The American Hospital Association recently did a study that looked into how much health systems, hospitals, and PAC providers spend every year on administrative activities related to compliance, and came up with this result: $38.6 billion.
It goes without saying that $38.6 billion is a lot of money. That money gets put towards pharmacy compliance; a concept that is extremely important and needs dutiful tracking and monitoring - because if compliance is lost, facilities can face serious consequences.
Here are five ways that your pharmacy can make sure to maintain compliance.
1. Keep Up With Documentation
Documentation doesn’t only improve communication between patients and staff, it also allows you to provide better care. Getting to the bottom of a patient’s health issue can only be helped by their previous records.
If your pharmacy has trouble in the documentation department, there’s probably a reason behind it. You might see a lack of documentation because:
● Your staff isn’t aware that proper documentation is required to maintain compliance.
● Your staff might have wonderful customer service, but assume that documentation of patient interaction doesn’t matter.
● There’s no written record of how a past problem was resolved, therefore no one on staff knows how to solve it in the future, creating a loop of miscommunication.
Documentation is great for maintaining compliance, and it can only benefit your pharmacy as a whole.
2. Stay Updated on Federal and State Requirements
Federal and state regulations aren’t easy to figure out. They can be complex, and they are always changing. It can be hard to keep up. If you need to seek out counsel from someone who can help you better understand the regulations for your pharmacy, there’s no shame in doing so. The Health Care Compliance Association also offers plenty of resources on understanding and applying state and federal regulations in relation to maintaining compliance.
3. Create Compliance Policies
A huge part of maintaining compliance within your pharmacy is making sure that all of your staff is on the same page. This also ties into the concept of good communication. Your staff should understand the importance of compliance, and they should also understand the tasks and processes that help maintain it. By creating policies surrounding this topic, you can keep an open dialogue between yourself and your staff while providing a learning opportunity.
Encourage your staff to ask questions and address any concerns they might have. Everyone within your pharmacy should always receive the same up-to-date information.
4. Create an Annual Checklist and Schedule
Probably one of the worst things you can imagine is being caught off-guard by due dates, audits, or unexpected inspections. With checklists in place, being caught unprepared is much less likely. Having a checklist of what staff can expect from these types of situations will make staff more comfortable should they be met with a surprise.
Putting together a calendar that includes a schedule and reminders of all the housekeeping/behind-the-scenes tasks that must be done on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annual basis also will help your staff feel more prepared. They can also use this calendar to track due dates and feel more at ease and informed regarding compliance.
5. Pick a Location for Compliance-Related Resources
All the information and resources regarding pharmacy compliance should be accessible for everyone on your team in a central location. This promotes ongoing communication and efficiency, allowing everyone to understand what’s happening not only on a day-to-day basis, but on a wider scope as well. Storing this info on a shared drive that can be shared across the pharmacy is a great way to do this.
Resources to include in this drive:
● Information about regulatory bodies
● State and federal requirements
● Documentation of pharmaceutical care/documentation guidelines
● Compliance checklist/calendar/schedules
● Policies/training programs
Within the pharmaceutical industry and the world in general, things are always changing. Without the proper protocols in place, it can be difficult to keep up with all of these fast-paced changes. But if you prioritize day-to-day organization and communication, you will boost the quality of patient care, staff morale, and compliance within your pharmacy.