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From hassle to habit: Tips for exclusion screening and monitoring

J. Veronica Xu (veronica.xu@saberhealth.com) is the Chief Compliance Officer for Saber Healthcare Group headquartered in Cleveland, OH.

“Don’t forget to take the face mask with you when you go to the store,” my mother reminded me before I went grocery shopping this morning. Because of the highly contagious coronavirus, face masks have now become an essential attire for going places. As a result, in addition to checking for keys and credit cards before leaving home, I have developed the habit of grabbing my face mask prior to stepping out the door. I am sure this new ritual can resonate with numerous people. Although bringing and wearing a face mask may not count as a cumbersome task, it is indeed a hassle and inconvenience to many. Nonetheless, in accordance with the guidance issued by public health officials and for the safety of ourselves and others, we must incorporate face masks into our daily checklist whether we like it or not—and for the most part it has successfully turned into a habit of ours, welcomed or not.

Regardless, this new change did prompt me to ponder some of our compliance measures, such as exclusion checks. To reduce the risk of employing an excluded person or engaging a debarred vendor, the actual screening and the ongoing monitoring must take place. But with all the high demands that our healthcare workers are facing nowadays and all the paperwork that is mandated by various laws, how do we know our frontline staff members are following the necessary steps? How can we help our teams develop a habit of checking exclusion lists so that the exclusion screening is not lost in the shuffle? And how can we ensure the monitoring is truly effective and consistent? What are the specific measures that can be implemented to enhance effectiveness and consistency?

This article aims to share some practical tips and concrete steps that our fellow healthcare providers can use to enhance their internal exclusion monitoring.

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