We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again, compliance isn’t going away and meeting standards will just get increasingly difficult as new regulations are introduced and old ones are augmented. Having a strong compliance and training program is just the half of it, maintaining it is the other half, and it could be the difference between achieving long-term success or not. So what can you do to ramp up your compliance program? Here are three things that will make you a stellar compliance officer and ensure your program always comes out on top.
Healthcare compliance champions
You cannot achieve success on your own–we can’t stress this enough. Having champions in your corner is crucial to the continued success of your program.
Find middle managers who believe in your compliance agenda, and who understand the role compliance plays. To be clear, their grasp on the concept should be beyond “we need to follow rules” but they should be able to see the bigger picture of what compliance lends itself to, from improving operational efficiency, reducing costs and driving patient safety.
Having individuals at this level who are in agreeance with your efforts means there’s a good chance that those above and below them on the food chain will hear about it, but also be encouraged to participate in it. What’s more, having them reward their staff or publicly recognize them reinforces compliant behavior as it lets them know that they can win some major brownie points with the boss this way.
Develop a relationship with frontline staff
No one is more familiar with the comings and goings of the hospital like your frontline staff. This is why it’s important to develop a rapport with them. Make time for coffee or chit chat in the halls and genuinely get to know them. It’s always easier to confide in a friend, so let them know they can trust you with anything. The more comfortable they feel with you the more they’ll trust sharing their opinion of what’s working and what’s not on the floor. In the end, if you don’t know you can’t take action and this is one of the most direct ways to uncover opportunities.
Nothing is perfect. Things along the way will change, staff will leave, budgets will get cut, it’s how you handle these situations that will determine if you can stay on track. A good compliance plan doesn’t simply look for small wins but aims to protect the organization years ahead. This includes looking at technology, where it’s going and what possible risks that may come of it.
Compliance is a hard beast to tame, especially when it’s constantly changing. In the end, doing your best is all you can really guarantee on the matter. But having a strong grasp on the three tips above is a good way to be both reactive and proactive on your initiatives.