Within a corporate compliance environment, the ability to manage issues securely across the enterprise can prove to be a daunting task. For Compliance Director Cindy Matson’s team at Sanford Health, acknowledging the need for change has resulted in a cost effective, productivity-enhancing solution.
Taking Charge with Compliance
Sanford Health is an integrated network of more than 150 health care facilities and more than 350 physicians, delivering services in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. In addition to a 500-bed tertiary hospital in Sioux Falls, Sanford Health operates rural hospitals, specialty clinics, and a large health insurance plan. It’s up to Cindy Matson and her staff of seven to assess risk and track compliance activities across the entire network.
Challenge - Sanford Health’s compliance office is responsible for executing the compliance functions for the entire health system within the organization. With data in numerous places, the office needed a cost-efficient, productive way to appropriately track, report, and manage the numerous compliance activities occurring throughout the organization.
Solution - ComplyTrack modules Risk Assessment Manager and Activity & Event Manager.
Results - The Sanford Health compliance team now manages all communications, investigations, audits and agency interactions through ComplyTrack. Having one source for all activities makes it easier to analyze compliance trends and review past actions across the enterprise, while saving time and increasing efficiency in the process.
For years, Matson and her team managed compliance incidents using paper files and spreadsheets. But as the organization expanded, Matson knew they needed a better system—one that would save her staff time and better protect the organization.
Sanford Health chose the ComplyTrack Suite as a solution to manage their enterprise risk management program. “We bought ComplyTrack off budget cycle,” Matson acknowledges. “We talked about it at our corporate compliance committee meeting and convinced executive management that it was someplace that we needed to go in order to get a more formal assessment of compliance, as well as tracking and analyzing where we might have weaknesses.” Matson added that the solutions’ health care-entity focus gave it a large advantage.
Maximizing Efficiency and Consistency
The robust functionality of ComplyTrack’s Activity & Event Manager help Matson and her team address issues that arise, including question clarification, incident reporting, hotline concerns, and in-depth assessment of privacy-related issues.
A recent situation that the team navigated easily with help from ComplyTrack shows the value of the solution in assisting with compliance issues. A privacy complaint was filed, investigated and resolved, with all actions facilitated through the Activity & Event Manager. A year later, Sanford received a complaint from the Office of Civil Rights related to this complaint. The team was easily able to go into ComplyTrack to reproduce all documentation and related notes about the findings, which served as a foundation to explain why they took the actions that they did. They credit the solution for helping them to respond timely and professionally to a potential litigious situation.
Sanford staff are using Activity & Event Manager to handle privacy requests such as subpoenas. The tool enables them to track and review activity for past subpoenas they have received from facilities and attorneys, which in turn helps guide them in determining whether to release certain types of information in response to pending requests. Sanford is also coordinating its activities across all their clinics, as well as eliminate unnecessary paperwork. With approximately 90 clinics to manage, the compliance staff often receives the same types of questions from various locations. Activity & Event Manager enables them to search by query type and locate the appropriate response. Not only does this boost efficiency, it also promotes consistency in processes across all locations. With easy access to documentation, new compliance staff employees can easily access information about past incidents and resolutions.
Although in its early stages, Manson anticipates that Risk Assessment Manager’s ability to provide a complete set of risk assessment and compliance tools will enable the team to have greater insight into compliance at their remote locations. “Sanford is not like some of the large health systems that are condensed in one city or metropolitan area. We are scattered over four states. It’s not realistic for us to do site visits for risk assessment. ComplyTrack gives us the ability to efficiently push a consistent assessment process across the system.” As a result, they are able to get to more of their clinics and have more feedback from them than they have had in the past.