Compliance management

5 Time Savvy Tips for Compliance Officers

It’s no secret that healthcare is one of America’s most heavily regulated industries with substantial fines and penalties for non-compliance. Complex regulations and mandates make compliance management a necessity. However, executives responsible for compliance never seem to have enough time as they are tasked with managing multiple projects and working on competing priorities within an organization.

Here are some tips to gain control over a hectic schedule and ease the burden of multi-tasking for compliance professionals:

Set Realistic Goals
As Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.  Spend some time assessing your needs and areas of risk and then plan your course of action accordingly.  Consider both long term and short-term goals and then create your plan. It’s much easier to tackle a large challenge if you approach it in increments of weeks and months even if some of the projects will take years to complete.

Eliminate Obstacles
Identify the time blocks during your day that could be spent more productively.  For instance, the average person will spend nearly two hours per day on social media. Imagine replacing a fraction of this time with a compliance related task.  In fact, the most popular social media channel is YouTube and accounts for forty minutes per day on average. While you’re there, why not check out some educational compliance webinars? You could share them with staff and register to earn CEUs in the meantime.

Create a Habit
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a popular book that emphasizes our ability to change and accomplish more by creating new habits.  Imagine compliance management occurring as naturally as brushing your teeth or enjoying your morning cup of coffee.  That might be a pipe dream, but with some extra effort and an average of sixty-six days you can make a new habit a reality. If you can create a habit of starting work a little earlier one day each month, you might find the path to greater productivity and crossing one more item off your list.  

Seek Assistance
Remember that you don’t have to face the daunting task of compliance management alone. You might have a member of your team who is capable and happy to help with a compliance management task.  If you are fortunate enough to have team members willing and able to help you, try delegating more often. If delegation of tasks is not an option, consider hiring an expert.  There are plenty of firms that assist with everything from policies and procedures to assessing and implementing HIPAA security measures. Going this route impacts your budget, but proactive measures are typically more cost-effective in the end.

Embrace Technology
Although the healthcare industry faces myriad regulations, tools and technology to aid in compliance management are also abundant. Managing compliance entails a never-ending list of repetitive tasks.  Could you use help with streamlining your exclusions screenings?  Maybe you could be more organized with tracking employee training or license and certification status. From high-level organizational risk assessments and audits to simple reminders and resource documents, compliance management software can help improve your efficiency.