Healthcare Facility Management and Compliance
Compliance is at the forefront of every healthcare facility manager’s mind. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are regulated, in most states, by a combination of state (Department of Health) and federal authorities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS). Inspections are usually done, unannounced, at least once per year.
Failure to comply with regulations could result—in the most dire of circumstances where patient safety is threatened—in penalties that include fines, appointed facility supervisors, suspension of new resident admissions, or license suspension. Findings that do not pose an imminent threat to patient safety will call for nursing home administrators to offer a “plan of correction.”
Preventative maintenance is key when it comes to compliance because once an inspection is underway, it is too late to fix things.
So, what are the compliance issues that healthcare facility managers have to be on top of? As we see it, the main issues are: emergency preparedness, control of infection, fire safety, HVAC, utilities, and the overall safety of residents (including general maintenance of things like elevators, furniture, floors, beds, carts, etc.)