Telehealth Compliance

The telemedicine industry is an area of healthcare rapidly expanding in technological sophistication, connectivity, and user base. As a result of these accelerating advancements, regulatory oversight has increased notably. For companies within the telemedicine realm, the head of compliance must be highly cognizant of these developments, so as to implement certitude-based management protocols which effectively protect their organization from legal or commercial exposure. This article provides a comprehensive overview of certification management within the telemedicine industry, and outlines useful strategies for best practice.

Certification management entails the capacity to prove compliance with certain standards, laws, regulations, or contractual arrangements pertinent to the industry in question. For telemedicine, this includes a variety of facets including the service quality and availability offered to patients, privacy and security of patient data, and financial integrity. An efficacious certification management system allows an organization to retain a verifiable profile of regulatory credentials, as well as providing a platform for metrics-based measurement of compliance with marketing requirements.

The first step to implementing a successful certification management system is the selection of software or document management application tailored to the organization’s particular needs. The challenge consists of determining precisely the particulars of how best to manage the diverse regulatory requirements applying to telemedicine. Among the protocols that must be addressed include the technical data security capabilities, security breach notification protocols, preservation of patient privacy, and safeguarding authentication operations. Additionally, the handling of medical records and archiving of patient data should also fall within the jurisdiction of the system.

Once the items requiring verification have been identified and the best software or document management system has been chosen, the process of maintenance and assessment can begin. This is accomplished through periodic reviews of the audit records, such as those related to patient privacy, and assessments of the technical security implementation. This includes the implementation of the most meticulous safeguards that effectively defend data from the potential for misuse. With frequent self-assessments of compliance and real-time metrics-based updates, a certification management system facilitates better engagement between the organization and its stakeholders

Additionally, a certification management system should remain cognizant of the needs and demands of both service providers and patients, as well as be able to ensure full operational safety, thereby minimizing cases of unauthorized disclosure, data loss, and various other probative errors. A successful certification management approach combines aspects ranging from patient data accuracy and data logging, to patient beneficence and quality control.

Given the rapid growth of the industry, companies within the telemedicine realm must stay current in terms of their certification management protocols, so as to remain in compliance with laws, protect patient data, and continue to attract and satiate customers. A successful system enables an organization to prove that it meets, and remains compliant with, the standards required by its regulatory boards. With a veritable framework in place and periodic self-assessments ensuring compliance and security validation, a head of compliance within the telemedicine industry can successfully ensure the efficacy of their company’s certification management system.