How to Maintain and Improve Data Quality In a Hospital
Hospitals and healthcare organization always seek to maintain quality in all areas such as the quality of the care they provide, quality of the hospital environment, and even quality of their data. This is why they are always involved in Making Clinical Quality Improvements as often as possible. Clinical quality improvements should be an ongoing process. One way to keep the process of quality improvements ongoing is to ensure that the budget of the hospital us properly maintained. It can be easy to let budgetary concerns of healthcare organizations fall by the wayside and take second priority to quality improvement initiatives but this should not be the case. Whatever quality choices a healthcare organization makes should be significant to the bottom line of the hospital even if it is a non-profit organization as a failure to do this can lead to the organization shutting down.
The following tips can help a healthcare organization pay better attention to its budget by applying cost-saving tips without compromising on quality or patient experience.
Make Long-Term Budget Plans
It’s not a good idea to look at budgets as stand-alone items or stand-alone budgets. Budget is directly related to performance and needs of the other departments in the healthcare organization. Because patient experience is so critical in healthcare, facilities tasks that directly impact that are likely to take high priority places in the budget, while those that do not may be deemed less important in the final budget.
Maintain Warrantied Database and Backup
Equipment repair can represent a huge cost for hospital facility management. Equipment unusually depreciates and needs repair from time to time. It’s important to have all information and data backed up and to get hardware that comes with solid warranty policies. That way, any repairs or maintenance that are covered by a product warranty do not end up cutting into the budget. Before any repair or maintenance is ordered, make it a habit to check the warranty database and verify whether or not that equipment is covered.
Establish Pricing Agreements with Vendors
A lot of things you can get for cheaper if you buy in bulk and have a good relationship with your suppliers. Also for large equipment, vendor pricing agreements can be a very effective way to maintain your facility’s efficiency without going over your budget. If a hospital lays out what you expect and are willing to spend on repairs over the course of the life of a piece of equipment, and get that amount in writing, then unexpected changes or increases can be avoided.
CMS Alternative Equipment Maintenance Guidelines
The CMS organization also have equipment guidelines that you can follow that will put you at an advantage. In 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo clarifying their stance on alternative equipment maintenance, meaning maintenance schedules that do not directly align with equipment manufacturer’s guidelines. According to this memo, alternative equipment maintenance is acceptable for some facility equipment that does not directly impact patient health or safety. Utilizing alternative equipment maintenance schedules can factor positively into your budget when done within the CMS guidelines.
Give Thorough Explanations for Expenditures
Don’t just assume that everyone on the team understands the expenditure and budget. Even if you are creating the budget for your department, you will not have final say over what goes into it. When you send your budget to the finance department, you will have a lot more luck getting it approved if you are clear in why you need what you need and how your expenditures have a direct impact on the facility’s overall performance. This way, you will not be stuck answering endless questions about each line item because you will already have a complete justification for your choices. If you are looking for donations or funding from outside sources or third parties, it doesn’t guarantee that the budget will be approved but it will greatly improve your chances.
Health & Safety Should Always Be Top Priority
The mission of your health organizations and your reason for existing is to provide care to patients and improve the overall health and safety of the population. No matter what your annual budget ends up looking like, patient health and safety should always be the top priority of every department, including hospital facility management. While all expenditures should be expected to be reviewed, those that impact patient health and safety are should take priority when allocating funds. It is important that in creating a healthcare facilities management budget not to skimp on those types of priorities because it compromises the entire healthcare organization.
The Importance of Maintaining Quality In a Healthcare Organization/Hospital
Any medical professional can attest to the fact that keeping a hospital or care facility running is one of their top priority. But not just running, running in top notch condition and maintaining a high quality of operations and providing a high standard of care. Everything is run in a way that it contributes to the overall safety and survival of the organization. Everything as major as the surgeries being performed to as minor as the cleaning staff keeping a clean and safe environment throughout the hospital. This ends up creating a safe and sometimes even a homely environment for the patients.