The Hidden Benefits of Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare

With its maddening complexities and time- and resource-consuming demands, regulatory compliance is thought to be the plague of any thriving business. However, according to a recent Forbes Magazine article, regulatory compliance is a golden opportunity in disguise. When used effectively to refine and enhance operations, a successful regulatory compliance program actually becomes the bread and butter of a thriving healthcare practice.But what is compliance in healthcare?

Healthcare compliance is an important aspect of any successful healthcare initiative, be it a large urban hospital or small rural private practice. In a healthcare facility’s management structure, there are generally multiple individuals responsible for ensuring the organization is meeting all regulations, protects patient and worker information, and upholds standards for medical data sharing. That is why it is essential to have a coherent compliance policy followed by everyone involved in the practice. Properly implemented regulatory compliance in healthcare improves outcomes for patients, medical staff, and administrators.

Here we will briefly focus on a few benefits of regulatory compliance in healthcare. Yet, the advantages of compliance in healthcare far outweigh any perceived barriers to the implementation of healthcare compliance initiatives.Fact: Regulatory Compliance in Healthcare is an Advantage

Providing quality patient care with reminders and accurate data collection is what will set one healthcare facility apart from the rest. Since word of mouth on social media and elsewhere on the Internet functions as both the bane and blessing of today’s culture of reputation management, establishing patient expectations across digital channels is crucial. When shopping for a provider, millennials and baby boomers alike shop online for hospital and doctor reviews and that shiny, easy-to-find gold stamp (characteristic of the Joint Commission). It’s a small representation of painstaking adherence that pays dividends if providers achieve the right balance of cost and return on investment.

Most, if not all, individuals involved in the healthcare industry know the importance of compliance when it comes to HIPAA. This law requires all medical personnel to protect patient privacy at all times and no matter the circumstances. In the past, regulatory compliance with HIPAA initiatives meant keeping a close eye on patient charts and not talking with others about diagnoses and treatments. Now, since the technological revolution, it means securing data in systems where it cannot be stolen. Anticipation of changing threats to HIPAA regulations in the healthcare industry is key to maintaining compliance with all existing protocols. Having effective regulatory compliance can reduce the potential of having issues of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which enforces all HIPAA regulations. Thus, it is advantageous to have comprehensive regulatory compliance in your healthcare workplace.

“If companies can find the balance point of efficiency and effectiveness—that sweet spot where a compliance program is both preserving and creating value—the cost of compliance can double as an investment in an organization’s future.” – Forbes.Compliance in Healthcare Creates Transparency That Leads to Solutions

Stricter regulatory compliance requires transparency. This should be seen not as a burden but as an asset as stated in Forbes, the same insights that flag problems can also spotlight solutions. All the compiled data that satisfies regulatory requirements can be used for the company’s benefit to refine and enhance operations. The accurate checks and balances are what will make an organization into a productive, well-oiled machine. An effective regulatory compliance system reduces time-sucking variation in practices, shortens overall patient stay, and prevents Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse.

Additionally, transparency can build trust with patients and staff. If your healthcare facility is complying with all applicable regulations and requirements, patients will know your practice is doing its utmost to protect their health information. Employees will also appreciate clear rules regarding workplace activities. Lack of clarity regarding regulatory compliance in healthcare is a leading cause of non-compliance issues. When employees are made aware of compliance expectations and kept informed as to changes in regulations, they are more equipped to handle situations involving regulatory compliance. Incentive programs based on compliance initiatives can further improve employee adherence to rules and regulations.Anticipate Inevitable Changes with Compliance in Healthcare

When implementing new equipment, administrators and practice managers must anticipate a multitude of operational and regulatory requirements and how they will disseminate current and future compliance mechanisms. If there is a shift in the regulatory environment, a recall, or adverse patient events related to equipment, systems must be in place to prevent delayed reactions and avoid compliance issues, regulatory fines, and patient liability.

Regulatory reform will always exist in the future of the healthcare industry. Rather than fearing what lies ahead, administrators should anticipate the apparent benefits that will come from the required changes with an effective compliance management system in place. Ultimately, compliance and data-based business models drive progress. Investing time and resources into regulatory compliance management should never spark the idea of impending doom but of imminent prosperity.

Compliance in healthcare is an essential component of any successful medical facility. Encouraging regulatory compliance and stressing the benefits of compliance adherence can provide a foundation for which future success can be achieved.