Healthcare Compliance Risk Assessments Lead To Effective Risk Management

Brian Williams, MHA, MBA
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A healthcare compliance risk assessment involves implementing systems and processes to prevent or minimize risks to patients, staff, or the organization. When you utilize assessments to confirm compliance, you can be confident that your facility meets requirements and — more importantly — minimizes risk to the people within it.

Here’s a look at compliance risk assessment: what it is, how to approach it, and the benefits of addressing it the right way.


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What Is a Compliance Risk Assessment?

It is a process of identifying and analyzing potential risks to an organization’s compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. The assessment evaluates areas where the organization might be at risk of non-compliance — both in the present and future — and develops strategies to mitigate those risks.

A compliance risk assessment typically involves reviewing policies, procedures, and practices to ensure they comply with applicable laws and regulations. It may also include reviewing training and education programs to ensure staff members understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining compliance.

The assessment process involves several methods: self-assessment, internal audit, external audit, and software-based risk assessments.

Compliance risk assessments are critical components of healthcare risk management that help organizations stay up-to-date with regulations, minimize the risk of penalties, and provide safe and effective patient care.

Benefits of Incorporating Compliance Risk Assessment Programs

A compliance risk assessment program in a hospital or healthcare setting can bring several benefits, such as ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. They help providers identify areas of non-compliance, prioritize risks, and develop strategies to remove them.

Compliance with regulations prevents penalties, fines, legal action, and damage to a provider’s reputation. Compliance risk assessment programs help facilities minimize these risks by identifying and addressing areas of non-compliance before they lead to legal or financial consequences. Streamlining compliance efforts reduces the time, cost, and resources required for related activities.

Using assessment programs increases safety, improving overall patient care and staff performance by identifying areas where training and education may be necessary.

How To Navigate the Compliance Risk Assessment Process

The compliance risk assessment process can be complex and challenging for providers. However, the following steps can help them effectively navigate the process:

1. Identify the scope and objective of the assessment.

The first step is to identify the scope and aim of the evaluation, which involves defining the regulatory requirements and industry standards applicable to the facility and the areas requiring assessment.

2. Develop a plan for the assessment.

Create a plan that outlines the approach, timelines, and resources required for the assessment. Leadership should communicate to all stakeholders involved in the process.

3. Conduct the assessment.

Steps include: reviewing policies, procedures, and practices to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. The facility should also check training and education programs to ensure staff members understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining compliance.

4. Identify and prioritize areas of non-compliance.

Prioritize these areas based on the level of risk they pose to the facility.

5. Develop and implement a plan to address areas of non-compliance.

This plan should include strategies to mitigate the risks and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards.

6. Monitor and review compliance.

Check compliance on an ongoing basis to ensure that the plan is effective and that any new risks are identified and addressed.

Technology’s Role in Compliance Risk Assessments

Technology is vital in compliance risk assessments by providing the tools and resources necessary to effectively identify, assess, and mitigate compliance risks. Here are some specific ways in which technology can assist with compliance risk assessments:

  • Compliance risk assessment software helps organizations collect, process, and analyze large volumes of data from multiple sources to identify potential compliance risks.
  • Organizations can visualize compliance risks through mapping software, which allows them to identify hotspots and prioritize areas of concern.
  • Compliance software automates many tasks associated with compliance risk assessments, including data entry, data analysis, and report generation, freeing up resources for other jobs.
  • Manage the workflow associated with compliance risk assessments, from assigning tasks to tracking progress and reporting on results, with a robust platform like MedTrainer.
  • Technology can help organizations manage compliance programs through integrated systems tracking policies, procedures, training, and other compliance-related activities.
  • Monitor and report on compliance risks through dashboards and other reporting tools that provide real-time visibility into compliance activities.

Compliance Risk Assessment Best Practices

Conducting a compliance risk assessment is essential for organizations to identify, assess, and mitigate potential compliance risks. However, it’s important to follow best practices established through industry experience and regulatory guidance to conduct an effective and efficient assessment. These best practices cover a range of areas, from selecting a comprehensive assessment framework to utilizing compliance risk assessment software and ensuring ongoing review and updating.

By following these best practices, organizations can help ensure that their compliance risk assessments are accurate, relevant, and actionable and can help protect against potential regulatory and legal risks.

  • Establish a compliance risk assessment framework
  • Involve stakeholders from across the organization
  • Identify and prioritize compliance risks
  • Use compliance risk assessment software like MedTrainer to streamline the assessment process, centralize data, and facilitate reporting
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Regularly review and update the assessment to ensure it remains current and relevant to the organization’s evolving risk environment
  • Integrate the compliance risk assessment into the broader compliance program
  • Document the results of the compliance risk assessment and communicate them to relevant stakeholders, including senior management and the board of directors

Healthcare organizations can conduct more effective compliance risk assessments that identify and eliminate risks, ensure proper patient care, and protect the organization from regulatory and legal threats.

Your Compliance Risk Assessment Partner

MedTrainer provides healthcare organizations with software-based compliance risk assessment programs to simplify the process of meeting compliance regulations. By incorporating MedTrainer’s software, healthcare organizations can save time and money, while keeping their training and programs up-to-date.

MedTrainer’s compliance tracking template is easy to use and understand, and our software is HIPAA-compliant to ensure patients’ confidentiality and security. In addition, MedTrainer also offers a software-based credentialing platform trusted by over 15,000 hospitals and 300,000 professionals across the United States.

To learn more about how MedTrainer can help your organization stay compliant, contact us for a demo today.