Expectations for Agency-Specific Policies and Procedures for Home Care Providers
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) receives many calls from providers requesting guidance on how to prepare policies and procedures for home care agencies. Because policies and procedures are agency-specific documents, providers are in the best position to prepare them.
MDH’s mission is to protect, maintain and improve the health of Minnesotans. With that in mind, we stress the importance of providers investing time to think about and prepare relevant and practical agency-specific policies and procedures that comply with Minnesota home care laws. While independent consultants may offer valuable guidelines regarding the process of policy and procedure development, the provider must tailor these policy samples or templates to their agency; otherwise, they will not satisfy the requirements of Minnesota statutes.
What are policies and procedures?
Policies are a set of rules that govern an organization while the procedures describe the steps taken in performing specific tasks or responding to situations. Having policies and procedures in place gives a clear indication that the provider is aware of the tasks and challenges ahead, is prepared and has mechanisms in place to minimize risks.
Some variables that affect policy and procedure documents include the size of the agency, resources available, staffing, location, the services offered, and, of course, Minnesota home care laws.
Components of Policies and Procedures
- Address how your agency will comply with the statutes and current standards of practice.
- State, in clear language, each policy, and identify what procedures must be followed to implement the policy.
- Address specific services provided by the agency. For instance, an agency providing home care services with a basic home care license does not need to write a policy on medication management because these services cannot be performed by a basic licensee. On the other hand, an agency holding a comprehensive home care license that provides medication management services does need to have such a policy and procedure and it must comply with statute.