Characteristics of a Quality Policy and Procedure Manual for Adult Day Services
Pat Long, BS, ADM, RN
CARF Surveyor and Retired ADHC Administrator
A quality, updated and current policy and procedure manual is crucial to the success of an adult day center (both health and social model). Unfortunately, many in our industry do not understand its value, believing that simply possessing one, despite collecting dust on the shelf, is enough. Unfortunately, inferior and poor quality policy and procedure manuals for Adult Day Care are abundant; purchased inexpensively on the internet or copied from another center. It is possible that these manuals passed survey—years before and if the state surveyors didn’t examine the manual too closely. When policies and procedures are not followed (or known) costly litigation, license and/or certification revocation as well as harm to the participants can result. A well-crafted manual that accurately reflects the unique policies and procedures at each Adult Day Care Center is crucial to a center’s success.
Policies and procedures are not merely material required for licensure and/or certification, meant to sit on the shelf, never to be touched. A Center’s P&P manual should be a living breathing document that guides the employer and employee in the handling of a wide range of organizational issues, from participant’s health treatment to disaster procedures.
Opening or maintaining an Adult Day Services business requires a significant investment of time and money. Additionally, providing quality participant care is a serious undertaking and the failure to do so will have serious consequences. The benefits of a well written policy and procedure manual are numerous:
In our society lawsuits against Adult Day Care Centers are numerous and likely. Without a policy and procedure manual that clearly reflects a center’s practices and the state’s regulations and requirements, the center leaves itself open to the inability to defend itself in a lawsuit.
If you have no plans for accreditation, you may want to change that. Although most states do not require accreditation as a requirement for licensure, reimbursement or certification, they may soon. Some of the other payer sources such as V.A., respite services, or managed care may require accreditation. Medicare may soon become a payer source and there is almost no disagreement that accreditation will be required soon after for adult day services wishing to be reimbursed by Medicare. Passing an accreditation survey without a well written and comprehensive Adult Day Care Services policy and procedure manual is impossible.
Not all Adult Day Care policy and procedure manuals will be appropriate for all centers. An Adult Day Care center’s policy and procedure manual must be modifiable and editable so it can change as the center evolves. Total ADHC Solutions is one company that offers a do-it yourself policy and procedure manual that can be customized by the center staff to reflect each center’s unique qualities. Total ADHC Solutions’ also offers a customized version that is not only state specific, but center specific based on the center’s individual requirements and needs.
An Adult Day Care center’s policy and procedure manual is a reflection of the center’s brand and conveys how committed a center is to providing quality care for participants; to surveyors, legal entities and licensing agencies. Out of date, poorly written or available only on paper (no e-version) manuals are red flags that imply a center may not take the enormity of their task seriously.
Skimping on a quality Adult Day Services specific policy and procedure manual makes little sense considering the magnitude of the work and financial commitment it takes to start and run a successful Adult Day Center.
Having literally reviewed hundreds of policy and procedure manuals throughout my 25 year history in this industry as a CARF surveyor, consultant and adult day health care center administrator/operator, I can say that I have never seen a better written, well organized policy and procedure manual than the one offered by Total ADHC Solutions. The founder of the company, Amanda Graham Sillars, MSW, LCSW has over twenty years’ experience in the geriatric health care industry and has written over ten manuals for the Adult Day Services industry. She is passionate about her work and meticulous in the development of any product. She continually ensures all Adult Day Service manuals produced by Total ADHC Solutions are updated to serve as a useful working tools that support the center’s overall success. Total ADHC Solutions and Amanda work exclusively in the Adult Day Industry allowing for a specialization in the field to which no one can be compared.