Setting Standards in a Healthcare Environment
Setting standards, establishing best practices, and providing clear and concise communication is key to achieving operational excellence for any facility. We sat down with Austin Alverson, HCSG Director of Compliance and Administration, to discuss the importance of these components and what it means to be “survey ready” for safety and compliance in a healthcare environment.
HCSG: Austin, thanks so much for speaking with us. At HCSG, we strive to provide quality housekeeping, dining, and nutritional services for our facility partners and residents. How do we go about establishing the appropriate standards for quality?
Austin Alverson: Thanks for speaking with me! Before we delve deeper into our discussion about quality standards, it’s important to take a step back and recognize whom we are serving. Yes, we have partnerships with facility leaders, but ultimately we are being hired to support them in providing the best care to rehabilitating and aging populations that demand we take quality seriously. HCSG has constantly reinforced the importance of meeting quality standards and exceeding them.
That being said, it all starts with solid and effective communication and a clear understanding of our client partner’s needs. We carefully examine all aspects of quality in their facilities through numerous site tours and discussions with department leaders. Quality Assurance is a team effort, and we want to make sure we’re intently listening to all of the facility’s needs. As I said before, we don’t just want to meet the basic quality standards. We want to exceed them and give our partners peace of mind.
HCSG: You mentioned how effective communication is important with our client partners, but can you share the importance and benefit of collaborative communication within the departments you oversee?
AA: Yes, our internal communication is as important. We provide essential services in a highly regulated industry, and at times the requirements we have to follow could change from day to day.
This is where our multi-level management structure is quite helpful. On the ground, we have an Account Manager who provides hands-on training for our field-level associates while also guiding them through proprietary video learning modules. Our District Manager then confirms that our facility staff and management are properly trained and following all regulatory and quality assurance requirements. Lastly, our Director of Operations provides an additional layer of oversight and confirms that while we must follow new regulations, we’re also continuing to keep our client partner’s quality assurance plan top of mind.
This process benefits HCSG by limiting reactionary management. With all employees on the same page, we can be proactive. Our client partners benefit from knowing we are on the same team at all times, working together toward the goal of increased satisfaction.
HCSG: What does it mean to be “Survey Ready,” and why is it an important standard to maintain in the departments we oversee?
AA: In its simplest form, being ‘survey ready’ means serving with pride and perfection as if someone is monitoring everything you are doing. Whether you are completing an everyday routine like emptying receptacles or washing dishes, we train our team members to take pride in what they do with care and accuracy. And when they encounter those annual surveyors in person, there aren’t any jitters because this is just how we do things.
Knowing our teams are striving to be compliant allows our client partners to focus on other facility priorities.
HCSG: Austin, you’ve been in the industry for quite some time, can you share what makes HCSG stand out in regard to maintaining quality and safety?
AA: HCSG strives to run well-organized housekeeping, dining, and nutrition departments. The emphasis on quality and safety is always top of mind and continually reinforced in everything we do. As a result, we are strengthening our commitment to our client partners that we take the care of residents just as seriously as they do every day.
Learn more about how Healthcare Services Group can increase your facility’s safety and compliance through established standards, collaborative communication, and operational excellence by visiting HCSG.com/services.