CaroMont Health System in Gaston County, N.C., faces constantly evolving regulatory changes. With almost 3,800 healthcare professionals performing hundreds of duties, maintaining and delivering up-to-date, effective compliance training is an enterprise-wide challenge. Outdated training methods made it difficult to track employee training and compliance comprehension.

Until 2011, CaroMont Health relied on a PowerPoint presentation developed by internal staff to deliver annual compliance training using an in-house learning-management system (LMS). Leadership recognized the need for a program that could provide more targeted compliance education to the system’s diverse personnel.

In 2012, realizing that manual processes could not efficiently deliver role-specific training, CaroMont Health implemented an online training system that could be personalized and monitored. Within two months of implementation, hundreds of employees were fully trained on four compliance courses. Launching the training system, however, required support from leadership and collaboration among multiple departments.

The goal was to ensure all employees were able to properly identify and respond to potential violations of federal compliance regulations and laws. To accomplish this, senior management earmarked the necessary resources to implement a new online solution. The Corporate Responsibility Department was tasked with selecting and bringing together appropriate content and technology for deployment across the entire health system.

There are many benefits to implementing an online solution, including the ability to tailor content to specific job requirements and to update content as regulations change. Research has shown that adult learners tend to retain information better if it is relevant to their day-to-day jobs.

With these concepts in mind, role-based training was the primary feature CaroMont Health wanted in its new compliance-training technology. A biller or coder, for example, could receive a different subset of training content than an admissions clerk.

Overseeing the training content was a collaborative effort at CaroMont Health. Working in tandem with Health Care Compliance Strategies (HCCS), CaroMont Health’s training courses were ready for deployment in less than three weeks.

The organization began rollout of the program with CaroMont Medical Group (CMG). CMG staff members received detailed written instructions on how to access and take the courses, as well as a mandatory time frame for completion. Approximately 800 employees were fully trained on four compliance courses in 60 days.

By the end of 2012, all CaroMont Health employees – from executive leadership down – had completed the specific online training modules for their roles in the organization.

It did not take long before CaroMont Health realized a key benefit from its newly deployed training program: an increase in calls to its dedicated compliance hotline. From the Corporate Responsibility Office’s perspective, more calls to the hotline imply more understanding and responsibility for compliance issues among staff. Following implementation of the new training solution, the number of calls to the hotline jumped from 33 to 85.

Compliance courses – together with the organization’s ongoing compliance education campaign – have contributed to a shift in attitude among CaroMont Health employees about the importance of identifying and reporting potential compliance issues. Staff members now apply their knowledge and contact the hotline with queries directly related to the courses they have taken. CaroMont Health has its people thinking about compliance – not only from a risk-management perspective, but also with better patient care in mind. For any healthcare organization, that is a very positive step. HMT

About the Author

Donnetta Horseman is the corporate responsibility officer for CaroMont Health System. For more on HCCS:

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