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Automatically managing the tasks for accreditation

By Craig Frost

On November 17, I published a blog post about four elements to look for when considering compliance management software. By way of background, compliance software offers all the tools a health system or pharmacy needs to record, track, and manage tasks for continuing education, licenses, and incidents. These are the building blocks for accreditation.

For today’s post, we will focus on task management. Even if managers put in place all the proper policies and procedures, they must still prove staff are complying. Without evidence of compliance (EOC), lapses in accreditation are more likely. By automating the manual tasks for proving accreditation, managers can easily document and easily retrieve EOC. In fact, the task management module in SectyrHub® LicenseTrak® helps managers do this.

Accreditation Task Management Software

“We have a URAC accreditation, ACHC accreditation for our specialty pharmacy, and we’re working on ACHC for our retail pharmacy,” says Jeff Berning, business analyst for Specialty Pharmacy at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.“ LicenseTrak is unique among software solutions because it tracks licenses, accreditations, and incidents; we needed this.”

Avera picked SectyrHub LicenseTrak because its pharmacy’s compliance coordinator felt the manual system the health center relied on would eventually fail in some way. In 2019, one of Avera’s directors attended an industry conference where she met a peer from another health system using SectyrHub LicenseTrak to manage the very thing Avera was struggling with.

With software like LicenseTrak, health systems and pharmacies have a centralized tracking system offering immediate visibility into what’s been done, what’s upcoming, and what’s overdue. The software offers a real-time dashboard showing what will soon expire as well as tasks a manager can filter and sort by due date, business unit, location, state, and individual.

Because managers must complete so many activities to ensure an accredited program stays compliant, documenting what to do and who will do it is a foundational function for any compliance management system. Each accreditation requirement–and the tasks to meet them–should be easily accessible. The ability to schedule recurring tasks by location on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and custom schedule ensures nothing falls through the cracks. NuCara, an owner and manager of community-based pharmacies and medical equipment locations, credits SectyrHub LicenseTrak with not only helping prove compliance but also preparing for accreditation with ACHC.

“LicenseTrak has a template with all the ACHC accreditation tasks, and we can add to those when there’s something specific to a state board of pharmacy and our SOPs,” says Brett Barker, vice president of Operations at NuCara. “LicenseTrak helps guide us to accreditation and keep us there.”

But compliance management software’s functionality shouldn’t be limited to accreditation; the software should be flexible enough to help track and manage scheduled tasks for any operational program using configurable tracking forms.

Making everyone accountable for accreditation

Giving individuals responsibility for completing tasks increases the likelihood that staff will finish a job by a manager’s deadline. Good compliance management software should make it easy to assign tasks to individuals and groups and automatically send emails notifying users of upcoming or overdue items. With the right compliance management software, users should be able to verify they completed a task and upload supporting documents for managers to see.

A pharmacy or health system not only has to prove its staff has valid licenses in place to provide care but also regularly validates this per a payor contract. In some cases, accreditation, or the lack thereof, can get between the provider’s work and payment. Particularly with pharmacies, commercial payors typically require accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), the National Infusion Center Association (NICA), or the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC).

In my next post, I will take a closer look at learning management, the last of the four elements to look for in compliance management software.