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Stay Vigilant, Stay Compliant

"Success breeds complacency.  Complacency breeds failure.  Only the paranoid survive." - Andy Grove, CEO of Intel Corporation

Compliance administrators have a very difficult job.

Each year there are new and expanded healthcare regulations that must be understood, addressed and communicated to staff.  The pace of regulations and responsibilities continues to accelerate.  Recent examples include patient engagement, ICD-10, readmissions reduction, Healthcare Associated Infections, physician arrangements, and on and on and on.  These are the shiny, new puppies that grab our attention.  Because they are (relatively) new, we devote a lot of attention to these issues as there is a need to develop plans of action for each new area. At the same time, you need to remain vigilant on older regulations.

Some administrators may believe that their organization has been addressing older regulations for so long that it’s ingrained in their culture.  It’s important to remember that new, younger staff members are constantly joining your facility. Without the focus and emphasis on these older regulations that will only come from the compliance team, the message will get watered down.

A quote from Chief Learning Officer magazine sums up this issue:  

“As new corporate laws spring up at a steady clip, it’s easy… to complete compliance training as quickly as possible, with little thought given to its intent. It’s up to learning leaders to ensure compliance isn’t a charade, but an important, behavior-changing process.”  

As our attention gets pulled in many directions, it’s easy to put less emphasis on some of the older regulations.  As administrators with compliance, risk, HR, security, patient care, quality and other important responsibilities, you must be the bandleader that orchestrates your organization's compliance not only with the new, but with the older rules also.

So, let’s go back to basics.

Why do you provide compliance training to your staff?  Some of the reasons are to:

  • Meet government mandates
  • Reduce risk
  • Reduce liability
  • Protect Board of Directors and Senior Management
  • Build community and industry confidence
  • Run an ethical organization
  • Improve staff competency
  • Improve patient care
  • Improve outcomes

Sometimes compliance education is viewed as separate and distinct from the healthcare organization’s mission of healing and caring for patients. This view can lead to the mis-guided belief that the most important thing about compliance training is to get it done and out of the way.

As compliance administrators with ever growing responsibility, your role is to ensure this doesn’t happen.