Corporate Compliance

Tip: Use interviews to understand your organization and assess risk

Healthcare Auditing Weekly, October 14, 2008

In assessing risk, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of your organizations, the services it provides, and how it provides these services on a daily basis. One of the best ways to learn about your organization is to conduct interview with department managers as well as department staff.
 
To prepare for the interview, perform the following steps:
  1. Obtain an organizational chart. This will help you to identify where the interviewee’s department sits in the organization’s structure and to whom the department’s employees report.
  2. Notify the interviewee’s supervisor/manager. Unless you are conducting a surprise walk-around interview, contact the interviewee’s supervisor/manager to let him or her know that you will be conducting an interview. Tell the manager the purpose of the interview and what you will do with the information.
  3. Obtain the interviewee’s job description. You may be surprised to learn during your interview that the interviewee does not have or was not provided with a job description upon hire. The job description helps you to understand what the interviewee’s duties entail and whether or not the interviewee is performing those duties.
  4. Obtain hospital-wide and departmental policies and procedures which apply to the department, and review them before conducting the walk-around interview. Having some knowledge of these will help you to better understand the department and relate to the individual(s) you interview.
  5. Prepare. Conducting a walk-around interview is a disruption to both the department in which you are conducting the interview ad the employee you are interviewing. To ensure minimal disruption, use the following tips:
    1. Have a good understanding of the department’s work flow. You should keep disruptions to a minimum and ensure that the interviewee feels comfortable and not stressed.
    2. Have your questions prepared in advance. Inform the interviewee of the purpose of the interview and make him or her feel at ease. 
This tip is adapted from The Healthcare Compliance Professional’s Guide to Risk Assessments. For more information about the book or to order your copy, visit HCMarketplace.

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