Mock surveys measure compliance with the CMS standards and regulations and mirror your actual federal survey. We sat down with LeaderStat Consultant, Andee Koczak, to discuss some frequently asked questions about the importance of mock surveys and how they can serve as an early warning system to detect serious issues.
How can my staff benefit from having a mock survey?
In short, because practice makes perfect. Also, because having a second set of objective eyes on your processes, systems and care help to provide honest feedback on what your community is doing well and what needs to be improved. The ultimate goal is to improve the care to residents while minimizing the risk of citations and preventing fines. The mock survey process mimics the Long Term Care Survey Process and identifies survey risk areas, allowing you to begin work on correcting potential problems and incorporate self-identification of high risk, high volume, and/or problem prone areas into your QAPI program.
With a mock survey, how do my staff and I learn more about our center?
Many times, what leadership believes are routine practices have, in fact, either gone by the wayside or have been adapted in a way that no longer meets the Requirements of Participation. Having a trained regulatory specialist to make objective observations and is able to answer questions helps identify potential areas of risk and begin the process of correction. Despite ongoing training, at times staff have created work arounds because of a lack of knowledge or resources and this can be identified prior to survey. Because of the numerous changes in the Requirements of Participation, keeping up with the details can be overwhelming and even the most vigilant leadership team can miss details. Having a team with regulatory expertise perform a mock survey will help identify and catch these areas that may be believed to be adequate to meet the new requirements, but are not.
How does the mock survey process teach my staff and me about the revised Long Term Care Survey process?
By going through the data gathering phase and review process in a way that not only mimics LTCSP, but educates, the staff gain deeper understanding of how to be survey ready at all times. The analysis and review of practices and systems are conducted using the same guidelines to determine compliance as the state and federal surveyors use and throughout this process; the mock surveyors are transparent so that each step is clearly understood. Our mock surveyors are regulatory experts but also have a passion to teach and provide your staff with understanding and practical solutions to continue their work toward system-oriented solutions.
What kind of feedback is provided from a mock survey?
At the end of each day, the mock surveyors will share their findings with you and any members of your team that you desire to be present. On the final day, there will be a meeting to review findings and the specific tags that would present risk for citation. At the end of this session, the mock survey team discusses the top areas of risk to provide the team with a solid place to focus their initial problem solving. Within 2 weeks of the end of the mock survey, a detailed report that includes information reviewed as a part of the off-site prep, center-specific quality information, findings and recommendations for correction will be provided and also reviewed in a conference call. This allows time to review risk areas identified and focus on corrective action discussion. The consultants performing the mock survey provide contact information for you and your staff for future questions.