The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Competency Documentation

Dan J. Grady, MEd, RRT Tuesday, November 5, 1996

Current JCAHO standards require that staff providing patient care are well-trained, competent, and held accountable for their performance. In order to comply with accreditation requirements, Respiratory Care managers must ensure that staff receive a structured orientation and that the competence of both new and existing employees is periodically assessed and documented.

Since very significant management decisions such as promotion, merit increases in salary, and termination may be based upon the assessment of clinical competence, it is essential that the system used is both valid and reliable.

A system for the assessment of staff competence is described in this presentation. Topics in this discussion include the selection of skills for assessment, competency documentation for multi-skilling and cross-training, integration of competency assessment with inservices and continuing education, construction of valid and reliable assessment instruments, and reporting of competency patterns and trends to the hospital governing board.

In summary, a competency documentation system was developed to meet the need of accreditation requirements for the purpose of assuring high quality Respiratory Care services. Competency assurance is essential for a Respiratory Care department to grow and continuously improve.

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