As we end our series called 5 Compliance Concerns Your Patients Won’t Tell You, a common complaint we hear from patients is:
Every day, healthcare is changing. We hear the news regarding breaches, fraud/abuse cases, malpractice suits, and much more. Though we are aware and understand the risk and non-risk of compliance, patients may not. Their lack of knowledge can wreak havoc on your practice, because they may think you are not following the rules, just like they have read in the news. This can lead to an unwanted call to the government, audits, or investigations if you are not careful.
To increase awareness, send monthly, quarterly or bi-annual newsletters sharing practice news and updates. Don’t be nervous about mentioning healthcare headlines; use this to your advantage. When your patients hear from you regularly, they automatically feel connected to your practice and will come to you first with their issues. Another option is to provide anonymous surveys, which will catch those disgruntled about their service. Both avenues provide an opportunity for continuous open communication.
Last, use signs or brochures to share information with your patients. This is a quick way to provide updates, especially when they are visible upon entering the office. The information should surround updated policies or reminders, compliance and security updates, current or upcoming trends, and much more.
In your busy world of ringing phones, loads of paperwork, and regulatory obligation, it is easy to lose sight of patients outside the examination room.
As you create or update your compliance program, think back to when you were a patient. Tailor policies and procedures that, not only benefit your employees, but your patients too. Train your staff to educate and remind them of the practice “open-door” policies.
Last, use our Compliance Resource Library to ensure all areas of your compliance program is fully functioning for all parties involved.
The goal is to form a connection with your patient, as they review the website, schedule an appointment, arrive at the front desk, see the physician, check-out, or talk to the accounts receivables department after their appointment.
Your compliance strategies should be so on point they have no choice but to share voluntarily how compliant your practice is!
Patients aren’t expecting you to be perfect, but they value your presence and readiness to ease their fears inside and outside the examination room. How your patient feels after they leave your practice lingers with them, good or bad.
Remember, you are the definition of quality healthcare in your patient’s eyes. Try to be the practice that restores their hope, one visit at a time.
**The opinions and observations from the group/author are not a promise to exempt your practice from fines and penalties. Research, modify and tailor the advice to fit your specialty.