Digital assessments are performed routinely and accepted by the international standards of the Health Standards Organization – HSO. However, the Accreditation Committee will always seek evidence that all objectives are being achieved during this evaluation model. This assessment process must be very precise, as the areas of care execution cannot be evaluated directly.
With technological advances, digital customer service is no longer new, including for us at IQG. Using online logistics with surveyors and digital support for specific problems, we prove that a high-quality service is no longer linked to location.
With advances in workflow tracking, communication software and file sharing technologies, we can conduct the assessment entirely at the organization’s offices. Although we are well prepared to manage your assessment remotely, we recognize that questions may arise. So, we’re here to answer some frequently asked questions.
Will digital assessments permanently replace onsite surveys?
It will not be a total substitution of onsite with digital. The international methodology understands that we can have a hybrid model, alternating through the process phase, commitment of the organization and time of accreditation.
Is it possible to maintain the high-quality commitment without being on site?
Certainly. We continue to follow professional standards and sector best practices, using location and model.
What are the challenges in conducting audits in this way?
The fact that it is a total paradigm shift for the surveyor and the client, this challenge forces both sides to be more open and communicative in order to reach the conclusions of the assessment.
Assessments always start a little timid, but within a short period, both sides will resolve logistical problems and obstacles.
What equipment should a company have for a digital assessment?
A stable broadband internet network is highly desirable. It is also useful for people to have the ability to use digital communication platforms. Alternatively, a conference call and document sharing over the Internet will work.
The technology requirements are minimal – only a few webcams and collaborative software, such as Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or WebEx, will allow us to continue chatting in person and even sharing the screen as if we were in person. The organization needs to consider the security of its network while working with telecommunications.
How long does a digital assessment take?
Digital assessments can often be more complete. Sometimes, when on site, there are frequent interruptions by the team, in addition to other “noise” stimuli. A lot of time is spent talking to people, listening to explanations and document reviews. In a digital assessment, no one interrupts, is more focused and therefore more effective.
The evaluation modules will be divided into blocks of 40 minutes. The whole process is divided into 4 blocks with different groups and another closing block with the leadership team.
If the assessment process started before the pandemic, when will the process be resumed?
The IQG technical team is working behind the scenes to continue all the processes already started. We are monitoring the mobility of organizations in the first phase of the pandemic and awaiting stabilization.
The first phase of the digital assessment will serve to analyze the impacts on the organizational structure that require additional actions in the construction project, so that we can move forward with the process.
Will planning for digital assessment be different?
We are dedicating extra internal time for the surveyors to develop the assessment plan based on the information already collected from each organization through our newsletters. What should differ in this new model is the strengthening of the assessment in the areas of people management, risk management, internal controls of clinical processes, design of service flows, social responsibility, and work environment.
In this assessment model will a project be developed for the development of processes, as in onsite model?
The entire process will be documented, and the assessment will be completed with a project and actions to strengthen quality and safety in the institution.
It will also be identified which plans should be implemented when the current restrictions are removed to ensure the resumption of onsite surveys.
What if the organization fails to demonstrate everything it needs to complete the assessment?
We are working to be innovative in our approach to more effectively achieving our assessment goals. As far as possible, we will do everything we can with alternative procedures to have reasonable guarantees. If there are barriers that prohibit us from completing, we will communicate and arrange a new appointment to complete the necessary information.
During the pandemic, the IQG will continue to use and implement additional alternative tools and approaches to the assessment process. In this unprecedented period, we are working hard to help ensure the safety and integrity of the management of partner institutions. While we achieve an appropriate balance between a digital and onsite assessment program for the continuity of actions to support the process. Although this pandemic has added new complexities to our normal operations, we have implemented alternative approaches to provide information useful for fulfilling our mission in developing the quality and safety of healthcare.
The IQG surveyors who will perform the procedures remotely are being prepared to follow the standards and use all the technology at their disposal to avoid losing the method purpose. In remote assessments, surveyors will have the same responsibilities to comply with standards and offer the same high-quality as they would in face-to-face work.
We will not compromise on our commitment to safety, adherence to excellence standards and our level of service to sustain our partnership responsible for quality control.
We are tirelessly looking for an innovative way to perform digital assessment, offering a personalized touch.