Every year on my birthday I take stock of my achievements and more importantly, my failings. The common denominator of all my failings, I usually don’t clearly define a standard and consistently measure my efforts toward achieving it.
Certain times during the year lend themselves to self-reflection for all of us:
- A week before the annual physical
- January 2nd
It’s easy to look in the mirror and say “I need to lose the belly”, but in order to honestly improve one-self against a set of personal goals, documented self-assessment is necessary.
Likewise, on a business level, self-assessment of compliance efforts begins with establishing clear goals, criteria, or standards. Continuous improvement comes from consistently answering the question ‘how am I doing’?
Outside of the obvious objective of simply being compliant – to IQCP, Meaningful Use, HIPAA, ISO 9001, any set of criteria — it’s easy to lose sight of the true value of consistent compliance self-assessments. These include:
- Reducing Cost: Ultimately these checkpoints are going to give you the opportunity to course correct before costly issue arises.
- Improving Outcomes: The sometimes negative connotation of an audit or compliance procedure can distract from the overarching positive impact of quality assessment which is to improve outcomes – safety, health, learning, etc.
- Audit Preparation: If you employ the use of a consulting organization to help you prepare for official audits or surveys, having your self-evaluation organized will reduce the time and expense of that preparation. Additionally, if you are subject to unscheduled audits, it’s settling to know all of your documentation/data is in order and you know where you stand.
So how do you go about the process of self-assessment? It doesn’t need to be complicated — I noted a few simple ideas in my blog on compliance walkthroughs.
If you would like to discuss cost-effective ways to organize your quality and compliance activities, or see a demo of compliance and quality self-assessment tools being utilized by your peers, don’t hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, I’ll be surfing the app store for something to help me get my diet on track before my next birthday.