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Policy And Procedure Manuals

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.

 

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.