It is essential to establish standards that provide a framework on which to build a quality private duty organization. This framework, based on standards, will ultimately contribute to consumer protection for those served by the private duty home care organizations. This is exactly what is happening within many states right now: the need to put some type of standards in place with possible regulation by the state legislation.
The accreditation process requires an organization to undertake a comprehensive self examination of all aspects of the business. This is accomplished through a self study which serves as a detailed check list for compliance with the standards.
With rapid growth and new business opportunities in private pay home care services, the basic values of home care's rich heritage must be upheld from the business plan to the daily operations of service delivery to the clients and families. These values include caring, ethics in business, lifelong learning, leadership through service, and promotion of health and independence and peaceful death.
STANDARD I: There is a legally constituted authority responsible for governance and organizational performance. Th is s tandard is meant to ensure that the organization is legitimate, can provide the consumer with safeguards should something go wrong, establishes a policy basis for quality service, and the community and payers with the assurance that the entity is accountable.
STANDARD II: There is compliance with legislation, which relates to prohibition of all forms of discriminatory practices. The standard provides assurance to the consumer, community and payer that the organization complies with employment laws and regulations. Furthermore, it provides a basis for service that meets the diversity within the community served.
STANDARD III: There is responsible fiscal management. The intent of this standard is to make certain the consumer, community and payer are dealing with a fiscally sound organization, to provide recourse should such action be necessary and assure continuity of service.
STANDARD IV. There is responsible human resource management, which complies with all applicable laws and regulations. This standard provides assurance that the personnel entering the home are safe and competent, the organization maintains sound human resource practices, and the quality of care is preserved through experienced, satisfied employees.
STANDARD V: Home Care Aides at each level (I, II, III ) receive training for each task to be performed for the client prior to assignment. This standard is meant to assure that employees entering the home are prepared and capable to perform the needed tasks and level of care.
STANDARD VI. There are written policies and procedures for services including eligibility criteria, initiation, discontinuation and referrals . A confidential client services record is maintained. This standard ensures that the service provided meets the needs of the consumer and is appropriate, that the consumer is informed and treated fairly and that an accurate, confidential record is maintained.
STANDARD VII. There is supervision and management of all levels of the home care service, which ensures safe, effective and appropriate care to each individual or family served . This standard is to ensure the consumer, community and payer that the service is delivered safely, problems are resolved quickly, employees are supported and service continues to meet the changing needs of the recipient to achieve positive service outcomes.
STANDARD VIII. There is annual evaluation of all aspects of the service and a process for ongoing quality improvement. The intent of this standard is to assure that the organization continuously strives to better the quality of care, deliver more effective service and maintain positive service outcomes.
STANDARD IX. There is ongoing community education and outreach.
The purpose of this standard is to ensure that the consumer, community and payers are informed about the services offered by the organization, that the organization has the capacity to provide these services, the recipient is eligible for the service and the organization maintain truth in advertising.
STANDARD X. There is written statements of clients' rights, responsibilities and informed consent and clear evidence that it is fully implemented. This standard is to inform the consumer of the rights and responsibilities they have as recipients of home care services and they are compliant with expected service outcomes.
STANDARD XI. There is responsible safety management in the care environment: To ensure the well-being of the patient; To ensure the well-being of the caregiver(s); and To be prepared in cases of emergencies in the home. This standard is meant to make certain the consumer understands the risks in home care, to ensure the safety of the recipient and employee, to minimize accidents and improve the delivery of service.
STANDARD XII. There is a business ethics and compliance program to: prevent, detect and report violations of laws, regulations and unlawful conduct and to promote and ensure ethical business practices by all employees of the organization. The intent of this standard is to assure the consumer, community and payer that the organization complies with the law and program regulations and that the organization maintains a high level of integrity.
Your organization may apply for accreditation if its services are defined as those delivering assistance with Activities of Daily Living including homemaker, personal care and companionship. To apply for accreditation, your organization must directly employ the home care aide staff and have been in operation for at least one year and have handled a minimum of 25 cases at the time of application. All home care aide services in an organization must apply for accreditation at the same time. The applying organization must have qualified professionals on staff to provide assessment, care planning, and supervision when required by the standards. An organization in the Accreditation Program must maintain compliance with the standards and procedures and pay accreditation fees annually.
We urge all PDHCA members to seek this accreditation status to help ensure that high quality standards of care are delivered to your clients and patients. For further information, please contact Wanda Allen in the NAHC/PDHCA office at (202) 547-7424.