Are You Ready for Your Physical Environment of Care Survey?

Technology today makes it a breeze!

Healthcare facilities teams certainly want to be ready for visits from the CMS or the Department of Health. So, what if there is a way you could be ready… anytime?

Immediate Jeopardy or Condition-Level Deficiency – yes, those are the terms you never want to hear if you are a Facility Manager in healthcare! That’s why pulling together documentation to support a compliance survey is always stressful and time consuming especially in the area of Physical Environment of Care. Gathering information and updating records, on hundreds if not thousands of pieces of equipment and machinery, can be a daunting task. 

Interestingly, many customers still use a manual process to accomplish this goal. Large, preprinted binders neatly stacked on carts being moved around the facility is an interesting concept today. Even the facilities that have these documents in digital form still invest significant amounts of time pulling the information together.

A close up of an office

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Over the years many healthcare facilities have digitized the maintenance and inspection reports on equipment. However, there has never been a good way to connect these documents efficiently to support a survey.

Cloud and mobile technology available today can significantly help us improve this process. This involves three simple steps:

First, automate and digitize your maintenance and inspection reporting on all your machinery and equipment. This is important since this information is a critical part of the Physical Environment of Care chapters. Digitizing this process allows you to manage the maintenance and inspection process efficiently throughout the year instead of scrambling before a survey. Technology today will allow you to set up notifications to proactively manage inspection schedules and the best tools will update your compliance documentation automatically as they log the inspections. This simplifies one of the biggest challenges in preparing the supporting documentation for surveys, which is consistent and timely inspection and documentation.

Second, digitize the survey documentation requirements. Accreditation Organizations do make the survey documentation available in digital format. This will allow you to connect the requisite documents from your Physical Environment of Care directly to the survey requirements. Technology today will allow you to interconnect these documents so your survey documents can be updated on a real time basis. Here again technology can proactively warn you of any documentation that is overdue.

Third, make sure you have all of this on a mobile platform. Today’s environment has many people working remotely, traveling and working across multiple office locations, and dealing with the time pressure created by reduced staff. Mobile access allows you to maintain visibility and track progress wherever you are and whenever you have time. Today’s mobile technology will allow you to view, attach, connect and share survey support documentation as required with a few swipes and taps.

Simply put, this entire process which is historically intimidating and stressful can easily be automated so Facility Managers can proactively address the health and safety standards of the organization, patients and staff.