Create Connections Between Healthcare Compliance and HR

Chris Seymour
HR and Compliance

Different planets, same galaxy. This is how the relationship between healthcare compliance and human resource (HR) teams traditionally was viewed. That stereotype is far from reality.

HR and healthcare compliance share common goals and responsibilities that impact the onboarding and training of new employees, help reduce organizational risk due to regulatory violations, and ensure the highest quality patient care. It makes sense for the departments to work hand-in-hand to attract, retain, protect, and elevate new employees.

Many organizations may underestimate HR’s vital role in creating a culture of compliance that will keep employee practices safe and legal. This blog will discuss how to build connections between healthcare compliance and HR teams by defining how each discipline impacts new-hire onboarding and how they complement each other.

Build a Culture of Compliance Together

Creating connections between healthcare compliance and HR starts and ends with people. Both disciplines play prominent roles in onboarding and training new employees. HR owns the company culture and employee relationships, but each team helps set the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that define a culture of compliance. HR and compliance ensure every employee understands their role in upholding legal and ethical standards.

This sounds straightforward, but 50% of HR professionals say they lack the confidence to keep up with compliance laws, according to a study by the legal platform UpCounsel. Another 64% say they lack the time and resources to meet HR compliance challenges. Here is where the power of partnership between HR and compliance makes a difference in onboarding and training.

50% of HR professionals say they lack the confidence to keep up with compliance laws – UpCounsel legal platform

Collaborate on Training and Education Development

To succeed, healthcare compliance training and education require a symbiotic relationship between HR and compliance. Though different by organization, it is typically HR’s responsibility to deliver, monitor, and report on the completion of new-hire training and compliance policy acknowledgment. Compliance ensures HR has up-to-date training, the latest policies and guidelines and monitors for incidents, mistakes, or violations that could put the organization at risk.

The partnership shines when HR and compliance collaborate on training and onboarding new employees. Designing an effective compliance training program requires careful planning and execution. A great starting point is for teams to brainstorm and set clear training and education objectives:

  • What requirements must be met?
  • How will materials address both HR and compliance needs?
  • When and how will training courses be delivered to new hires and existing employees?
  • How will compliance and HR be notified of onboarding course and document completion?
  • How will training effectiveness be evaluated?

You can always count on healthcare compliance to be complicated. Training and education requirements vary by the worker’s role, care setting, and geographic location. Compliance should analyze the regulations and standards to identify the specific training required for each role within the organization. Topics will likely include patient privacy, infection control, emergency preparedness, and workplace safety. Additional training will be necessary if your organization is accredited and accepts Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal funding.

Automate for Onboarding and Training Success

Automating the new-hire onboarding and training process reduces HR and compliance workloads. More than half of healthcare organizations say automating onboarding paths is an overwhelming interest area. This is good news for HR professionals who say they lack the time and resources to manage compliance requirements.

Your organization is likely using a human resource information system (HRIS) to manage and automate payroll, time tracking, and employee benefit administration. Integrating your HRIS with compliance management software automates new-hire onboarding by:

  • Reducing redundant data entry: Your HRIS automatically sends approved new hire information to the compliance software, automating the welcome email and kickstarting the onboarding workflow. Terminated employees are automatically removed from the system.
  • Assigning compliance training courses and policy acknowledgments in bulk: The HRIS integration triggers onboarding tasks based on employee role, department, and location. Hence, they are ready to work on day one instead of spending their first week on these tasks.
  • Reducing time-consuming tasks: Automated reminders help staff complete annual compliance tasks without extra effort by HR and compliance.
  • Getting more done in less time: Spending less time on administrative tasks and reporting means that HR and compliance professionals can focus on other priorities. At the same time, employees complete and sign documents electronically.
  • Tracking employee training status: Documentation is crucial for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements in case of audits. A surveyor or inspector will often ask for detailed records of all training sessions, including who attended, when, and the content covered.

Build a True Partnership Through Collaboration

Healthcare laws and regulations are in constant flux, which keeps compliance teams on their toes — and grateful for a partnership with HR. Together, they can update employee training, education, forms, and policies to match changing standards and emerging HR trends. Here are a few tips on how to create connections between HR and compliance:

  1. Appoint Single Points of Contact: Consider assigning single HR and compliance representatives to each business line or geographic area. The duo works together on compliance issues, decision-making, and training related to employees’ unique needs in those departments.
  2. Assemble a Compliance Committee: The team should include compliance, HR, legal, and finance. Collaborate on upcoming compliance initiatives, trends, changing regulatory environment, and the current state of your programs. Solicit feedback from HR about the initiatives and what parts can be improved.
  3. Enact an HR Review System: Ask HR to review every substantive compliance policy or procedure change. Leverage their knowledge of HR laws and rules. HR can flag potential problems and help fix them before they occur.
  4. Let HR Handle HR Investigations: Compliance professionals likely are not versed in employment law and do not own interpersonal relationships with employees. HR is best suited to handle sensitive cases such as discrimination or harassment. However compliance is an excellent resource for HR to train its teams on investigatory skills and to identify issues that impact broader legal or regulatory areas.
  5. Eliminate the “Us and Them” Mentality: Learn each other’s lingo. Freely share relevant information and consistently collaborate to communicate better and solve problems. Ask questions and be open to receiving feedback. Remember, you’re a team!


WEBINAR: Identifying Compliance Priorities To Make a Big Impact

Create Connections Between Healthcare Compliance and HR

Great relationships start with solid communication. HR and compliance professionals must establish clear, consistent communication between themselves. By showing a united front, teams can convey a sense of top-to-bottom accountability that soothes leadership concerns about potential problems.

More importantly, the power of partnership between HR and compliance allows both to develop and implement compliance programs, onboard and educate new hires, monitor employee training and policy acknowledgment progress, and collaborate on investigations and corrective actions. Healthcare compliance and HR partnerships – a win-win every time.

Strengthen Collaboration With Compliance Software

Developing strong connections between HR and compliance within healthcare extends beyond meeting legal obligations. The relationship is a cornerstone for delivering safe, ethical, and top-tier care. Collaboration between healthcare compliance officers and HR professionals fosters a culture of continuous improvement, where feedback from compliance activities is used to enhance policies, procedures, and training programs. By working together, these professionals can identify areas for improvement and implement corrective measures to strengthen compliance practices within the organization.

Compliance officers and human resource professionals can more easily support organizational compliance efforts using today’s technology. MedTrainer’s comprehensive suite of tools and resources offers valuable support to healthcare organizations, ultimately contributing to improved compliance and patient care. By systematically addressing compliance risks, healthcare organizations can foster a culture of accountability and ensure the delivery of ethical, safe, and high-quality healthcare services.