Introduction to Healthcare Compliance
One of the reasons many organizations choose OnBoard to manage and organize their board meetings is the platform’s strong record on compliance. Healthcare compliance – the process of adhering to rules, standards, policies, laws, and regulations that relate to medical practices – is not only about keeping operations running smoothly. It promotes safe, high-quality care, and in this high-risk industry where decision-making is measured in minutes or seconds, proper compliance is essential.
Community health centers must adhere to the regulations set forth by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This case study examines how Valley Professionals Community Health Center (VPCHC) uses OnBoard to stay HRSA-compliant.
VPCHC Brings Healthcare Services “To All Who are In Need”
Since opening its first clinic in Clinton, Indiana in 2008, VPCHC has grown to include five additional clinics in Montgomery, Parke, Vermillion, and Vigo counties, as well as a Mobile School-Based Health Center that visits fourteen schools in Parke and Vermillion counties. Its governing board is made up of four officers and eleven members – 51% of which have experienced care at VPCHC – and is comprised of individuals with a variety of expertise and professional backgrounds living throughout the Wabash Valley.
Numbers alone, however, don’t tell the whole story. VPCHC exists “to bring healthcare services to all who are in need,” and the organization emphatically states on its website that it “believes in rolling up our sleeves and lending a helping hand.” This comes through loud and clear when you talk with members of the team, including Sarah E. Handley, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, and Dr. Steven Waltz, MD, Vice President, and Chief Medical Officer. Both are passionate advocates for their community and the organization’s mission.
“As a mission-driven organization, we strive every day to make a meaningful difference in our community,” says Sarah. “Demonstrating compliance is an essential part of maintaining oversight for the operations of each of our clinics.”
Demonstrating HRSA Compliance Using OnBoard
o stay HRSA-compliant, a healthcare organization must do more than merely follow a set of guidelines and rules. It requires the organization to maintain accurate records, safeguard sensitive data, and provide instant access to documents – all of which are key capabilities of OnBoard.
As part of demonstrating HRSA compliance, Dr. Waltz and Sarah Handley use OnBoard to organize two key provider meetings at VPCHC:
- One meeting is mandated by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and is held quarterly.
- The other meeting covers training and education on value-based care initiatives. It is held monthly.
OnBoard Keeps a Record of the Important Details Needed to Maintain Compliance
Although the meeting format and structure are similar to the quarterly FTCA meeting, the monthly HRSA provider meetings have a different intent: provide a disciplined review and education on the requirements HRSA mandates for compliance. To prepare, Dr. Waltz repeats the methodology he established in advance of the FTCA meeting:
- Use Agenda Builder to start developing the agenda
- Fine-tune things as the date draws near
- Invite the attendees to contribute supplementary materials
“As an organization, we have to keep the providers engaged and actively participating in the timely topics that are required for HRSA such as quality metrics, UDS (Uniform Data System) measures, and all that goes into reporting those statistics,” says Dr. Waltz. “You can’t meet your goals without provider education on communication and workflows.”
OnBoard’s ability to easily accommodate last-minute changes or late additions have proven beneficial to both Dr. Waltz and Sarah Handley.
“One of the attendees at a recent meeting had an excellent PowerPoint presentation,” recalls Dr. Waltz. “I didn’t get it in time to attach it to the agenda for the meeting, but I can attach it afterward. That way, we can show who was there and what they did for this HRSA diabetes project we are assigned to do.”
Sarah Handley, who actually facilitated the implementation of OnBoard after using a board portal at a previous employer, also sees OnBoard’s role in the meetings as essential.
“I’m always concerned that the board members have plenty of time to review the materials,” Sarah explains. “Our board packet last month had almost 500 pages to it. But they had time to review it and to ask questions prior to the meeting. I see that as part of improving the organization and helping it in the effort to reach its goals.”
OnBoard Helps Improve the Quality of Care
HRSA presents health centers with an extensive set of compliance requirements that can appear daunting at first. That’s why OnBoard was built from day one with the tools necessary to maintain compliance built-in. After all, in a highly-regulated industry like healthcare, functionality such as centralized document access, flexible agenda-building, and robust adherence to security standards are not optional.