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How to Choose Healthcare Compliance Software

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What is healthcare compliance?

Across almost all industries - and particularly in the health and social care sectors - the term ‘compliance’ is used liberally. Spend more than five minutes with a health or social care manager, HR professional, recruiter or administrator, and the chances are you’ll hear the word compliance more than once. But what exactly does it mean?


To health and social care professionals, the term compliance has become synonymous with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC inspects and regulates all health and social care services in England, carrying out regular and comprehensive inspections to ensure that the fundamental standards of quality and safety are being met. The CQC works closely with the UK government, service users and a range of external organisations to monitor care services, protect vulnerable people and generally raise standards of care.


The CQC’s fundamental standards are underpinned by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 and by law, all health and social care providers in England must comply with these regulations. 


What is the purpose of compliance and why is it so important in healthcare?

Compliance is particularly important in the health and social care sectors, not just to meet the exacting standards laid down by the CQC, but also to ensure that people are provided with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care, and that the industry is constantly striving to drive standards up. 


It’s essential that all health and social care providers are required to meet the same high standards of care, and that their ability to do so is measured across a range of objective metrics. In order to ensure that the standards laid down by the CQC are met, many health and social care providers will appoint a dedicated expert in compliance management, such as a Compliance Officer, to take on this role, although the role may be delegated to an existing staff member in addition to their usual responsibilities. This decision will depend on the size and nature of the organisation.


Are healthcare compliance programs mandatory?

Yes! Like death and taxes, there is no escape from compliance. Compliance with the CQC’s Fundamental Standards is mandatory for all health and adult social care providers in England. 


What is compliance data in healthcare?

In the health and social care sector, compliance data can relate to almost any aspect of service provision. The CQC’s website states that they:


“monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find, including performance ratings to help people choose care”.


CQC compliance data is essential to the success of any health or social care business. Critically, if data from a CQC inspection reveals cause for concern around compliance, the CQC has the full authority to close the provider down.


Just like in any other industry, IT and data security also play an important role in health and social care. There are strict rules in relation to the way people’s personal data is handled, as set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the National Data Guardian’s Standards. Fortunately, the CQC has produced comprehensive guidance to help providers ensure that these regulations are met.


Compliance and HR practices

Within the health and social care sectors, a significant proportion of compliance data is concerned with HR practices, such as the recruitment and on-boarding of new staff members. Health and social care recruitment involves carrying out an extensive raft of checks on potential candidates, which includes the verification of their:



The CQC pays close attention to HR practices when carrying out inspections of health and social care services, which translates to a huge amount of work for healthcare recruiters and Compliance Officers, and the need for a water-tight paper trail to ensure regulatory and CQC compliance is maintained every step of the way.


What is a healthcare compliance officer?

The role of a Healthcare Compliance Officer will vary between organisations, depending on the requirements of the service. Primarily, a Compliance Officer (or Compliance Manager) will be required to be fully conversant in all relevant legislation and guidance (as outlined above) relating to the core business. Furthermore, it will fall to the Compliance Officer to conduct their own reviews and audits of the service, identify any problem areas which require attention and draw up plans - where necessary - for improving the service, reducing risk and ensuring CQC compliance. The role of the Compliance Officer may also extend to monitoring/organising training for other staff members, in order to ensure that everyone understands their compliance obligations within the organisation, so that the CQC’s Fundamental Standards can always be met.


Within the health and social care sectors, Compliance Officers will be ultimately responsible for ensuring that practises protect patient safety, as well as their personal information, so the role comes with significant responsibility. 


Ranging from data protection, to recruitment, internal audits and training, the numerous and complex requirements associated with achieving - and maintaining - CQC compliance means that almost all Compliance Officers will rely on specialised compliance software in order to help them effectively manage the more challenging aspects of their role.


How can compliance software help?

So, we’ve established that achieving CQC compliance is essential within the health and social care industries. And luckily for recruiters, managers and Compliance Officers in the sector, support is available - in the form of compliance software - to help achieve this. But it’s vitally important to choose the right compliance software for your service: one size does not fit all. And whilst generic platforms will offer some support with the management of day-to-day compliance issues, you’ll get much more value for money - in terms of time savings, operability and improvement in compliance ratings - with a platform designed specifically to meet your needs.

 

Headache-free compliance solutions from Credentially

Our market-leading sign-up and credentialing software has been designed by healthcare professionals, for healthcare professionals. And because we understand the problems associated with compliance management for health and social care recruiters, we’ve come up with a compliance management software package that will solve all of your compliance issues. Our integrated platform:



Why choose Credentially?

If you’re a recruiter, HR professional, manager, clinical service provider or Compliance Officer in the health or social care sectors, then you’ll be familiar with the stress involved in compliance reporting. Credentially’s compliance software has been designed by healthcare professionals, specifically for use in these sectors. What’s more, our system integrates closely with existing platforms used by the NHS and throughout the healthcare sector, sending relevant alerts from the key healthcare compliance databases.


Credentially’s custom-designed compliance solution will fill the gaps that generic HR software, spreadsheets and manual processes simply cannot fill. We are market-leaders in providing compliance software solutions to the health and social care sectors. Not only is our software built around an easy-to-use, intuitive platform, but it’s tailor-made to meet your specific requirements. We’re passionate about transforming health and social care compliance through our technology platform, so why not make the most of our expertise?


If you’re interested in what Credentially could do for you and would like to make compliance problems a thing of the past, then check out our free demo today. Or take a look at one of our case studies, to find out more about how we’ve helped other providers to achieve compliance without blowing the budget. 


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