As regulatory overload continues to burden healthcare facilities, what can your organization do to minimize it?


Federal legislation is implemented to ensure superior, safe and reliable patient care. However, for many healthcare organizations, new regulation can feel more like a headache than anything else. More recently, everyone from clinical staff members to facilities managers have seen an increased amount of time spent on regulatory compliance.

regulations-(1).jpgIn fact, a recent report from the American Hospital Association found that more hospitals say they are burdened by regulatory overload. The study also noted that $39 billion a year is spent soley on administrative activities associated with regulatory compliance.
It is more important than ever to ensure quality care and fast-evolving service in the healthcare industry. In this constantly changing world, healthcare providers should consider these three key tips to minimize regulatory overload.  

Implement a standardized process

One of the most critical things a healthcare organization can do to minimize regulatory overload is to implement a standardized process. Organizations without uniform regulatory compliance plans will find they are significantly more overwhelmed than they were with one.
Typically, providers wait until the year before a compliance survey in their facilities to address any compliance issues. Not only does this lead to higher overall costs, but also schedule conflicts and a myriad of overtime expenditures – which can cause a serious headache. In a nutshell, waiting until the last minute to adopt fundamental regulatory compliance regulations can be a nightmare for healthcare facilities. If you’re managing your program with standardized processes, you should be able to get through anything.

Keep up with trends

Typically, healthcare providers only feel overloaded with regulatory compliance after a new requirement comes forth. To combat this feeling, organizations should stay ahead of trends and constantly look for “the next big thing.”
By implementing this strategy into healthcare facilities’ plans, organizations will be more prepared to handle any and all requirements that come forth, even the unseen. For instance, many were unprepared when The Joint Commission announced their emphasis on ligature risks. This regulation may have come as a complete shock to providers who were not keeping up with this trend or identifying such risks in healthcare settings. However, for those who monitored trends and recognized previous developments, the initial burden wasn’t quite as heavy.

Build and maintain internal partnerships

Another pain point for many organizations is the line between clinical and physical environment compliance. In a situation where strong partnerships are not forged, organizations could find themselves in the unfortunate situation that fingers are pointed at one another.
Alternatively, when teams unite to develop meaningful relationships, the burden of regulatory compliance will not seem as vast. Regulatory stressors can be alleviated by building these strong relationships between groups.
Compliance regulations don’t have to be a major burden or cause your facility a headache. By implementing these useful and time-saving strategies into a standardized regulatory process, organizations will be able to handle any new regulation thrown their way.