By: Paul Guest
You’re not alone!
It’s no secret, Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) across the US (and world) are facing increasing call volumes, while also managing critical staffing shortages. Add to this the never-ending changes in technology, performance expectations, and evolving industry Quality Assurance (QA) standards and it’s clear to see how public safety agencies are stretched too thin.
So it’s no wonder they have limited time and resources to create or effectively manage a successful QA program, especially when policy writing, standard operating procedures (SOPs) editing, and training updates are required.
Can you relate?
Why outsource such an important responsibility?
Getting external help with meeting Quality Assurance requirements doesn’t mean an agency is unable to create or manage its own program, nor does it require “giving up control” of policy development, training, or personnel improvement. Hiring a professional and certified QA service team means you understand the value of giving precious time back to overworked teams, reducing error-related risks, and improving operations by utilizing professional and consistent QA evaluations.
Teaming up with the right QA Program Services partner benefits an agency in many ways, here’s just a few to think about:
First, QA evaluations are time consuming. They must be thorough, detailed, and provide appropriate coaching feedback. Many ECCs simply don’t have the time or resources to conduct and adequately report their evaluations. A qualified third party can alleviate some of the associated stress in this process by shouldering many of the requirements, including conducting QA evaluations, implementing feedback loops, providing job improvement aids, and developing Quality Improvement (QI) training plans.
Without proper controls in place, internal call reviews can lead to favoritism and/or over-discipline. By working with an objective third party, inherent or developed biases can be eliminated, significantly increasing consistent and professional performance improvements.
Many agencies either pay overtime or juggle shift coverage in order to have personnel available to run QA programs. Or they simply complete QA tasks only when time permits. Outsourcing can reduce or even eliminate the unplanned expenses, helping keep them on time and on budget.
Existing QA operations, or soon-to-be established programs, can be reviewed and assessed by a qualified third party to ensure the center is on track to meet APCO/NENA ANSI and other relevant industry standards, or work towards accreditation goals if desired. Additionally, outsourcing QA enables compliance to endure without additional recertification expense when full time staff leave the center.
Frequent and Regular Updates
A qualified third party outsourcing service keeps agencies up to date on changes to industry-accepted QA standards, policies, protocols, best practices, and performance feedback technologies as they are developed, implemented and adapted.
In addition to frequent updates, QA professional services providers can eliminate the reliance on “out of the box” or “one-size-fits-all” QA software and services that often fail to fully address a PSAP’s unique requests and diverse needs.
By outsourcing, agencies avoid the time consuming process of designing their own QI program and training feedback loops, enabling them to achieve performance goals sooner.
Coupled with policy editing, a professionally managed QA/QI evaluation program can identify weak performance areas and work proactively to recommend, write, and implement improvement plans before potentially costly mistakes occur. This helps agencies avoid expensive errors, reactionary revisions of SOPs, and costly retraining of staff.
Is it time to think about outsourcing components or all of your agency’s QA Program? If so, take a look at the information sheet on Zetron’s QA Program Services and let us know if you’d like to discuss your agency’s specific needs.
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