6 Ways The Pandemic Impacted Healthcare Compliance Risk Management
The pandemic impacted different aspects of our lives. One of the most affected industries during the pandemic is healthcare. The industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, which in turn has changed compliance risk management practices of companies across the globe.
What Is Healthcare Compliance Risk Management?
Healthcare compliance risk management is a process that aims at identifying and mitigating risks associated with healthcare activities. It involves monitoring and managing various risks, such as legal, regulatory, financial, operational, reputational, and patient safety risks.
Medical device manufacturing is one example of a healthcare activity that can be subject to compliance risk management. Medical devices are used for the diagnosis or treatment of patients. They include surgical instruments, implants, prosthetics, and other equipment.
Medical devices are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Manufacturers must comply with FDA regulations when they manufacture medical devices. These regulations cover everything from design requirements to quality control procedures.
Medical device manufacturers must also follow certain guidelines set by their respective countries’ health authorities. This ensures that the products meet local standards and regulations.
Compliance Risk Management During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, many companies have implemented strict measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Some of these measures include social distancing, self-quarantine, and other measures aimed at reducing the number of people who come into contact with each other.
Health compliance risk management is not immune to the pandemic’s effects. Here are some ways it was affected:
Patient Safety in Hospitals
COVID-19 has caused an increase in patient safety risks. More patients may become infected with the virus while receiving care.
So when hospitals treat patients, they need to ensure that they use appropriate infection prevention and control protocols. This can involve ensuring staff members wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection.
In some cases, some hospitals may need to test patients for COVID-19 before admitting them. This helps identify whether the patient is carrying the virus and, if so, what precautions should be taken.
With government agencies recommending that workers stay home unless absolutely necessary, many businesses have had to adapt to new workplace protocols. For instance, employees may now be required to work remotely, even though they usually go to the office every day. The same goes for healthcare facilities.
Although doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who need to be on-site should continue to do so, other healthcare workers may need to work from home. This helps reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
Supply Chain Risks
The supply chain is one of the most important parts of any business. Companies rely on it to deliver goods and services to customers. When the coronavirus outbreak began, there was concern about how it could affect the supply chain.
In the healthcare industry, supplies like PPE and ventilators were in short supply. As a result, healthcare providers struggled to keep up with demand. In addition, the outbreak threatened the ability of healthcare providers to provide essential services.
Because of this, compliance risk managers in healthcare needed to make sure that the supply chain remained stable during the pandemic. They had to ensure that companies continued to produce products and that they delivered them to hospitals at an appropriate time.
Before the pandemic, patients needed to consent to medical procedures by signing documents. However, many hospitals have been forced to change their approach because of the pandemic. Instead of asking patients to sign forms, they may ask them for consent verbally.
Healthcare compliance risk management professionals had to decide which methods will best protect patients’ rights. They must also consider implementing those changes without causing undue stress or inconvenience.
More patient information needs to be protected with increased hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. Because of this, healthcare compliance risks must ensure that data is stored securely and can’t be accessed by unauthorized users.
In the EU, they have a GDPR checklist to ensure that patient information stays secure. However, GDPR compliance requires high standards. This can delay processes and cause roadblocks in processing requests.
As such, risk management professionals must find ways around these issues. They also need to ensure that all staff are trained to handle sensitive information despite the pandemic.
The pandemic has led to increased litigation against healthcare providers. Many lawsuits have been filed against hospitals because of the negligence of their employees. These problems have caused serious mental health issues for many healthcare workers.
These lawsuits and complaints have pressured healthcare organizations to improve their processes. For instance, they may need to implement new policies and procedures to protect themselves from potential liability. This protects people involved in the process, as well as the organization itself.
The Bottom Line
COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives. It’s not just affecting people’s health; it’s changing how we live and work. Healthcare compliance risk management professionals had to take steps to ensure that organizations remain compliant while keeping everyone safe.