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Tip: Determine risk with walk-through interviews

Healthcare Auditing Weekly, May 12, 2009

One of the best ways to obtain information about the risk exposures facing an organization is to conduct walk-around interviews with department managers and staff members. The benefits can be endless. To prepare for such an interview, perform the following steps:

  1. Obtain an organizational chart. Doing so will help identify where the interviewee’s department sits in the organization’s structure and to whom in the organization he or she reports.
  2. Notify the interviewee’s supervisor/manager. Unless you conducting a surprise walk-around interview, contact the interviewee’s supervisor/manager to let him or her know that you are conducting an interview with the employee. Tell the manager the purpose of the interview and what you will do with the information you gather.
  3. Obtain the interviewee’s job description. Many interviewees may not have been provided with a job description upon hire. The job description serves many purposes including:
  4. Helping you understand what the interviewee’s duties entail
  5. Allowing you to notice whether the duties the individual performs are different than those in the job description.
  6. Serving as a standard against which to judge the individual’s performance, which any supervisor/manager needs in order to conduct an effective performance appraisal
  7. Indicating the employee’s influence over identified risks or involvement in mitigating processes
  8. Prepare. Walk-around interviews disrupt both the department in which you conduct the interview and the employee you interview. To minimize disruption, be prepared for the interview:
  9. Have a good understanding of the department’s work flow
  10. Have your questions prepared in advance
  11. Inform the interviewee of the purpose of the interview
  12. Make him or her feel at ease

This tip was adapted from The Compliance Officer’s Handbook. For more information about the book or to order your copy, visit the HCMarketplace.

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