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Anyone who works in healthcare knows that the regulations are complex, subject to change and hard to keep up with, especially if you don’t have a software solution tracking it all.
Jerry Shafran, CEO and Founder of YouCompli recommends identifying and focusing on the highly-regulated portions of your organizations first. For hospitals, he explains, those tend to be revenue cycle, lab, physician services and pharmacy. They represent about 70% of the regulations that come out.
Next, he advises nurturing relationships with the people in these parts of the enterprise. The keys to success include modifying how regulatory changes are perceived in the organization and making regulatory change management foundational to the compliance program.
Unfortunately, that can be trickier than it seems. Training needs to be checked regularly to ensure it is up to date. And, with the changes being so highly clinical and entering the organization in a disorganized fashion, there are ample opportunities for error.
To succeed, he suggests making things as simple as possible by creating repeatable processes, such as following the steps of know, decide, manage and verify:
- Know that you are tracking all the regulator you need to and who in the organization is responsible.
- Decide if it applies to your organization and what needs to be done.
- Manage by ensuring all stakeholders are aware of what they are supposed to do and the deadlines
- Verify that the required changes have been put into effect, behavior changed and policies have been modified.
The verify step is especially important since that is what regulators will be looking for if they knock on your door.
Finally, as with so much else in compliance, communication is key. Every regulatory communication the compliance team shares with the organization has to be simple and simple to follow. Write it for businesspeople and avoid legalese. Look to methods of communication other than email so the communication doesn’t get lost. And include in your communications plan a process for calling people to make sure that they have done what the regulation requires. That helps increase compliance and provides a record of the steps taken to comply.
Together this should make the process of keeping up with healthcare regulations more than a bit easier.