Nobody wants to wait when they need medical treatment—and that’s why people like urgent care centers. The care providers offer medical attention for serious injuries and illnesses that aren’t necessarily life-threatening. However, just because they aren’t like traditional hospitals doesn’t mean that urgent care centers are a lawless land.
Just like any other healthcare facility, urgent care centers have numerous federal and state laws and regulations they must follow to remain compliant. Here’s a look at four reasons why compliance is essential for urgent care facilities.
Urgent care centers have a large number of patients coming and going from their facilities—and each of them must receive thorough documentation during their stay. Even if urgent care practitioners only see a patient once, the medical records of their time there will influence future decision-making. As a result, providers must evaluate their documentation practices to satisfy urgent care center compliance. Any unreadable or incomplete forms and failure to identify health risks can cause problems for patients later down the line, meaning that care center staff must adhere to strict record-keeping compliance.
When someone gets sick, they may visit an urgent care center instead of an emergency room. However, it falls on the staff at the facility to ensure illnesses don’t spread. Infection control and prevention is an important component of urgent care center compliance. Without following the proper regulations and protocol, one person’s illness can spread to others. By remaining compliant with disease control, urgent care centers can keep all their patients—and staff—safe from contagious diseases.
As you can expect, the 2020 pandemic drove a lot of healthcare organizations online, and urgent care centers are no exception. The ability to care for patients who aren’t visiting in person has made telehealth a staple of many facilities, offering a whole new dimension of convenience. With that said, there are many legal regulations regarding telehealth services—and they vary by state.
Urgent care center compliance now involves adhering to state telehealth rules and regulations, which will help keep facilities out of legal hot water. Additionally, the video software used to communicate with patients remotely must be HIPAA compliant to ensure sensitive health information remains secure. Information technology is a great asset for urgent care centers, but only when it’s safe.
Another major component of urgent care center compliance is the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). This compliance law requires hospitals with an emergency department to offer medical screening examinations and treatment to anyone who goes there requesting an exam. In turn, this prevents emergency departments from refusing to treat them.
In order to remain compliant with EMTALA, there are many guidelines emergency departments must strictly follow. They include rules like managing a list of physicians who are on-call to provide evaluations for those in an emergency medical condition and posting signs that detail patient rights, among many others.
There are, understandably, serious consequences for facilities that fall short in their efforts to comply with EMTALA. For example, failure to report an improperly transferred patient can result in a termination of their provider agreement. As a result, urgent care center compliance is a necessity for facilities that want to succeed and provide the best possible health care for their patients.
Urgent Care Center Compliance Is Made Easy With MedTrainer
Is your urgent care center looking for compliance tools? Then MedTrainer has you covered. In addition to providing a wide array of compliance programs, our virtual umbrella includes medical training software and some of the best provider credentialing software available. To learn more and schedule a demo for your organization, give us a call today.