Quality is the primary factor that holds the key to satisfied customers in any kind of industry and it is all the more important in healthcare services. Quality assurance processes help prevent mistakes and avoid problems while delivering services. In the healthcare industry, quality assurance relates to the maintenance of high-quality healthcare by regularly monitoring the effectiveness of the services being provided. It is not just enough if the healthcare facilities are implementing accurate electronic health records and have an efficient revenue cycle management process in place. If healthcare facilities want to get good HCAHPS scores and provide meaningful clinical statistics to achieve higher reimbursements, they need to develop an appropriate quality assurance process. A perfect quality assurance program is the key to achieve patient trust by initiating changes that can enhance patient experience and clinical outcomes. Let us see how an effective quality assurance program can be developed for a healthcare facility.
- Create a committee: The first step in creating a quality assurance program is to create a committee that can assess the current policies and procedures, review the applicable rules and regulations, suggest changes, and set goals. The committee needs to create processes that will help reduce errors and improve clinical outcomes. The committee should include people from all the healthcare organization departments because quality care is produced only with the combined efforts of all the departments.
- Communicate: Every individual associated with the healthcare facility should believe in the quality assurance program and participate in it to make it effective. For this to happen, the facility should communicate the news of the program to all the employees through emails, flyers, posters, intranet correspondence, team meetings, etc. It is not sufficient if the news is spread. It must be understood by the facility staff. Employees should be provided with examples that help them understand how their actions impact patient experience and lead to better HCAHPS scores.
- Assess results: Healthcare facility staff should review the information provided by the patients, their family members and the employees of the organization and assess the reports to make the quality assurance program effective. In some cases, the programs may need weekly monitoring while others may need monthly monitoring. Regular updates whether positive or negative will help the employees of the facility understand the impact they create on patient experience and motivate them to implement the program much efficiently.
- Take corrective measures: Every process can have flaws and so can be the case with the processes being implemented in a healthcare facility. One of the benefits of implementing a quality assurance program is that the facility can identify flaws in processes or problems that influence patient care and take appropriate, timely corrective measures.
Quality assurance programs help healthcare facilities to improve clinical outcomes and also increase employee engagement. When employees are more engaged, they tend to perform their work with higher commitment levels and create a great environment to provide the best patient experience. Healthcare facilities should implement quality assurance programs along with electronic health records to provide quality healthcare and improve the bottom line.