Perform Faster Self-Assessments to Maintain ECC Accreditation

Busy preparing for your accreditation self-assessment? Accreditation management software can help your ECC speed up the process.

October 3, 2022

Article Highlights

The problem: Assessing accreditation readiness

Your emergency communications center holds itself to a high standard of service, which is why you’re busy preparing for accreditation. Given your resource limits, however, the process is taking longer than you’d like, especially because determining your accreditation readiness requires a lot of time.

While your ECC may be excited to apply for accreditation, limited staff resources and manual processes can make it difficult to assess your agency’s readiness. Without a centralized place to quickly review existing policies and match them to an accrediting body’s standards, employees may have a hard time proving that your agency is indeed maintaining compliance. Plus, staff must physically track down all existing policies and procedures for updates before they can even begin a self-assessment.

After updating policies, employees then have to spend time on inefficient communication, like email or meetings, to keep telecommunicators up-to-speed with changes. Because manual processes don’t provide a clear-cut way to communicate policy changes to staff, telecommunicators may accidentally refer to outdated policies or procedures. These activities increase liability risk to your agency and the community at large, and divert limited staff resources away from important ECC duties.

The solution: Accreditation management software

PowerDMS’s accreditation management software, PowerStandards, offers centralized tools that make it easier to assess your accreditation readiness. This emergency operations center software tool provides a single location for accreditation prep to speed up the self-assessment process, including features that help your 911 center:

  • Prove compliance with standards
  • Collaborate on policy and procedure updates
  • Conduct an accreditation self-assessment

PowerStandards helps ECCs maintain and prove compliance with features like policy linking and digital highlighting. Staff can opt in to receive notifications when a standard changes to ensure compliance and guarantee your policies always meet ECC requirements for accreditation. And with digital highlighting, you can label the areas of a policy or procedure that align with an accrediting body’s standards so staff and assessors can easily find them.

Emergency communications centers that use PowerStandards also improve their internal and external collaboration because staff can set up auto-recurring tasks and to-dos. After assigning specific standards to team members, staff receive notifications about their to-dos and associated due dates, like the need to upload narratives or evidence of compliance before a mock assessment. You can also give external surveyors access to view documents and leave notes to determine your overall accreditation preparedness.

Finally, staff can use PowerDMS’s emergency operations center software to perform an accreditation self-assessment before an accreditor arrives for an onsite visit. These assessments ensure your accreditation documents comply with all required standards before the formal assessment. The compliance audit management system makes mock assessments possible with the tools outlined in the table below.

Feature Uses
Reviewer and visitor tools
  • Reviewers can leave comments or upload documentation that aligns with specific standards
  • Your agency can view these comments and make any appropriate changes
  • Save these comments for your records and future use (such as applying for re-accreditation)
Set statuses
  • Set a “Met” or “Not Met” status on each standard
  • Keep a record of your agency's performance that can be exported for analysis and included in the final visit report
Dashboards and reports
  • Track progress throughout your re-accreditation cycle
  • Create status reports broken down by standard
  • Provide all relevant employees with information about assessment readiness

The benefits of accreditation management software

PowerDMS’s accreditation management software protects your center’s valuable resources by reducing assessment preparation time by 50%, freeing up time for important ECC work. Plus, since mock assessors can quickly review documents for compliance in PowerStandard’s cloud-based system, agencies also save $11,000 in printing and paper costs and reduce the costs associated with accreditation assessor travel expenses.

Each of these benefits mean your agency has more resources to dedicate to maintaining compliance, fostering a culture of accountability, and providing the best services possible to your community and partners.

Learn more

Learn more about how PowerDMS’s compliance audit management system, PowerStandards, can help your 911 center efficiently assess accreditation readiness by schedule a demo today.

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