Healthcare Compliance Audits are on the Rise
Many digital health companies and organizations today are being asked to demonstrate – to the government or to their customers – that they are operating in a secure and compliant manner. This means that audits are on the rise.
No one ever looks forward to an audit. Every audit is time-consuming and disrupts normal business activities. However, audits are necessary to build and maintain stakeholder trust, provide transparency and address third-party security and privacy concerns. Regulatory compliance can be a differentiator for your company – an opportunity to demonstrate to your customer that you are operating in a secure manner and can be trusted to protect their sensitive information.
Gathering evidence, documenting procedures, enforcing security requirements, and understanding your systems and data flow is all part of audit preparation. The good news is that there are some proactive measures you can before an audit occurs that will alleviate some of the pain felt during the audit. One such measure is utilizing a risk management platform like Ostendio’s MyVCM. By building compliance processes into your internal structure, audits can be completed faster and can bring to light information that is beneficial for both your customers and employees.
There is no sure-fire way to make a compliance audit easy. Such audits involve a deep dive into both internal and external compliance risks and processes. Going for a certification to demonstrate compliance excellence, like ISO 27001, HITRUST or SOC2, is enough to make the most confident manager break out in a cold sweat. Assessors and auditors get granular in their review, and each individual has his or her own unique view of compliance. The ultimate goal of any compliance certification or audit is to pass. The best way to do so is with proper preparation.
Here are our top seven tips to prepare for a healthcare compliance audit.
Examine your last risk assessment or prior audit results. Have you remediated the identified gaps? If you haven’t fixed those yet and are attempting a new audit--Stop. Correct. Then move forward.
Ensure you have an audit trail. Document EVERYTHING. In the regulatory world, if it wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.
Pull together the pieces of the audit’s focus. This can include documentation on software updates, backup schedules, organization structure, training and outcomes, asset inventory and access logs (physical access and sensitive data access).
Break down the audit scope into manageable pieces. You may be going far broader than needed.
Decide before you get started how and when you are going to fix any issues so they don’t tank your audit goals. We recommend allowing 4 to 6 weeks for remediation.
Determine how the audit will affect your bottom line. Will the audit increase revenue because you win a new client or reduce costs? An audit is an opportunity to improve the way your company operates.
Keep in mind that “done once isn’t done forever.” Make the audit prep process part of your ongoing compliance program. Most certifications, such as SOC 2 and HITRUST, require you to demonstrate, regularly that you’re still up to par.
Ostendio’s MyVCM makes it easy to prepare for any audit and can save your organization significant time and money by capturing and documenting evidence of every process and procedure, distributing tasks, and showcasing exportable results. With MyVCM, every action is documented and audit workflows are automated which ensures that you’ll always have the evidence you need to prepare for your audit at your fingertips. We’re pleased to be partnering with Nixon Law Group to make MyVCM available to the firm’s clients in the healthcare industry.