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Archive September 2017 XVIII, No. 9

Ideas That Work: Little Things You Can Do for Your Surveyor

accreditation surveyor GUEST SERVICES What can you do to make your accreditation surveyor's time at your facility be as pleasant as possible?

Little Things You Can Do for Your Surveyor

You're sitting at your desk, dealing with the issues of the day, when your receptionist comes to your doorway with a business card in hand. Nope, it's not a rep. It's a surveyor, and your day just radically changed. Even the most organized surgical facility leader probably has the same response. Your heart rate goes up, you get that feeling of dread and you close whatever you're doing to go introduce yourself to the waiting surveyor. You escort the surveyor to the conference room, have the entrance interview and get to work. For the next couple days, you'll pull out and put back binders, locate policies, answer questions, tour the facility and review medical records. When all's said and done, you'll sit down for the exit interview, pen in hand, bracing to hear about deficiencies the surveyor uncovered. Whatever the outcome, you might as well do what you can to make her job easy while she's in your facility.

  • Put your binders on the table in alphabetical order, binders facing the surveyor. This will make it easier to locate what she needs.
  • Flag key documents and policies with sticky tabs for easy reference. Being organized is key. When the surveyor asks for specific documents, she'll be pleased that you're able to locate them easily. Keep everything up to date by maintaining a "compliance calendar" in which you maintain all actions and documents required for compliance by frequency and date.
  • Check in every half hour to answer the surveyor's questions and provide clarification during the document review process (but don't hover!).
  • When you're unsure of an answer or not clear on a recommendation, ask for clarification.
  • Keep staff in the loop, and ask for help when you need it. I used our "groupme" app to communicate what was going on to the staff and to remind them to "wash hands/check bands!" (We installed the app and set up our center as a group as part of our disaster preparation plan for alternative communication.)

Leslie Mattson, RN, BSHM
ALM Surgical Solutions
Atlanta, Ga.

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