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Planning for VNA’s DNV ISO 9001 Certification Survey Nov. 9 and 10, 2021

Released: 11/2/2021 6:00:00 AM

What is ISO?

ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. The goals of ISO include providing consistent service, improving patient satisfaction and continually improving quality within the organization. ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system (QMS). It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction and is used throughout the world in all different types of industries.

The scope of the QMS must include every part of the VNA’s business, not just clinical care. It is no longer the “Quality Department’s” role to implement, manage and monitor the QMS. The QMS is simply the way we do business.

ALL STAFF should be able to verbalize to a surveyor the fundamentals of ISO (referred to as the 3-Cs):

  • Consistent care to patients
  • Customer (patient) satisfaction
  • Continual improvement of the organization

VNA’s policies and procedures are in place to ensure compliance with standards and regulatory requirements. DNV auditors evaluate our Quality Management System (QMS) by asking questions, talking with employees and leadership and reviewing our work processes. By following our established policies and procedures, we can be confident that we meet all recommended criteria for ISO 9001 certification.

DNV GL is an independent expert in assurance and risk management and provides both accreditation and certification for many organizations in different industries globally. This organization surveys our hospitals for compliance with Medicare conditions of participation as well as ISO standards.

Our survey will focus on Quality Management Systems (QMS). These processes support our clinical functions. The processes that will be surveyed are office-based functions here at the Erie office, including (but not limited to):

  • Lab work processes
  • IV Pump Tracking/Cleaning
  • Order Tracking
  • Prior Authorization Process
  • Patient Scheduling Process
  • Complaint Reporting Process

This particular audit does not include provision of care so no home visits will be made.

Here are some possible ISO questions you may be asked by a DNV surveyor:

Surveyor Question: What is ISO to you?

Answer: We are all part of ISO and VNA’s Quality Management System. Our engagement in the organization and how we follow policies and procedures and escalate when things aren’t working is what makes our QMS effective. The three Cs of ISO: 1) Consistent care, 2) Customer (patient) satisfaction, 3) Continual improvement.

Surveyor Question: What is VNA’s Quality Policy and where can I find it?

Answer: The Quality Policy is: “To be the leading regional provider of home health care, providing exceptional quality, high patient and physician satisfaction, and accessible to all member of our community.” This can be found within the VNA’s Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Plan, Policy #QI 401 and is also the Vision statement of the VNA. This statement provides a framework for setting our objectives, includes a commitment to satisfy requirements and to continual improvement. Lastly, it aligns with our Strategic Plan of the organization.

Surveyor Question: How do you control your documents?

Answer: We utilize the Documented Information Log. The purpose of document control is to ensure that we are using correct instructions and forms for documentation at all times. This contributes to patient safety as well as employee satisfaction (reduces “re-work” if incorrect process/document is followed). One way that we ensure document control is to use documents from the source whenever possible.

Surveyor Question: What quality initiatives is your department working on and what has been done to improve?

Answer: Make sure you have discussed with your manager to have examples to provide to auditor.

Surveyor Question: If problems are identified in a system and it is not working properly, what process is used to fix it?

Answer: Corrective action process. VNA Health utilizes the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) action plan as our improvement tool.