Preparation is Key 🔑
The Healthcare Facility DOH inspection and approval process can be a lot simpler with an offensive approach rather than a defensive approach when it comes to preparation. Thinking ahead by implementing the following strategies will lead to better survey results no matter what state you are located in.
- Form a Positive Reputation Between DOH and Your Facility: Reputation is everything. Whether you are a healthcare facility owner or a member of the facility department, design team, clinical staff, infection control or life/safety, it cannot be stressed enough that if your facility has a strong and favorable reputation, then DOH surveyors will think highly of your organization. The inception of this relationship starts with communication. When your facility has enacted a new policy, talk with DOH to ask if the policy meets all their state requirements. Never try to dispute the violation, but instead ask how to correct the problem. Minor violations are easier to look past when you have shown initiative to try and follow the standards. All in all, keep building the rapport and reminding surveyors that your facility is only interested in achieving excellence.
- Invite DOH to Perform a Rehearsal Inspection: By asking DOH to stop by a week or so before your inspection, they may be able give insight on facility issues and inquiries. Then when the time comes for the real inspection, you will already have these items taken care of. If DOH is not able to stop by before your inspection, calling with specific questions may also benefit your facility with preparations. This strategy is especially important if your facility is undergoing new construction or renovations because you typically require a DOH inspection more frequently and need DOH application approval.
- Make All Inspection Requirements a Facility Mandate: This may seem obvious and is what you are supposed to be doing anyways, but it is amazing how easy it is to let some requirements slide. One way to ensure this happens is by informing your team about new policies in a timely manner. You can make sure your facility adapts to new policies and is not behind or stressed by giving information at the last minute. The best way to think about making all policies a mandate is to understand that not following the requirements is very risky, not only from DOH’s standpoint, but with patients and staff as well. There is a good reason why DOH policies are put into place and not following these policies could lead to life and death consequences.
- Provide Prompt Survey Feedback to All Parties: Give all staff and parties involved the results of the survey as soon as possible. The faster that your facility implements the necessary changes the better, especially while the information is still fresh your mind. This will allow for a better result in future surveys and will make sure deficiencies are directly taken care of.
Being proactive with these simple steps will result with your facility achieving efficiency and good standing with DOH.