specific to your agency. This will help you with employees and with survey! 

Get Survey Ready: 

When a company has a manual policy and procedure manual online for purchase, it has the regulations there to make you compliant. If you don’t add or subtract what it specific to your agency, then you will be cited. Read your new manual and see where you need to tweak a policy to make it specific to you. For example, infection control is so huge with all surveys. Maybe you have policy that differs to what is in your new manual. Change what is necessary or alter your clinical operations. If you follow a specific bag technique that adds steps from what is in the new manual, then make sure to add it. Your new manual will have ALL federal and/or accrediation regulations in it, but those policies cannot be so specific as to match every agency in the United States. Individual rules related to states will need added.

Employee Guidelines: 

This is such an important feature for the people you employ. As an administrator, you do not want policy so rigid that it leaves no room for flexibility. However, ambiguity in policy can cost you a lot as well. When considering employee labor, unclear policies will always favor the employee. In these cases, it doesn’t matter what the intent of the policy was. It will be what the employee thought it meant. Clinically speaking, there will be issues if employees follow a vague policy in the field. This can lead to errors and survey deficiencies.  The big picture is, do not take your policy and procedure manual and just place it in a binder on a shelf. This will not help your operations. It will not make things clear for employees.

Need Help With A New Manual? 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for all types of service lines in home care. These can be easily edited online to fit your state and agency-specific needs. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online if you need help.  

How Good Is Your Policy And Procedure Manual? It Can Only Be As Good As The One Writing It!

Test YourselfA well-written policy and procedure manual is important for your home care regardless the line of service. Here’s the thing: Do you know if yours is well-written? If you aren’t sure, then you need to consider all that goes into a good policy and procedure manual. 

Communication Is Key: 

How well do you communicate with staff? Think about times you have meant to communicate one thing and staff interpretation was different? If that is your reality, then how well does your policy and procedure manual say what you need? You may have other staff that writes your policy.  Regardless of who writes the actual policy, have a policy committee read it and interpret its meaning. There is a fine line between too strict a policy and too vague. 

Is It Electronically Available To All Employees? 

A perfect manual is not useful if staff can’t easily access it.  In this technology-driven world, a policy and procedure manual should be simple to view. In addition, the manual should be easy for you to update. Clinical staff need the ability to access procedures in the home during patient care. Staff also need to understand bonus payouts, leave time, and disciplinary policies. The clearer you are, the more defensible policies are in employee disputes. 

How Organized Are You? 

Consider that a well-written policy and procedure manual is organized and easy to follow. So, if you aren’t organized, you may want to have someone else methodically write your policies. You would still be integral in communicating what needs to be in them, but that detail-oriented employee is usually a good choice for policy writing. 

Do You Have The Time It Takes To Keep Your Manual Up-To-Date? 

New regulations, personnel issues, and clinical policy take a lot of time to create and update. You must be careful to hit all the regulations. Make sure you have a work product and processes that avoid confusion.  It is time intensive trying to keep up with regulation changes, so you need to decide if it makes more sense to buy a manual you can edit instead of starting from scratch. 

Kenyon HomeCare Consulting: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals ready for download and edit today! Whether you need accreditation-ready, skilled, or private duty. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to discuss if this option is right for you!

So, You Decided To Purchase An Updated Policy And Procedure Manual. Let’s Look At All The Things You Can Do With The Time You Saved!

let it goWriting new policy and procedure manuals is a big job. Researching regulations and making sure you write policies that comply with them is tough. There are so many ways to better use your time managing your agency. Let’s take a look. 

Why Buy A Policy And Procedure Manual? 

Here are 5 reasons a purchased manual makes a whole lot of sense over the alternative: 

  • Electronic: Easy to access and change. 
  • Regulatory Compliance: It’s already done. 
  • Time Saved: This is time saved for you as well as any staff involved. 
  • Cost-Effective: “Time is money” and whether it is you or staff completing the manual, this is time better spent elsewhere on things that can make your agency money. 
  • Accreditation Ready: CHAP and ACHC manuals are available. 

How To Best Use That Additional Time: 

How many times do you leave the office thinking there is so much more to do? If it is daily, then consider things that make your agency better. 

  • Operation Changes: Since the final rule is out there, it is time to think about the changes you need to make now. 
  • Marketing: This is a good time to look at different marketing strategies. 
  • Strengthen Partnerships: When have you last personally touched base with your healthcare partners? 
  • Strengthen Your Team: Time spent with your team is always money well spent. Help them reach common goals. 
  • Take A Deep Breath: Leaders need to take time too. Family, health, and happiness all suffer when you can’t step away from the grind. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Has What You Need: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have manuals for different lines of service. Whether you need accreditation ready or not, check out Kenyon Marketplace to download what you need. Senior consultants can work to add state specific requirements should you desire assistance. If not, download your manual and customize specific to your agency. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online for any questions or concerns.

 

Home Health Manuals: Purchase One Or Do It Yourself? Which One Makes Sense In The Big Scheme Of Things?

policy and procedure manualYou have so many things to deal with running a home care business. Regulations change and so do policies and procedure accordingly. Keeping home care manuals up-to-date and useful can be tough sometimes. Here, we look at several reasons why purchasing one is your best bet. 

5 Reasons Purchasing Home Care Manuals Is A Great Option: 

If you aren’t sure, think through these 5 reasons and decide if buying a manual is your answer to policy and procedure: 

  • Time: First and foremost, it takes time to develop a manual. It takes a lot of time. From regulations to personnel, a well-written policy manual is no small task. 
  • Cost: It may seem like a lot of money to purchase a home care manual, but not when you consider the time element to start one from scratch.  In addition, updating an outdated one may even be more cumbersome. 
  • Electronic/Accessibility: If you purchase manuals today, electronic formats allow easy access for employees in the field or in the office. 
  • Convenience/Accreditation: Purchased manuals allow agencies to easily edit anything specific to your agency or state. This way, there is always up-to-date info in your manual without starting over every time.  Accreditation manuals are available to account for any additional standards with ACHC or CHAP. 
  • Customization/Compliance: There are so many different types of agencies. Whether you are a private duty home care, skilled home health, or hospice, manuals are ready dependent upon your line of business.  Senior level experts have been working on manuals for years, so you don’t have to worry if information is up-to-date. 

Kenyon Homecare Consulting: 

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, if you need an updated manual, then we have it.  We offer multiple different manuals dependent upon your lines of service. Our senior level consultants help with specific customization for your state, but the process is easy for the individual agency to edit themselves as well. We can help your agency with accreditation, survey compliance, or help set up process measures.  Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online today for your free 30-minute consultation with a senior consultant.