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Digitizing Compliance Management in Healthcare

In the rapidly changing healthcare industry, compliance with regulations is essential for the success of your organization. With the expiration of COVID-19 public health emergency waivers and new minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, preparing for audits and surveys is more crucial than ever. Digitizing your compliance program is vital for the success of your organization.

However, the Relias 2023 State of Healthcare Training and Staff Development Report found that 53% of managers in healthcare organizations use manual methods, such as paper, Word files, and spreadsheets, to track required training completed by their staff. This outdated approach is time-consuming and prone to human error, putting your organization at risk of non-compliance, resulting in hefty fines, corrective action plans, and damage to your reputation.

The cost of non-compliance in healthcare is high. For instance, according to The HIPAA Journal, the maximum penalty for HIPAA rule violations in 2024 is $2,067,813 per violation per calendar year. According to the American Hospital Association’s Regulatory Overload Report, healthcare providers spend nearly $39 billion yearly on administrative activities to comply with federal regulatory requirements. An average-sized hospital dedicates the equivalent of 59 full-time staff members to regulatory compliance, and more than 25% of them are doctors and nurses.

“Digital compliance management tools provide far more robust tracking, reporting, and analytics capabilities than paper-based programs,” said Corinne Epton, MHA, CHC, CCEP, Relias Regulatory and Compliance Manager. “Organizations with digitized programs are better positioned to demonstrate compliance, mitigate risks, and make quick updates to reflect changes in regulations or standards. This flexibility and agility help organizations stay compliant in our rapidly evolving regulatory landscape.”

Streamline processes and reduce risks

According to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services, an effective healthcare compliance management program must include the seven elements below. Digitizing these aspects can improve your compliance officer’s workflow and your program’s effectiveness.

1. Written policies and procedures

Digitizing written policies and procedures enables seamless distribution, updates, and tracking. This allows compliance officers to disseminate and update policies efficiently, ensuring immediate access to the most current information for staff.

2. Compliance oversight

Digital platforms facilitate communication and collaboration among compliance officers and committee members, streamlining decision-making processes and providing a centralized platform for documentation and discussions, thus enhancing your organization’s healthcare compliance management.

3. Education and training

Digital training and education platforms empower compliance officers to deliver, track, and manage staff training efficiently, reducing administrative burdens and offering more flexible and convenient employee training options.

4. Effective lines of communication

Digital communication tools enable compliance officers to establish efficient reporting channels and address healthcare compliance management issues, streamlining the reporting process and ensuring easily accessible documentation of compliance-related communication.

5. Internal monitoring and auditing

Digitizing monitoring and auditing processes enables efficient collection and analysis of compliance data. Compliance officers can utilize digital tools to automate data collection, conduct real-time monitoring, and generate reports, thereby enhancing the efficiency of compliance monitoring.

6. Enforcement and discipline

Leveraging digital documentation and tracking can support enforcing compliance standards and tracking disciplinary actions. Compliance officers can utilize digital systems to uphold records of enforcement actions, ensuring transparency and consistency in disciplinary processes.

7. Response and prevention

Using digital tools for response and prevention processes can lead to more efficient management of compliance risks. Digital platforms can facilitate the implementation of proactive measures and enable swift responses to compliance issues, ultimately enhancing the organization’s ability to prevent and address non-compliance.

Embracing a digital compliance management platform allows you to streamline processes, improve efficiency, enhance communication, and provide better access to data and resources. Ultimately, these efforts will contribute to the overall effectiveness of your healthcare compliance management and ensure your organization provides the highest quality of care while meeting all regulatory requirements.


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