The Importance of Compliance in Urgent Care
The ever-present risks in most health care environments do not discriminate. Apart from the fact that they affect all individuals who work in an organization, they also determine the quality of treatment and services rendered to patients and visitors.
These risks underscore compliance and determine why it is crucial to be proactive, identifying these risks in advance so that the organization can prevent or effectively respond to incidents.
We engaged in a comprehensive exposition of the issues surrounding compliance and Urgent Care in a recent webinar titled “Understanding the Importance of Compliance in Urgent Care.”
The speakers, Patrice Pash, Director of Client Operations at Medical Practice Success (MPS), and Jinesh Patel, CEO, and Co-Founder of UptimeHealth discussed these questions and more. You can access the webinar here or continue reading for the lowdown on what was discussed.
Why Compliance? – Restating Compliance for your Urgent Care Startup
When it comes to the healthcare industry, compliance is especially critical. Compliance does not only guarantee a better quality of care but also improves operations. Apart from the internal control it facilitates, compliance keeps healthcare providers well within the ethical, legal, and regulatory bounds envisioned by federal, state, and local authorities.
For Urgent Care providers, compliance is perhaps even more impactful. Urgent care specialists deliver, outside a hospital emergency department, immediate care for severe and chronic ailments or injury. People seek urgent care, not just because it’s the next best thing to the hospital emergency room, but also because it is an ample form of healthcare delivery in its own right.
Essentially, these facilities cater to people who come in with serious medical emergencies, with twice the urgency and accountability. And the sheer range of expertise and comprehensiveness required in urgent care practice makes compliance an uber important factor.
This is why it is often the case that compliance is central to the accreditation of your urgent care practice. To get your practice off the ground, it’s not unlikely that insurance companies and governing bodies require proof of compliance with ethical rules and regulatory requirements. Especially as it relates to training, expectations, culture, and the onboarding of new staff.
In day-to-day operations, or even as your urgent care practice also seeks to expand, it is absolutely crucial that your compliance efforts perpetuate a culture of due process, integrity, and honesty in business/medical dealings. This in turn promises several advantages including but not limited to reduction in errors, better positioning in the competitive market, and ultimately, patient satisfaction.
One nuance brought to light during COVID was the sudden onus on healthcare facilities and providers to show and ensure that they were compliant. Albeit not just from the regulatory side of things, but also on the payer side, as patients themselves became particular about trusting facilities that provided healthcare services to the highest ethical, business, and legal standards.
Setting up Compliance in your Urgent Care Program
Compliance affects all the tiers in an organization enough to yield mind-bending documentation, whether these be spreadsheets, reviews, or reports. Documentation is maintained in legible form and must be made available for audit and review where necessary.
Documentation typically includes the activity leading to the record entry; the employee or individual providing the service; and any information necessary to support medical necessity and other applicable reimbursement coverage criteria.
Clearly, the huge volume of documentation this yields becomes problematic when your program is scaling, and you are expanding into two or more urgent care practices.
This is often the reason why setting up compliance in any organization is increasingly a question of ease. The question that is typically asked is “what is the best, or easiest way to set up compliance?” Of course, this is owed to the initial paper burden and labor-intensiveness of compliance efforts. Especially when all people have to go on at first are huge tomes of industry standards and checklists.
Automation thus becomes a game-changer for quality assurance, especially as it relates to repetitive tasks and outcomes. Thus leaving more time and resources that can be allocated to improving healthcare services.
Identifying Future Opportunities for Compliance in your Practice
Going forward, both the leadership and personnel are at the vanguard when it comes to responsibility for and cooperation with compliance efforts. Employees are indeed responsible for knowing and following the internal and external standards, rules, and regulations governing urgent care practice.
On the flip side, leadership must also take responsibility for reviewing non-compliance issues for appropriate action. Engendering a culture of compliance education and training, audits and investigation, consistent screening, enforcement, prevention, correction, and termination or discipline will provide ample opportunities for decisive compliance.
Of course, the lynchpin that holds things together is a system that works; outlining the procedures that will be followed in enforcing standards and ensuring that your organization stays in compliance with all applicable law. It comes recommended that automation be a major cornerstone of this process.
What Role Can UptimeHealth play in your compliance?
UptimeHealth helps you overcome the last great hurdle in compliance – automation. With UptimeHealth, you can monitor your team’s progress in completing their daily, weekly, and monthly checklist items. Managers can easily oversee several facilities, run compliance reports, and share important information with leadership.
UptimeHealth will help your practice:
- Remain compliant with important quality and safety tasks;
- Digitize and automate a manual paper process that can be accessed by mobile phone, tablet or desktop;
- Gain compliance visibility across all locations of compliance status; and
- Document and keep a complete history of all compliance tasks on a cloud-based platform.
Reach out to us for help with solidifying your urgent care practice as not just a location, but an organization that properly delivers the core functions of urgent healthcare: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This blog was written as a follow-up to the webinar presented by Patrice Pash and Jinesh Patel on Wednesday, June 2nd. The recording of the webinar can be found here: https://uptimehealth.com/webinars/