Corporate Compliance

Tip: How compliance officers can help mend quality crises

Healthcare Auditing Weekly, May 5, 2009

Although compliance professionals don’t directly treat patients, they can do a lot to improve patient care. Compliance professionals should do the following to safeguard quality of care in their organizations:

  • Ensure compliance with state law and Joint Commission requirements for external reporting of adverse events.
  • Investigate allegations of falsified medical records related to patient care.
  • Learn Joint Commission patient safety requirements. See www.jointcommission.org for details.
  • Regularly obtain reports within your institution on specific patient safety projects.
  • Make certain an internal reporting system exists for serious adverse events, their causes, and efforts to prevent recurrence. Review these adverse events.
  • Become familiar with systems requirements to ensure patient safety, and raise the issue of patient safety implications of new technology.
  • Ensure that patient safety issues are regularly placed on the agendas of board and executive committee meetings.
  • Include physicians, nurses, and other professional personnel in safety and quality decisions.
  • Investigate patient and family concerns about safety and quality.
  • Communicate your institution’s commitment to improving quality and avoiding errors as part of your compliance communications.

This tip was adapted from the HCPro book, “The Compliance Officer’s Handbook.” For more information, please visit the HCMarketplace.

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