Running your practice as smoothly and efficiently as possible is a goal for all medical practice leaders, but it can feel unattainable with all the various draws on your time. You always want to be sure that your patients are receiving the highest quality of care, while keeping costs under control — but these two objectives may seem mutually exclusive some days. When your practice is fully optimized, everything from patient care to compliance needs are being managed effectively. If you feel there are improvements to be made in your practice, look at these top 5 ways to ensure compliance in medical practice as a starting point for process improvement.
1. Monitoring and Tracking Compliance
Once compliance issues become out of control, it can be difficult to bring your practice back into alignment. Fortunately, centralized technology tools such as billing, provider credentialing, medical coding and payer contract review allow you to have confidence in your compliance against key standards. Regulatory requirements are complex and ever-changing, requiring your team and any service providers to stay up-to-date with potential compliance issues.
2. Streamline Workflows
One of the critical steps with ensuring compliance is limiting the access of employees to PHI, Protected Health Information, as defined by the U.S. government. PHI includes a variety of items such as health information and medical records for an individual, especially when tied to personally identifiable information. This includes everything from lab forms to insurance statements, collection notices and prescription forms — with each step being an opportunity for compliance failure. Streamlining workflows ensures that only individuals who need to see specific information are able to see it to enhance patient care.
3. Privacy First
4. Efficient, Yet Secure
More medical practices are moving from paper intake forms to digital ones, with tablet-based systems being used by many practices. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the network being used to transport the data must be fully secure, or you will not be in full compliance with government requirements. Another option that limits compliance concerns is by posting your forms on your website and requesting or even requiring that new clients print them out and fill them in before their appointment. This helps streamline the intake process without as many privacy concerns as a fully-online solution.
5. Assess the Risks
Every organization has risks, and mitigating these risks can ensure that your medical practice remains in full regulatory compliance. Aside from systems, workflow and other challenges, employees are perhaps the risk that you can control the least. Malicious hacking for ransom or simply out of frustration can occur at any time, and often without any warning whatsoever. Vulnerabilities can be as simple as an employee’s non-secure mobile phone that is attached to the network and slipping past security barriers for convenience — with no thought given to the potential harm that could be caused. External consultants are able to help you evaluate your practice for these hidden compliance dangers.
Tightening up your practice’s processes and systems, and a solid review of staff members, can take you a long ways towards ensuring that your medical practice is fully compliant. Learn more how services offered by M-Scribe help protect both your business and your patients. Contact us today at 888-727-4234 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.