Top 10 Ways To Automate Healthcare Compliance

Chris Seymour
hand moving blocks that look like automation

Healthcare compliance is at a tipping point. 

There are 629 regulations that organizations need to meet, at a cost of nearly $7.6M annually. With no relief in sight, something has to give — without compromising safety or patient care.

To handle the ever-growing workload, healthcare compliance professionals must embrace technology. Automation can reduce the redundant administrative tasks and broken processes that plague compliance — at a significant time and cost savings. According to the 2022 CAQH Index, increased automation and streamlined processes reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $187B annually.

For the average compliance professional, it means you can get more done in less time. Even when regulations change or increase, you have processes to manage the workload. You might even be able to spend your time identifying new risks and better preparing. 

Check out my top 10 ways to automate healthcare compliance tasks. 

What is Healthcare Compliance Automation?

Healthcare compliance automation is using technology-driven solutions to complete tasks with minimal human input. This could include automating workflows, sending reminders, analyzing data, generating reports, and more. Implementing automation increases productivity and profitability, as well as giving compliance professionals time to focus on tasks where their expertise is critical.

Benefits to automating healthcare compliance processes with software include:

  • Visibility: Automatic tracking offers real-time views into training completion, incident management, and more. Leaders can monitor progress, track key metrics, and identify areas needing attention across the organization.
  • Time Savings: Automating the information required for regulatory or accreditation surveys frees up an incredible amount of time that compliance professionals can spend identifying and mitigating risks.
  • Job Satisfaction: Compliance professionals are generally happier without the repetitive administrative tasks that accompany manual processes. They want to be helping others, solving problems, and staying on top of trends.

Top 10 Ways to Automate Compliance Tasks

Automation is an incredible time saver for busy compliance professionals, but it’s important to know what tasks can — and should — be automated. 

1. New Hire Onboarding

With an average of 54 tasks per new hire and healthcare’s high staff turnover, it can feel like you’re constantly ensuring new employees have met compliance requirements. Automation can turn this into a one-click process. When a new employee is added to your HRIS or learning management system, required training, safety plans, and policy acknowledgements are automatically assigned by role, department, and location. See how much time you can save.

2. Document Expiration Notifications

Tracking license expiration dates for every provider and sending reminder after reminder until they renew is a perfect job for technology. A human needs to verify the license and enter the expiration date, but software can — and should — take it from here! 

3. Training Completion Reminders for Users

Without automation, you’re probably sending hundreds of emails every year reminding staff to complete required annual training. With automated reminders, all you have to do is assign the course, then emails are sent on a set cadence, ideally starting 30 days before the course deadline and continuing weekly when the assignment is past due. Make sure you choose compliance software that also automatically issues and stores a certificate of completion for the employee.

4. Training Assignment Reminders for Admins

Using a manual system, there’s no great way to assign annual training. You’re either assigning the entire staff at the same time or trying to keep track of which employees need to complete training each month. Cut the chaos with automated reassignment one year from when the training is completed (or two years if that is the requirement!). 

5. Incident Reporting Review Process

Manual escalation processes for incident reports are almost always a recipe for disaster. You’re counting on busy healthcare workers to deliver or send the report through a multiple-person review process. With incident reporting software, the reporter just clicks submit and the report automatically follows the designated process set for that incident type. This cuts down on wasted time and helps incidents to be resolved quicker.

6. Scheduled Reports

Even spreadsheet lovers have to agree that it’s too much to track every course and policy acknowledgement. Since surveyors will expect to see this data, your best bet is to choose software that automatically tracks this information. The ability to customize reports and schedule them to send on a regular cadence is an additional time saving automation to look for.

7. Policy Approval Process

Getting governing board approval on new or updated policies can be a chore without a healthcare-specific electronic signing solution. Choose compliance software that automates the review process with tracked changes and multiple ways of gathering signatures. For example, you’ll want the ability to send a document to the whole board at the same time, and also the option to gather signatures one at a time. 

8. HRIS Integrations

When your compliance software integrates with a human resource information system (HRIS) or payroll system, the transfer of data is automated, eliminating duplicate data entry and reducing the chance of errors. If you have automated new hire onboarding set up, all you have to do is enter the new employee into your HRIS or payroll system and the information will automatically create a compliance profile and assign required training and policy reviews.

9. Exclusions Monitoring

Manually checking every exclusion database every month for every provider is tedious. It’s a vital, but time consuming task. Choose an automated exclusions monitoring system that follows a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) compliant schedule and checks both federal and state databases, then sends a monthly log of the completed checks. Take the automation a step further with notifications when a provider’s exclusion status changes.

10. Adding/Updating Safety Data Sheets

You might have hundreds of safety data sheets (SDS) for your facility, which translates to a lot of time organizing and updating. Choose compliance software that integrates with leading suppliers, such as McKesson, to automatically transfer new and updated SDSs into a digital binder for your organization. Employees will have every SDS they need right at their fingertips.

Take Back Your Time With Compliance Automation

Automation is transforming how healthcare compliance teams handle an ever-growing workload. It’s how you’ll find the time and freedom to focus on strategy, risk mitigation, and comprehensive planning. 

Use this top 10 list to identify the compliance automations that will provide the most value to your healthcare organization. Then research compliance software to find a solution that incorporates what you need the most. Make sure to include MedTrainer on your list — it’s the #1 Healthcare Compliance Software according to G2 reviewers.