Every compliance plan has three questions to answer. The “What,” the “How” and the “Why?” Answering these three questions is essential to every compliance program.
The What –
Without knowing “what” you are trying to accomplish there is no target or set of goals to aim for. This will leave any organization, trying to maintain the OIG standard of compliance, susceptible to gaps and confusion. Gaps in an organization can lead to fines. Knowing the “what” creates clarity for all members. In order to stay on top of the these changes, we suggest compliance leaders stay up to date on new laws and regulations that find their way down the pipeline.
Then you need to create a network of individuals you can discuss these changes and meaning with, as well as, their implementation into your organization. Effectively being able to communicate these throughout the organization is essential. This helps to ensure you aren’t missing key components and staying abreast regulatory changes. We also suggest making sure there is a system in place for effectively communicating these changes and policies with the rest of the organization.
The How –
The “what” leads to the “how.” Now you are fully aware of the regulations, you can move into actually implementing the plan rather than just planning. This is where a system needs to be put in place. Implementing an effective compliance plan means working together with ALL team members. You cannot create the effectiveness you need without the buy-in from all parties.
The Why –
Getting buy-in from all parties leads to the “why.” People have to know the “why” to effectively reach the end goal. It gives them goals to strive for and attain along with a reason for why they are doing what they are doing. According to, Marty Damian, the “why” is the most important part. It is the motivating factor to continue to work hard.
“You must build a trust level. You have to help folks with the common goal, ultimately being the care they provide. It is important to explain the ‘why’ factor. They must know the how and why [of where] we are going to get where we want to be. We explained why we want to data share and how it helps us to be consistent and facilitates what we do.”
Statistics matter! Margaret Scavato, gives some useful examples you can use to show data to your leaders to help reinforce the importance of effective communication and minimizing risk. Staying on top of the numbers can helps prevent you from becoming another statistic as well. And we all want to do that!
In Conclusion –
The “what,” “how” and “why” to any organization, healthcare related or not, are essential. You cannot effectively reach the end goal without understanding and communicating each of these parts throughout your organization. In healthcare compliance, in order to do this, you need a thorough understanding of regulations, a network of individuals around you who help to understand the changes and their meaning for you organization, and a system to show how you manage these changes. Finally, communicating the “why” helps to solidify a compliance program’s overall effectiveness.
Written by: Jenna Sullivan