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Governance, Risk and Compliance
As is the case with most industries across the board, health care organizations are integrating new technology and solutions at a rapid pace. Tools such as electronic health records are quickly becoming common place, partly because federal mandates are strongly encouraging health care providers to integrate these systems, but also simply because several studies have found these solutions to be genuinely useful.
Electronic health records are just the tip of the iceberg as well, with everything from mobile devices from new communication tools completely transforming health care operations, Forbes reported. Doctors are better equipped than ever before to not only perform their jobs better, but to also do so with greater transparency and fewer redundancies due to better coordination with other health care providers.
Still, health care organizations face a number of new risks. While new technology can greatly improve operations, it can also lead to unrealized threats. For example, the more patient information that’s stored digitally means the more data that could be accessed by unauthorized individuals, whether it’s a cybercriminal who steals passwords or simply nosey staff members who abuses their power to look at sensitive records.
Additionally, because of all the federal mandates that are necessitating health care organizations to integrate new technologies and take other actions, compliance is also a huge factor. Noncompliance with regulations could result in major fines, more pressure from regulatory agencies and other corrective action. The bottom line is that risk assessment and corporate compliance efforts are crucial to success in the modern health care environment.
As McKnight’s columnist Rebecca Lowell has noted, although corporate compliance and risk management are two different practices, they are tied together in a number of ways and are both necessary for success in the health care setting.
Effective risk management and compliance efforts both help health care providers identify potential problems and existing obstacles, develop protocols for investigating the failure of various controls and programs and come up with potential solutions that may correct the problem. With both risk management and compliance efforts, failure can also have a disastrous effect for the organization.
“With so many potentials risks, it is incumbent upon health care providers to create an evaluation and auditing system that analyzes both subjective and objective data,” explained the news source. “This data may be gleaned from a wide variety of sources, such as admissions records … state and/or federal survey results, patient and visitor satisfaction surveys, employee exit interviews and individual incidents.”
“Trends will emerge by analyzing this information over a period of time and these trends will provide further clues as to where problems or potential problems exist,” Lowell added.
With health care providers facing more threats and compliance issues than they have in the past, it’s crucial that these organizations place a greater priority on their risk assessment and management efforts. This can go a long way in helping them improve operations, even in spite of regulatory burdens.