The vital role of HR-compliance collaboration: 4 ways to drive operational efficiency

Across the healthcare continuum, the roles of compliance and human resource teams are both critical for maintaining employee licensure and eligibility processes that minimize the risk of sanctions and keep patients safe. Such monitoring is complex, and to fully safeguard an organization, requires close coordination and collaboration between the compliance and HR functions.

During a Becker's Hospital Review webinar held in February, sponsored by ProviderTrust and moderated by David Servodidio, director of marketing at ProviderTrust, two ProviderTrust leaders — Co-founder Michael Rosen and Chief Compliance Officer Donna Thiel — discussed opportunities to rethink current compliance and HR processes and develop smarter, more efficient ways to ensure a fully compliant organization.

Four key takeaways:

  1. The compliance and HR functions intersect in important ways. That intersection starts and ends with people, but directly crosses at providing quality patient care. On the HR side, the needs are recruiting, onboarding and training new staff; coordination of practitioners; and credential verification. On the compliance side, needs include regulatory, policy and procedure updates; federal and state reporting; ethical decision support; and hotline management. Both departments are accountable for ensuring patient safety.

This natural, historically reactive, partnership has evolved in recent years to push for more collaboration on the frontend to avoid issues on the backend. "Compliance has moved from being that group that's going to come point their finger, shake their head, always say no and make life difficult to being proactive and able to help the organization meet its goals and objectives," Mr. Rosen said, adding that no one wants to see an organization in trouble.

  1. Organizations that struggle to bridge the gap can use the seven elements of an effective compliance program as a guide to shared accountabilities across compliance and HR teams.  

 Those elements and their implications for HR are: 

    1. Compliance: Enforcement and discipline
      • HR: Oversees disciplinary actions
    1. Compliance: Education and training
      • HR: Professional development & employee engagement
    1. Compliance: Monitoring and auditing
      • HR: Monitoring for completion of new employee compliance-related forms and screening
    1. Compliance: Reporting
      • HR: Sharing of compliance-related documentation
    1. Compliance: Policies and procedures
      • HR: Ownership of the employee handbook
    1. Compliance: Response and prevention
      • HR: Manages issues that are the cause of the majority of hotline calls
    1. Compliance: Designated compliance official
      • HR: Necessary participant in their hiring

 

  1.  To cement collaboration, weaving in complementary responsibilities into a continuum is key.  

    In most cases, one team function will hold the primary accountability, but both compliance and HR can work together and share metrics to measure the effectiveness or identify opportunities for improvement. For initial collaboration, areas where you will see logical partnership may include:

      • Conducting appropriate background checks to ensure the right people are caring for patients (HR)
      • Providing consistent compliance messaging upon hire (compliance & HR)
      • Disseminating the organizational code of conduct and employee handbook (HR)
      • Validating licensing and certification requirements (HR)
      • Ensuring compliance with all state and federal documentation requirements (compliance)

For ongoing collaboration, the responsibilities involve:

      • Monitoring staffing/turnover metrics (HR)
      • Staying current with regulatory changes and required messaging (compliance)
      • Monitoring licensed professionals (HR)
      • Reviewing disciplinary actions (HR and compliance)
      • Monitoring for exclusions (HR and compliance)
      • Collaborating on hotline investigations and HR-related audits (compliance and HR)
      • Ensuring HIPAA awareness (compliance)

 

  1. To ensure that organizations embrace the value of compliance, both compliance and HR leaders must be allowed to present in board meetings. Ideally, compliance leaders should present jointly with their HR peers. By keeping everyone apprised of current risks, actions taken to mitigate them and relevant learnings, these leaders can enable organizations to address concerns in a timely fashion and avoid whistleblowers. "You really have to have the board and senior leadership in concert and sitting next to you at the table each and every day," Ms. Thiel said.

Ultimately, a successful collaboration between compliance and HR not only prevents sanctions but builds trust in the organization. "When you think brand reputation, that is not logos, colors and a great website — it is what people perceive of you in the market," Mr. Servodidio said.

At ProviderTrust, we deliver healthcare’s most trusted ongoing compliance monitoring for every employee, ensuring continuous compliance across all HR and compliance workflows. To learn more, click here.

To register for upcoming webinars, click here.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars