The Standards and Compliance Tool (S&C Tool) is an online tool that assists Healthcare Facilities in evaluating and managing their continued compliance with quality and safety standards.
The S&C Tool enables the External Evaluation Organisation to review the assessments of these Healthcare Facilities, provide actionable recommendations, and ensure that their ratings are accurate and in accordance with guidelines.
1. Self-assessments performed by Healthcare Facilities of their compliance with standards,
2. Management of compliance: the tool highlights strengths and weaknesses of the Healthcare Facility as a whole and provides integrated remedial task management, and
3. Review of Healthcare Facilities' self-assessments by the External Evaluation Organisation.
The External Evaluation Organisation has a bird's eye view of all the Healthcare Facilities' self-assessments, and the degree to which each Healthcare Facility complies with its standards.
At the same time each Healthcare Facility can monitor their own progress in real-time.
Direct guidance can be provided by the External Evaluation Organisation in the form of recommendations on individual criteria. This can improve the Healthcare Facility's understanding of requirements and drastically decrease their time to being fully compliant.
The External Evaluation Organisation can formulate their own criteria, statements and standards to reflect their own quality framework.
Criteria can be incrementally introduced to each Healthcare Facility as it progresses in quality management and implementation. Instead of overwhelming a Healthcare Facility with all the standards all at once, they are provided with milestones. As they meet these milestones, additional criteria are revealed and the next goal is introduced.
The S&C tool combines the self-assessment of criteria, the Healthcare Facility's management to drive compliance and the External Evaluation Organisation's supervision and oversight all in one place.
Instead of having a "master" copy somewhere in Excel, the standards become a living document, providing information that can be acted upon by your both the Healthcare Facility and External Evaluation Organisation without having to go somewhere else. Self-assessment and evaluation can be performed collaboratively between departments and services, over any period of time and everybody can still be on the same page.
The real-time reports clearly show the strengths and weaknesses of the Healthcare Facility as a whole, as well as those of individual departments and services. The reports can be used to identify growth areas and monitor actions that address these areas. [zoomed in on ratings + colors]
The S&C tool also becomes a management tool for the Healthcare Facility; they can assign tasks to address specific growth areas identified in the self-assessment, when and where it becomes apparent.
The External Evaluation Organisation's standards and criteria are uploaded into the S&C tool. The different incremental phases (if any) and seriousness are set, and the criteria are grouped into different categories (or not). The tool is configurable and we can customize it easily to fit your criteria. Criteria is uploaded into the system once (either by the External Evaluation Organisation or we could provide the service for you).
Next, each Healthcare Facility starts a new self-assessment. The self-assessment consists of the uploaded standards and criteria relevant to the Healthcare Facility's current phase.
For every criterion the responsible team member indicates whether the Healthcare Facility is fully compliant, partially compliant (more than 50% of the intent has been met), not compliant (less than 50% of the intent has been met) or not applicable. Tasks with due dates can be assigned to team members to resolve deficiencies relating to the criterion. If fully compliant, proof in the form of documentation needs to be uploaded.
All of the above actions are performed on a single screen making the S&C tool both a self-assessment and management tool that drives compliance.
The reporting visualizations are immediately updated to show real-time progress and highlight areas that need attention.
Upon reaching a phase's milestone, the Healthcare Facility submits the self-assessment for evaluation by the External Evaluation Organisation. The ratings and compliance of the criteria are reviewed and verified by the External Evaluation Organisation. They can agree or disagree, request further information on a criterion, leave comments and upload documentation.
On completion of the evaluation and depending on the reviewers' findings, the assessment is either "upgraded" to the next phase or reverted for improvement.
The report has a quickfilter that enables team members to easily find criteria they are responsible for.
Tasks assigned to individual team members during self-assessment are displayed in the personalized task dashboard of each team member.
The S&C tool has multi-tenancy capability and enables the External Evaluation Organisation to group any number of Healthcare Facilities under itself.
The External Evaluation Organisation has insight into each Healthcare Facility associated with them, but the individual Healthcare Facilities do not have any insight into the data of others.
Healthcare Facilities can be provided with all the criteria all at once or they can be guided to grow in competence with a select number of criteria only. Once these criteria are complied with (based on scoring) and verified, the Healthcare Facility progresses to the next phase and a new set of criteria are "revealed" to them. This step-by-step guidance assists Healthcare Facilities along the process of growing competence and does not overload them with all the standards in the beginning. This motivates them with the experience of regular small wins.
When we met Dr Liz Gwyther from the Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA) of South Africa in 2014, they have just completed the third edition of the Hospice Palliative Care Standards (88 pages). It was a mammoth undertaking to get to the place where they could hand out a printed guide that contained their standards and criteria as part of an internal mentorship programme for Hospices that lead to external accreditation.
What was actually more outstanding was the fact that Dr Gwyther and her team wanted to take the quality improvement programme one step further. They wanted an online tool that would ease the compliance-burden of Hospices and guide them through the different phases of becoming compliant with HPCA's standards. They wanted a tool that would bring the intentions of the quality standards into reality.
For us, the big challenge was not to implement the 636 criteria, the 61 performance indicators, the 119 standards across 12 different service elements into an online tool. We have already created a tool for the financial compliance industry in South Africa. The real challenge was to create a tool that would help people who may not be fluent users of technology to get the tedious job of quality self-assessment and compliance management done.
We set out to create a tool that is friendly, motivating and easy to use; a tool that would "disappear" while the user gets on with the task at hand.
The tool was implemented September 2014 and has become an integrated part of HPCA's drive for quality care providers.
Since the start some of the standards and criteria have been updated and changed as part of a process of constant improvement. All these were implemented nationally with immediate effect. The tool speeds up the transfer of compliance-related information from Hospices to HPCA and vice versa.
Unlike traditional enterprise software, you subscribe on a month-to-month basis that includes upgrades, maintenance and technical support.
No long-term contracts. Cancel your subscription by giving us 1 calendar month notice.
We take care of all the "IT" stuff. From security, uptime, automated daily backups to separate data centres, and software upgrades. No additional IT guys required.
The system is always accessible. You can work anytime, from anywhere: the office, home or on the road.
It is web-based software that is accessed through a browser on an Internet-enabled PC or tablet – the same way you would connect to online banking or social media such as Facebook. (Some of the big systems are based on technology developed in the 1990s that required, and still do require, complicated physical installations and heavy up-front capital costs. Most of the newer tools are cloud-based, with a pay-as-you go pricing model.)
Your data belongs to you.The External Evaluation Organisation and every Healthcare Facility can export their own data in .csv, Excel and PDF formats.