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Policy And Procedure Manuals

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  Outdated manuals lead to issues with regulatory compliance and personnel management.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  Agencies often work from outdated policies that have not been adhered to for years.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.