In residential care, HealthCert (MoH) Certification processes appear solely to promote a goal of verifying compliance with requirements. Looking deeper however, the goal of meeting requirements ensures the protection and support of those in your care. This can then be evidenced in a way that’s reflective of service received as meaningful, safe and appropriate by individual residents.
It’s no longer an expectation that you’ll have a number of partial attainments as a result of an external audit. The expectation is full compliance and showing evidence of continuous improvement, going over and above the base ‘pass-mark’ brings you into line with your high performing peers. I’ve heard managers say “but it’s the Auditors job to find things wrong so we expect to get partial attainments.” That is out-dated thinking and doesn’t fit the current audit and compliance environment or continuous improvement philosophy.
Systems can’t be implemented to show compliance, if staff are not looking at policies and procedures, or using them to guide services and care of residents. If individual staff or managers do what they think best, based on previous experience, without verifying whether that practice is still appropriate or best practice, they do themselves and residents a disservice.
Success leaves clues. It’s apparent when quality systems are implemented, outcomes are checked in a measurable way, recorded, examined, analysed and greater gains identified for future implementation. This is a cycle and if you have the right tools to record your continuous improvement projects on, you too will be in the elite who are out-performing those who continue to have multiple partial attainments (deficits) in audit. Don’t be a provider that looks at others saying it’s ok for them; they have this or that or the other reason for their success but we don’t have those things so we can’t achieve. Don’t make others extraordinary to let yourself off the hook. You can have, and deserve to have, all the recognition for the amazing work you perform just like others who are achieving four years.
The lack of a robust up to date quality system, along with deficits in implementation, will lead you down an expensive compliance track. Expensive in loss of reputation as audits are published and accessed online by the public, expensive in loss of time trying to figure things out yourself, increased risk to residents, loss of financial resources as you end up being audited more often than would have otherwise been necessary. The better you achieve at audit, the longer your period of certification, the less often you are audited and therefore less often you’re paying auditors fees!
A common failing in the care facilities under Temporary Management has been from the lack of a proven quality system and application of that system into service provision. I’ve been contracted into a number of sites as a Temporary Manager over the years and this has consistently been the case.
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