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5 Ways HealthTech Prepares Centers for Accreditation Surveys

by Barbora Ilic
Nurse preparing for a survey

Even though healthcare accreditation surveys typically only occur every 1.5 – 3 years, it seems that there’s never a week that goes by without it being top of mind.

In fact, it often takes healthcare facilities up to one year or more to prepare for these events due to their essential nature. 

While there’s nothing that can be done about the rigorous standards and regulations that must be put in place, there are ways to avoid “binder parties,” or generally address lack of time and resources, with technology. 

HealthTech companies, such as Surglogs, provide a birds-eye view of how your facility is operating, gives facility directors the confidence to know they’re going into a survey with a high rate of success, and provides much less room for error. 

Here are 5 ways technology can help improve your preparation processes, and ensure your facility is set up for success:

1) Implement quality improvement initiatives

As stated above, preparation for an accreditation survey is an ongoing process. For something like quality assessment performance improvement (QAPI), this process can become even more grand based on the size of the facility and annual patient census. 

In order to properly comply with this process, a facility must monitor outcomes, track performance data, and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. Technology, like Surglogs, can help with Compliance Calculations by creating any type of log you need in order to create audits and regularly monitor process improvements.  

2) Engage staff members

In order to pass an accreditation survey, it’s all hands on deck. A facility must involve all staff members in the accreditation preparation process. Whether that be providing training on the standards, conducting mock surveys, or encouraging active participation to ensure everyone understands their role and responsibilities.

Each department needs to be able to discuss its policies and procedures and be prepared to deliver the documentation or answers needed by the surveyor. Technology can help departments across any size facility speak the same language. With log templates, common places to store documentation, and the ability to track the steps of each procedure, technology can help all departments comply with accreditation standards in the same, correct manner. 

Always stay survey-ready with Surglogs. Click here to request a demo today

3) Document and organize information

Another essential step of accreditation survey prep is maintaining accurate and up-to-date documentation of policies, procedures, and protocols.

Let’s harken back to “binder parties”. Flipping through pages of documentation, with no better way to find what you need, can be a nightmare for any team. The best way to hold onto documents and be able to reference them at a moment’s notice is to use a digital solution.

Think about photos stored on your phone vs. in an album. They are much more easily maintained (no rough edges or stains!) and referenceable (ever used the search function in your iPhoto app?) whenever required. Similarly, digital technology helps centers organize this information in a systematic manner for easy access during the survey.

4) Conduct mock surveys

You’ll hear from anyone with compliance and regulation experience that mock surveys play an integral role during an accreditation survey.  It’s recommended by experts to do them at least every 6 months, but at a minimum as prep for an upcoming survey. Allowing plenty of time to perform these,  ideally 6 months out, will allow your facility to correct potential deficiencies and lift your pass rate significantly.

Most centers will simulate a survey by having an internal team or external consultants evaluate their organization against the accreditation standards. Since survey compliance was one of the main reasons Surglogs created our platform, we are happy to step in to serve. And with such a simple process as a result of using our technology, these mock surveys can be done quickly and easily on both sides! Our customers have used the feedback from our mock surveys to identify areas of improvement and fine-tune their processes.

5) Maintain readiness throughout the year

It bears repeating that accreditation preparedness should not be a one-time event. Successful facilities will foster a culture of continuous readiness by regularly reviewing policies, conducting internal audits, and addressing any identified areas for improvement. 

Our most experienced consultant here at Surglogs, Jodi Thulstrup, recommends the ”trust but verify” method. In her previous role, without the use of Surglogs, this would take her an average of  3-4 hours every week to go through each paper log, check for proper documentation, and sort it all in an organized manner. But once the technology was introduced across her facilities, these check-ups took only 15 minutes – that’s a time savings of almost 200 hours per year

There’s no arguing the fact that preparing for an accreditation survey is important. With that expectation set, it’s safe to say that arming your facility with all the resources and technology they need to pass an accreditation survey is a high-priority item. Let’s face it, the high cost and potential downside of being unprepared will never outweigh the costs of a system that will make this process simple, easy, and resource-light. Explore solutions from Surglogs today, and prepare your facility for decades of regulatory and accreditation compliance! 

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