How to Prepare for an Internal Healthcare Asset Audit
Healthcare audits don’t work the same way as traditional audits. Because healthcare clinics provide medical procedures and deal with highly sensitive information, they’re subject to many more regulations and restrictions than other industries.
Compliance requirements apply to all aspects of the healthcare world. When it comes to medical assets, they have to be up to code. Otherwise, outdated assets and devices risk hurting patients, which is incredibly dangerous.
Audits can help your clinic or practice ensure you’re up to code and keeping with applicable compliance regulations. However, audits often have a reputation for being stressful for everyone involved. Even when audits are being conducted internally, staff can feel nervous about the results and how it might reflect on their job performance.
Here are the steps your clinic needs to take to prepare for an internal healthcare asset audit.
Plan for Your Audit in Advance
The best thing you can do for you and your team is to plan in advance. When you have to scramble to get everything prepared right before the audit, you can miss things and perform even more poorly than you might otherwise.
Instead of waiting for an audit to get your information sorted, create systems to help you do it every day. When you keep an orderly way of operating, preparing for audits is much easier.
Gather documentation ahead of time so you can present it to the auditor when they ask for it.
Create and Maintain Accurate Asset Reports
Asset reports are a great way to demonstrate compliance. They’re also a great way to condense information your auditor will need to see and put it all in one place.
Asset reports should include information such as:
- Finances: What budget are you putting into getting and maintaining your assets?
- Life cycle: How long are your assets lasting? Which assets tend to expire faster, and which ones last longer than expected?
- Maintenance: What are you doing to maintain your assets?
- Usage: Who has access to your assets? What happens in between uses?
- Sterilization and cleaning: How are medical devices and equipment sterilized and cleaned?
Anything else your auditors will be checking should be available in the asset reports.
Know What Regulations Apply to Your Assets
Audits shouldn’t be the only reason you keep your assets within healthcare regulations. Patient safety and protection relies on you keeping up with medical asset regulations.
Knowing what regulations apply to which assets can help you create tasks and schedule maintenance tasks to ensure your devices and equipment perform as expected. It’ll also help you identify what information you need to track on a daily basis.
Perform Test Audits Beforehand
A great way to identify weaknesses that might come up during audits is to conduct a test run before it’s time.
Once you feel like you’ve got everything gathered, run through a test audit. If any problems come up during this process, identify what you can do to fix them ahead of your next audit.
You’ll also want to identify what you can do every day to make the next audit go smoother. If you spot a weakness in how you’re keeping your assets, don’t just use it to make your clinic look better for the audit. Turn it into motivation to improve your process.
Even in the healthcare world, audits don’t have to be a big, scary process. Preparing ahead of time and keeping good asset records will go a long way to helping you pass each audit with flying colors.