5 Reasons Why You Should Conduct a File Audit

13th March 2017

Most practices have a combination of paper files and digital files, with information in at least two places (or more, if you or your team use multiple gadgets such as tablets, laptops and phones to communicate about and do your work).  Quieter holiday weeks are perfect for tackling a file audit.  Whilst it’s not hard, it is time-consuming.  Select three clients from each of your clinicians,  then  browse  their  files.  Here are five reasons why this is good for your business.

1. Ensuing consistency
If your training and support is adequate, all your clinicians should be completing assessments, letters, reports, session notes and reviews in a consistent manner.  This ensures your customers are experiencing consistent services from everyone in your team.

2. Performance management
An absence of documents (email and conversation logs being the usual culprits) is problematic. Excessive deviation from recommended formats and style can be equally concerning.  How will you get the clinicians’ documentation and compliance with record-keeping obligations back-on-track?

3. Alignment to policy and procedures
If you find concise, correct and complete files, congratulations, your policies and procedures are well-defined, understood and meticulously implemented.  The reality may be that your team needs a refresher on what’s required and why.  How will you do this?

4. Review of standard templates
As you audit the files you may notice that they don’t reflect the way you currently speak and deliver services.  Templates may be dated and the language a bit tired.  NDIS providers would pick up on this instantly.  How will you re-work your templates and communicate the updates to your team?

5. Current client content
Pause and consider your clients’ perspectives. What would it be like to receive these emails, phones calls, letters, and reports from your business?  What could be done to make them even more positive, respectful and family-centred?

You may be able to delegate or share the file audit to senior clinical staff, keeping in mind your obligations to staff under privacy laws.  A hefty to-do list could be generated from the audit. Plan the actions that are required and tackle each systematically.  The ultimate result will help your business become more efficient, quality-driven and client-obsessed.

This article featured in the January Edition of Paeds Biz.

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