In 2022, nearly half of the nation’s hospitals ended the year in the red. With budgets under pressure, healthcare organizations have been forced to take a variety of steps to cut expenses. But when it comes to the essential services a hospital needs to elevate patient safety and maintain compliance, where do you draw the line on what to keep and what to cut?
Mock surveys are one tool that Risk, Compliance, Legal and even Financial departments use to improve patient safety, adhere to the ever-changing compliance mandates and save money.
What Is a Mock Survey
A mock survey simulates the Joint Commission or CMS survey agenda preparing you for the interviews, tracers, and other sessions you’ll experience during the assessment.
Why Do You Need a Mock Survey?
In addition to understanding and preparing for a visit from the Joint Commission or CMS, a mock survey allows you to re-examine care processes and procedures and identify high-risk areas. In fact, survey risk can manifest into a variety of other problems such as patient safety and accreditation risk which in turn elevates litigation and budget risk. For example, a loss of accreditation can threaten Medicare and Medicaid payments. Plus, lawsuits from perceived negligence can damage your facilities reputation and lead to legal fees and additional unexpected cost outlays.
But it’s not just passing a survey and avoiding loss of accreditation. The difficulty of patient care and stress on front line care givers, exacerbated by COVID, created numerous problems including low morale. decreased job satisfaction and productivity declines. The mock survey process can reverse these trends and lead to improved processes and patient care.
For example, here are seven reasons why a mock survey is essential to your organization.
1) Enhanced Staff Engagement
Mock surveys foster staff engagement. As active participants in the process, participating staff become more engaged with The Joint Commission/CMS compliance requirements which helps healthcare organizations foster a culture of continuous improvement. Plus, it creates a sense of ownership over compliance and patient care.
2) Process Improvements
When staff cuts or a hiring freeze occur, it’s essential your staff operates in the most effective way. Mock surveys help healthcare organizations increase efficiency. They identify areas where processes could be streamlined and improved and provide guidance on best practices. In addition, they uncover areas where increased oversight and stronger accountability can lead to better outcomes for patients and staff.
3) Improved Patient Care and Staff Morale
Mock surveys help bring the challenges that front-line caregivers face to light. The process of preparing for a mock survey leads to contributions from team members so their voices are heard. By going through a simulated survey, you can identify areas where you may have fallen short and make necessary changes to improve patient outcomes.
4) Improved Communication Between Departments
Mock Surveys reinforce the need for interdepartmental communication and improve overall collaboration within the organization.
5) Increased Knowledge of Regulations
Frequently scored standards are often those that the staff doesn’t fully understand. Mock surveys step through the details behind the regulations. This leads to a better understanding of compliance guidelines and makes it more likely staff will adhere to them.
6) Increased Confidence in the Survey Process
Benjamin Franklin is credited with the statement, “Practice Makes Perfect.” Although he wasn’t referring to mock surveys, simulating a survey serves a similar purpose. Understanding the process and expectations of surveyors, identifying areas where you may be falling short and taking corrective actions increases your ability to meet standards compliance.
7) Improved Compliance
The ultimate purpose of mock surveys is to meet compliance guidelines when The Joint Commission or CMS conducts their survey. In fact, a heightened awareness, a better understanding of the why’s behind regulations and better knowledge of standards, leads to better compliance outcomes.
Patton Healthcare Consulting
Mock surveys help you improve patient care, staff morale, and regulatory compliance. Patton Healthcare Consulting’s team of experienced professionals has a proven track record of helping healthcare organizations. We have conducted thousands of mock surveys for hospitals throughout the U.S. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your organization.