What are standards?
Standards are documents that describe the specifications, metrics, and procedures necessary to produce repeatable and reliable measurements, methods, processes, services, procedures and/or products that are used by organizations and individuals. They often start with an idea, a past or current practice, or a written document that describes effective or best-in-class performance.
What are the benefits?
Standards serve as a foundation for services, processes, or product development. They facilitate improvement, reduce business risks, encourage innovation, and support sustainable practices. They are a tool for consumers to understand and compare competing products and services, and often lead to a competitive edge. Finally, standards can be nationally or internationally adopted, facilitating national and international trade.
Why healthcare management standards?
Research performed in the U.S. reveals that 65-85% of each dollar spent on healthcare services addresses non-clinical managerial or administrative concerns in healthcare workplaces. The proper application of voluntary standards in healthcare organization management dramatically reduce the cost of non-clinical management functions that support an organization’s principal operations, while at the same time improving patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.
Are there organizations already creating healthcare management standards?
There are a few organizations who include a limited number of healthcare management subjects in their healthcare standards portfolios, however these programs tend to focus on clinical services, devices, and metrics. Our focus is exclusively on the less well understood organizational practices, activities and measures that are essential for a healthcare organization to operate in the modern healthcare environment.
What is ANSI?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system and strengthening its impact, both nationally and internationally. Founded in 1918, ANSI’s mission is “to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems and safeguarding their integrity.” (www.ansi.org)
How does the standards development process work?
As an Accredited Standards Developer (ASD), the Healthcare Standards Institute establishes, maintains and oversees committees of U.S. national experts in the development of standards documents. These committees are led by a chairperson who guides the members as they write the initial draft standard. The chair facilitates discussions about the document’s technical content, and ensures expert consensus about what is described in the standard. Once consensus has been achieved, the document is distributed to stakeholders throughout the U.S. where their feedback on the document is sought and sent back to the committee. Upon receipt, the committee reviews these comments and makes consensus driven changes to the document.
If substantive changes are made to this document, it is again submitted for “public review” for additional feedback. This cycle repeats until there are no new substantive changes to the draft. The committee then confirms that this document is an accurate and complete expression of this standard to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Once ANSI determines that the development process was consistent with its approved development process, the document is then designated an American National Standard (ANS). HSI publishes the standard for consumers to purchase and adopt.
How long does the standards development process take?
Depending on the complexity of the subject matter, standard development may take between 18 and 36 months. The length of time is also dependent on the number of public comments and how long it takes to resolve them.
What types of standards projects are possible?
Our scope of work is:
Standardization in the field of healthcare organization management comprising, terminology, nomenclature, recommendations and requirements for healthcare-specific management practices and metrics (e.g. patient-centered staffing, quality, facility-level infection control, pandemic management, hand hygiene) that comprise the non-clinical operations in healthcare organizations.
Projects may emerge on any topic that falls within the above scope.
How can someone join a committee?
HSI has an application process for interested experts to join a standards committee and/or submit an idea for a standards project. Each standards committee must approve its own applicants or project ideas for membership or consideration. Besides reviewing applications for an expression of genuine interest in the committee’s work, HSI and the consensus body have a duty to ensure that the committees are staffed with a well-balanced representation of interests. Weighing and adjusting expertise against the effects of dominating influences during the standards development process is an essential duty and determines whether a document is a credible, equitable, and publishable product.
What is the time commitment for me to work on a committee?
Committee meetings for the foreseeable future will be virtual and usually occur monthly. There may be smaller working groups meeting more frequently to research, write content, and discuss sections of the document. The amount of time involved is approximately two hours per month yet may vary based on the complexity of the standard, level of desired involvement, and the number of participants in a committee.
How many people are on a committee?
There is no predetermined number of participants. HSI works with the chair of the committee to determine how many experts must be recruited and deployed to a specific project.