Trying to operate a business in a regulated environment is difficult at best. But throw in taking care of frail, sick elderly people and having to compete on a day to day basis for residents and staff, and trying to maintain a very high quality of care while meeting all of the regulations can be enough to make you want to give up and leave the industry completely. However, you love the population you serve, so the best idea is to become better equipped to handle what comes your way each day. There are some things you can do to be more effective in operating your business, while meeting the ever changing regulatory environment, and providing great quality care for your residents.
First, KNOW your regulations. Remember that not knowing is not an excuse. I recommend to all of our clients to print out your particular regulations, then read them. Whenever a question arises, refer back to the regulations first. If you need clarification from the state, then ask. You will be more effective and more confident when you know what the regulations are.
Next, get ORGANIZED. Review each of your departments, and identify the strengths and the weaknesses. Where are you NOT meeting regulation? What changes do you need to make in order to become compliant? Who do you have on staff that can help in each area?
The next step is to EDUCATE. Make sure that you educate your staff on their regulatory requirements, corporate policy requirements and your expectations of compliance and quality. Then hold each staff member accountable for compliance every day.
You then want to create a TEAM environment. Your staff need to know that they are a team, and working together to meet the needs of your residents is their top priority. There is no need to cut corners and disregard regulation when everyone feels valued and a part of the bigger goal. Share in success and value your staff as much as you value your residents.
Finally, remember that you are working in a highly clinical environment, with lots of non-licensed staff. Rely on PROFESSIONAL judgement whenever there is a question. There are multiple medications and procedures that would have been in nursing homes ten years ago, and now they are in our assisted living and personal care homes. Don’t expect unlicensed staff to be able to make judgements on these clinical drugs and procedures. Bring in your registered nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and physicians to make these decisions on the best treatment plan for your resident. Your staff will be relieved that they don’t have to operate outside of their scope of practice, and you will meet the regulations without even having to think about it.
Operating in the assisted living and personal care home environment is tough, and the constantly changing interpretation of rules from the state makes it even more difficult. Following a plan and knowing your regulations can make a big difference in your day to day business. Choosing the best professional partners like Guardian Pharmacy Atlanta will make operating in this regulatory environment much easier and less confusing. We have a team of professional staff to help you in education and clinical judgement. Call us at 770.635-3301 to learn more about how we can help you navigate through your regulatory environment and have the best pharmacy service in the industry.