Is Your Healthcare Office Compliant?
Is Your Healthcare Office Compliant? Healthcare organizations are constantly facing challenges and pressure to meet the needs of patients while staying compliant with regulations and laws. Keeping your healthcare office compliant can sometimes be challenging, but there are many ways that you can make it easier.
There are many types of compliance in a healthcare setting, ADA compliant, HIPAA Compliant, and OSHA Compliant just to name a few regulatory bodies.
With so many different regulatory bodies, laws, and guidelines to stay on top of, it’s no wonder that keeping your healthcare organization compliant is a challenge. However, there are several strategies you can implement to keep things simple and straightforward.
ADA Office Checklist: Is Your Office Accessible?
Accessibility is a primary consideration for any healthcare facility. Each healthcare facility has different requirements and guidelines, but there are a few things that are standard across the board. If your healthcare facility is used by the public, it must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If your healthcare facility is used by employees only, it must still comply with ADA if it’s legally required. There are basic areas of the ADA that must be met to comply:
Doors to office suites are at least 32 inches wide. When an office has double doors that are fewer than 32 inches wide per door, both doors can be opened for passage.
Doors to office suites require fewer than five pounds of force to open. If the doors are heavier, they are always kept open or have a person always posted nearby when the office is open for business or have an automatic door opener.
Routes to all areas within the office where the elected representative, staff, or other government officials meet with members of the public are at least 36 inches wide to allow for passage by an individual in a wheelchair.
Conference tables in public meeting areas are at least 27 inches high to allow for knee clearance for individuals in wheelchairs
Carpeting in hallways and all office areas open to the public is secured to the floor and has a pile of less than ½ inch.
Objects that protrude more than four inches into a passageway (such as shelves, mailbox, or water fountains) are detectable by a blind person using a white cane if the leading edge is fewer than 27 inches above the floor.
Written documents are available in large print or alternate formats, or readers are provided for constituents who are vision impaired.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a set of federal privacy and security laws that require all healthcare providers to protect certain types of sensitive information. If you run a healthcare office, you know how important it is to have a secure environment. One way to make sure that your healthcare office is HIPAA compliant is to make sure that you have physical security controls in place that protect all your data. You should also make sure that you have staff on hand who are trained in security. Another way to become HIPAA compliant is to make sure that you have a written plan for data protection. This should include how you will protect any sensitive data from unauthorized access, how you will respond if your system is breached, and more. It’s important to be aware that becoming HIPAA compliant can be a very lengthy and difficult process. Below we have listed some basic ideas to check your current HIPAA compliancy. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides a fact sheet for providers to learn about how to be compliant with HIPAA, you can find that here – HIPAA Compliance Assistance.
Evaluate existing policies.
Minimize security risks associated with new technology.
Test compliance policies to ensure effectiveness.
Follow phone protocols.
Use HIPAA compliant shredding companies.
Training and educate.
OSHA Compliance Training. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency responsible for protecting workers from hazards in the workplace. If your healthcare facility has employees, you have a few different obligations that you need to keep in mind. OSHA is to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. The first obligations apply to any business that has employees, the basic concept is to provide a hazard free workplace and if there are unavoidable hazards like chemicals, machinery, etc. those hazards must be communicated to the employees and the employees must be trained in how to safely use them. The next obligation applies specifically to workers with occupational exposure to blood and bloodborne pathogens, it is part of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 29 1910.1030. This is a rather extensive regulation you can see the full regulation here.
Develop a Good Understanding of Regulations
Another way to make sure that your healthcare office is compliant is to develop a good understanding of regulations. This can help you to avoid several violations and mistakes, and it can also help you to understand what you need to do to become compliant. While you’re developing a good understanding of regulations, you should make sure that you keep track of the changes that are happening in the industry. Healthcare is constantly evolving, and as such, there are new regulations that come into effect each year. These regulations can affect everything from security to safety practices, so it’s important to stay up to date.
Have Clear Staff Communication and Education Training Strategies
Finally, one of the best ways to make sure that your healthcare office is compliant is to have clear communication and education strategies for your staff. This can help you to avoid several potential issues. It’s important to make sure that your staff is aware of the regulations that apply to your facility. You should also make sure that they know how to handle sensitive information, and that they understand the correct way to do their job. The best way to do this is with the use of an online compliance portal. Here at Bio-MED, we make it easy for you to track your team’s progress with our simple dashboard where you can also easily view and download their certificates of completion. Manage your OSHA compliance in one powerful web portal!
We Offer the Following Trainings Through Our Online Portal: Bloodborne Pathogens, HIPAA, Hazcom, DOT, Fire Safety, Electrical Safety, and More!
You Will Also Have Access to: Safety Data Sheet Management – View, print, store, and organize millions of SDSs, Safety Plan Builder – Complete all your OSHA required safety plans in minutes, Safety Audits, and more contact us today for a free consultation of your compliance needs.
Healthcare compliance can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways that you can make it easier to stay compliant, including by making sure your office is accessible, by developing a good understanding of regulations, by implementing an electronic monitoring and training strategy, compliance can be made easy, contact us today to find out how.