Writing up policies and procedures can often feel daunting and overwhelming, regardless if you’re introducing new systems or updating existing plans. Quality, safety and environmental policies are far more than merely general guidelines. They not only help us make the best decisions and provide the optimal care for our patients, but they support and protect our business, create a better service and minimise liability.
GOVERNMENTS AND LARGE CORPORATES
Creating a blueprint for policies and procedures is an integral part of the business, regardless of the business size. With an increasing number of health professionals that are providing services to large corporates and governments, it’s important to recognise how their policies and procedures may differ from your own.
Large corporate and government agencies will often have established procedures in place, and due to their size, they are often less flexible than relationships with another small business. In addition to the national and industry standards and legislation and ‘best practice’ guidelines, they will usually have set guides for how they conduct associations with other businesses including handling of administration, finances and payments and protocols for business.
Larger companies often appear to have more pull in decision making due to size, customer base, competition advantages and finances, but it’s also important to understand your worth and unique value as a small business. When entering into any business relationship or collaboration, it’s a good rule of thumb to get a second opinion and legal advice.
NDIS QUALITY AND SAFEGUARDING – HOW TO GET STARTED ON THE RIGHT FOOT
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an innovative social and economic reform that is currently being rolled out throughout Australia. It offers significant changes to how we support those living with a severe ongoing disability. As a patient-centred approach to healthcare, participants will now have a greater choice in choosing their goals and what they wish to achieve, and how their support services will be organised. They will also have a better opportunity to choose their health care providers and health care funding.
What does this all mean for you as a private practice owner? To start on the right foot, it’s important to be up to date with NDIS developments and evaluate your business model regularly, as to keep ahead of any changes. This may mean updating some of your existing policies and procedures to fit into the NDIS framework. With more administration required, changes in patient and plan management and lower consulting fees to consider, it’s important to understand how your practice will be affected.
Creating a consistent national guideline for quality and safeguarding protects both practice owners and participants. Safeguards not only look at the administration processes, service standards, regulations and assurance systems but also how personal relationships developed and the community connection.
A list of policy considerations has been developed by the NDIS to help practitioners through this transition.
- Replace existing quality and safeguarding measures
- Empower and support participants
- Address systems issues identified through inquires
- Ensure quality
- Provide consistency
- Reduce the duplication of requirements for providers
- Enable active monitoring and responses.
For an in-depth guide, please find the following information:
INDUCTING NEW STAFF INTO COMPANY EXPECTATIONS
Staff induction processes are vital to ensuring productivity and efficiency, and yet so many businesses fall back on the ‘work it out as you go along’ method. Inductions are designed to provide your new employees with the practical information that will get them up to speed fast on how your practice works.
Areas that should be addressed during induction include:
Corporate policies, safety, security anti-discrimination.
- Legislative Requirements.
- Environmental Policy.
- Workplace Health and Safety.
- Codes of Conduct.
- Employee Entitlements and Benefits.
- Equal Opportunity, Recruitment, Drug, Alcohol and Smoking, Internet, Email and Social Media and Handling of Grievances, Discipline and Termination Policies.
- Breach of Company Policy.
Training and establishing the culture of the practice.
- Directions around the building, and a floor plan if needed listing necessary amenities.
- Formalising knowledge transfer such as a systems software introduction, list of essential numbers or a guide to completing standard tasks.
- Encouraging and building social networks, and providing a mentoring or ‘buddy’ system for new staff.
- Invest in pro-active rather than the re-active training of your staff. Include the development of ‘soft skills’ in problem-solving, communication and collaboration in addition to on the job technical training.
- Create avenues for feedback and open communication