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Quality and Compliance – Best Practices for Building Your Program

November 21, 2023
November 21, 2023

Building a strong quality and compliance program is essential. However, it is not necessarily an easy task to build a program that is sufficiently comprehensive to ensure adherence to the many regulatory requirements and support the delivery of high-quality care. Moreover, leaders may find that pre-pandemic tactics may no longer be effective. The good news is that there are proven steps that your organization can take to achieve adherence to regulatory requirements.

Recently, Stephanie Mercado, CAE, CPHQ, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) spoke about the challenges faced by healthcare organizations as they strive to rebuild their quality and compliance programs in the post-pandemic environment. “As healthcare leaders today move past the pandemic phase of COVID-19, they are faced with the daunting task of getting their quality and safety programs back on track. However, they should not plan to go back to the programs of the past. They must improve quality and safety metrics while optimizing cost and reimbursement models to help them turn around the financial crisis that most face today.

Improving the quality and safety of healthcare in today’s complex environment requires an action orientation as well as a broader perspective of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to make improvement happen. Today, not only do leaders need to set quality and safety goals for their organization, they must prepare their workforce to achieve them.”

Where should healthcare organizations begin? HealthStream recommends three tactics.

1.  Establish Clear Policies and Procedures

Developing and implementing clear and comprehensive policies and procedures is vital for maintaining quality and compliance in healthcare. These documents should outline guidelines, protocols, and standards that align with regulatory requirements and industry best practices. They should be easily accessible to all staff members, regularly updated to reflect any changes, and supported by robust training programs to ensure proper understanding and adherence. 

If your organization’s approach to establishing clear policies and procedures involves binders and paper, it is time to consider an approach that will ensure that your organization’s policies and procedures are always up to date. The sheer volume of regulation and the corresponding changes make this nearly impossible and the price of failing to comply can be steep - high fines, litigation, and/or the loss of public trust. 

HealthStream’s Policy Manager can help to manage and track these changes. Policy Manager provides a centralized location for all policies so employees will always know where to find the latest information. It is also searchable which can save employees time as they don’t have to find paper documentation or scroll through a multitude of documents to find the right one. Your team can be confident that employees will only be able to access the most current, approved policies and the staff and committees that are responsible for policy reviews, revisions and distributions are automatically notified when policies need to be updated.

2.  Implement Robust Training and Education Programs

A key aspect of a successful healthcare quality and compliance program is providing thorough training and education to all healthcare professionals. This includes initial training for new hires, ongoing training to keep employees up to date with industry changes, and targeted training based on identified areas of improvement. Utilizing learning management systems and online training modules can streamline the training process, track progress, and provide consistent education across the organization.

HealthStream’s ComplyQ can help your organization to mitigate risk and avoid costly fines and penalties by ensuring your workforce is in compliance with regulations. ComplyQ provides an engaging and adaptive learning experience. Pre-assessments help reduce seat time by giving credit for existing knowledge and focusing on the individual learner’s needs. The content is engaging and interactive and still ensures that organizational compliance training requirements are met.  

3.  Conduct Regular Audits and Assessments

Regular audits and assessments are crucial to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the quality and compliance program. These assessments should include internal audits, external audits by regulatory bodies, and self-assessments to identify any gaps or non-compliance issues. The findings from these audits should be used to implement corrective actions, improve processes, and ensure continuous compliance with regulations and quality standards.

ComplyQ’s assessments can help identify knowledge gaps and learning opportunities that builds confidence in your staff’s readiness to reduce organizational compliance risks. The content is engaging and designed to maximize retention. Micro-learning can be delivered in short, efficient bursts and has been optimized for delivery on mobile devices.

By establishing clear policies and procedures, implementing robust training and education programs, and conducting regular audits and assessments, healthcare organizations can build a strong quality and compliance program that promotes patient safety, regulatory compliance, and high-quality care delivery. Reach out to HealthStream today to learn more about innovative solutions.