When most people picture a healthcare facility, they think of the clinical side—doctors treating patients, nurses taking vitals, lab technicians running tests, and so on. While these clinical roles are an absolutely critical part of any facility, we shouldn’t overlook the staff working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. Healthcare HR personnel, in particular, play a key role in helping their healthcare organizations maintain compliance and deliver high-quality patient care.
HR is responsible for recruiting, hiring and onboarding qualified talent to fill both clinical and non-clinical positions. They also handle ongoing training and professional development; track employee records and performance; and manage policies and procedures. Overall, they ensure all staff has the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Now consider the time-consuming tasks involved in these responsibilities (data entry, documentation, tracking, reporting, communication between departments, etc.). It’s easy to see how HR staff can get overwhelmed—especially those that rely on manual administrative processes or use a multitude of disconnected management systems.
Thankfully, today’s digital technologies can help. Below are five ways your HR team can leverage technology to save time, improve efficiency, and keep your entire organization on the path to compliance:
Move training online
Healthcare organizations often rely on traditional delivery methods for employee training, like lengthy in-person, lecture-style classes. These can be difficult for HR to plan around staff schedules, and sometimes involve shutting down operations for the day so everyone can attend a learning session. eLearning offers a great alternative.
Look for a healthcare-specific learning management system (LMS), which may offer hundreds of pre-loaded courses for regulatory compliance, continuing education and skill-building (courses should cover everything from OSHA, HIPAA, CMS to accreditation to office management, customer service, and other soft skills). HR managers easily assign required courses to staff with a few clicks of a mouse, and staff then complete their assignments through an online portal at their own pace.
Everyone receives consistent information, so you can rest assured that your entire organization is on the same page. Employees also tend to find eLearning courses more digestible and engaging than traditional training classes, leading to better retention of important material.
Further reduce the burden on your HR team by choosing an LMS that includes tools for tracking, documentation, and reporting. Such tools allow HR managers to easily track due dates and completion progress for required employee training; centralize documentation for certifications and licenses; and quickly generate reports for compliance and auditing purposes.
You’re then free to focus on more high-level responsibilities, rather than spending time setting up calendar alerts, managing spreadsheets, or pouring over paper files.
Digitize your employee handbook
HR is typically responsible for creating policies and procedures that enforce approved clinical standards, uphold regulatory compliance, and protect employees and patients alike. However, policies on paper aren’t easy to communicate or access. These files often wind up sitting in a dusty binder on a shelf or stored away in a file cabinet and forgotten.
Instead, consider digitizing important documents like policies, procedures, and safety plans by using a consolidated, cloud-based file management system. Your HR team can easily upload new documents, update existing ones, and easily distribute the most up-to-date information across your organization.
Employees then digitally read, accept, and sign these documents, which they can access at any time. So if they’re unsure about a protocol at any point moving forward, they can quickly find the applicable policy or procedure and get the guidance they need.
Simplify onboarding tasks
With training and documents digitized, the onboarding process can be faster and much easier. Further, some learning and compliance management systems allow you to create and save onboarding “bundles”—the courses, safety plans, policies, and other documents that you want to distribute to new hires.
This way, you don’t have to spend time on repetitive task assignments. Onboarding bundles are automatically delivered to new staff members based on their role in your organization, so they have immediate access to their assignments and deadlines.
Eliminate duplicate data entry with software integrations
Look for training, compliance, and HR management software systems that offer automatic integrations with other trusted solutions in the healthcare marketplace. Such direct integrations not only make for a more streamlined user experience but also eliminate duplicate data entry. You’ll find it saves you significant time and reduces the chance of human error when employee demographic data is automatically updated and replicated between software systems.
Overall, tech investments can foster more efficient and effective collaboration between healthcare HR and employees. Everyone works together to build a culture of compliance, which ultimately drives better patient and operational outcomes.
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