5 Steps to Cultivating Regulatory Compliance and Quality Improvement at your Behavioral Health Organization
Behavioral health agencies across the nation face ever-changing compliance and quality improvement standards. Adhering to these rules is important not only for providing a safe environment for patient care, but also for assuring that operations are as efficient and ethical as possible.
Maintaining compliance and keeping well-informed about continuously evolving standards, regulations, and requirements can be a burdensome task. This often requires a full-time commitment from one or more of your staff members. No staff member is free from the implications of the compliance process, and it is important that everyone working at your behavioral health organization is up-to-date on quality standards and protocols, at all times.
Here are five steps to developing regulatory compliance and quality improvement at your behavioral health organization:
- Train your staff about ongoing compliance and quality improvement standards
- Train your staff at their new employee orientation, and maintain an ongoing training schedule.
- Work together to implement the proper processes
- Conduct an annual or 6-month review your policies and procedures. Do significant changes need to be made? Would a few brief modifications suffice? Be objective. It is important to assess where your organization is, and where there are opportunities to improve.
- Assure your staff is consistently reminded of standards and requirements
- Offer open meetings that allow staff members the opportunity to learn and ask questions. Hang posters reminding your team of standards. Implement a weekly organizational newsletter or email blast that offers instructive tips. Where do you have opportunities to provide this information?
- Evaluate your documentation procedures
- Conduct an annual or 6-month internal audit of patient documentation to confirm that everything is complete and accurate. Review your policies and procedures to ensure your team is following all of the right guidelines. Meet with counseling supervisors about their training methods and provide them support when needed.
- Train your staff on how to interact with accreditation representatives
- Prepare staff to answer compliance and quality improvement questions “on the spot”. Set aside time to conduct a survey run-through where your team engages in an accreditor/staff role-play scenario. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Remember, compliance standards are established for the purpose of delivering quality patient care. Your organization and patients will benefit if you make regulatory compliance and quality improvement a priority.
Brown Consulting, Ltd. can help you guarantee compliance and quality improvement
We have over 30 years of experience helping behavioral health organizations with compliance and quality improvement. Our extensive experience in behavioral healthcare consulting lends itself to understanding the necessary regulations and guidelines state by state. Our Regulatory Compliance services can be found here.
-Megan Phillips, M.A.