Up to now, it has been very difficult for healthcare organizations to be certain their clinicians and other staff were receiving training that complied with applicable federal and state regulation. The solution to this common problem was the focus of a recent webinar, Challenge the Status Quo: Ending the Regulation Training Hunt, from HCCS, A HealthStream Company, that was led by Ben Diamond, Vice President of Compliance Solutions, and Debbie Newsholme, Senior Director of Content Development and Compliance Solutions.
The regulatory environment for the healthcare industry is one of the most complex. Newsholme shared these statistics about the maze of requirements:
- $39 billion in annual regulatory compliance costs across healthcare
- 629 total discreet federal regulatory requirements – (341 hospital-related requirements and 288 post-acute care-related requirements)
- 59 full time equivalents (FTEs) in staff dedicated to regulatory compliance for a typical hospital
- Multiple areas faced with compliance requirements outside of basic caregiving—quality reporting, meaningful use, hospital conditions of participation, fraud/abuse, privacy, security, billing, coverage verification requirements, etc.
According to Diamond, in addition to the 629 federal regulations covering healthcare entities, “there are literally tens of thousands of other federal and state regulations for individual clinicians and healthcare providers.” For anyone responsible for compliance training, he described the nightmare involved “to find all these training requirements and then organize them into a curriculum specific for each job function within your organization.”
One Comprehensive Source for Regulatory Requirements
The solution, Diamond offered, is hStream Compass, created “to guide healthcare organizations in meeting all relevant federal and state training requirements, including all of the federal acronym-named sites, like OSHA and CMS, plus all state mandated regulations.” Compass enables organizations to easily research federal and state training requirements in a single place, not the “three separate sections of the Federal Register and 15 different state websites” that would typically need to be consulted.
Compass will be available through hStream, HealthStream’s “new technology platform that connects and engages an organization and its people to help them experience the full benefits of the HealthStream ecosystem.” Compass will allow anyone researching training requirements to search federal regulations, as well as those for individual or multiple states, discipline, care setting, and even position. Every requirement will link back to its source—users can “open up the page from which the information was pulled so that you can read from the appropriate government website if you're interested.” In addition, the data available will include scope of practice and licensure requirements, which are vitally important to credentialing staff.
A Link to Learning that Meets Regulatory Requirements
In turn, Compass will link specific regulations to HealthStream learning solutions. Diamond used the example of a federal training requirement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for blood-borne pathogens training. Compass not only provides “the details of everything in that training requirement pulled from the federal website,” but it also indicates all related courseware available from HealthStream that matches this regulation. The listing includes a rating scale, learning with CE or CEU provisions, and an estimate for how long completion of the course should take. Course previews are also available for any users investigating learning options.
Helpful Interpretation of Regulations
Even though the regulatory source text is always available, Compass breaks it down to make it easier to understand. Diamond tells us, “So you don't have to be a lawyer to read this.” For Compass it is standard practice to have information about the requirements, so that misleading or technical language does not prevent any efforts to ensure staff members are compliant with regulatory requirements to the greatest extent possible.
Learn more about HCCS Compliance training solutions.