Consider Compliance First

Filled under: Healthcare Compliance on September 2012

Considering compliance first is more important than what many people usually imagine. If you have no idea what to think compliance first means, you should know that it actually supposes contributing to the forming of a Do the ring thing culture. All organizations can develop such a culture, but to understand how to bring your contribution to it, you first need to know what it means.

The development of “Do the right thing” culture is easier to understand when you know the following definitions.

1. Values are general ideals on the right course of action.
2. Culture is a set of values and goals, shared by the entire organization. Its culture actually makes an organization stand apart from other similar groups.
3. A value system is a set of values and measures, which remain consistent.
4. Compliance programs are procedures that each organization establishes to make sure that all requirements and regulations imposed by government agencies are met.

Each organization has a Code of Ethics or a Code of Conduct. Organizations establish their value system, set written standards of conduct and keep these documents as the foundation of their policies and procedures. Through written standards, organizations communicate their value system and provide statements of their intention to comply with the requirements that must be met. As each organization has values, they will give it a sense of right and wrong. Which is the right course of action to take will not be hard to find this way. Actually, one of the main purposes of compliance programs is to create a Do the right thing culture.

Luckily, there are various guidelines which can help all organizations implement efficient programs of compliance. Through their help, organizations will be able to easier meet various requirements with the main purpose to create their own ethical culture. Some of the guidelines say that in order:

“To have an effective compliance and ethics program, an organization shall: (1) exercise due diligence to prevent and detect criminal conduct; and (2) otherwise promote an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law.”

A system of value is a set of consistent values and measures. An efficient management should link workforce incentives with the expected performance. In various guidelines regarding compliance implementing programs you may find the following:

“The organization’s compliance and ethics program shall be promoted and enforced consistently throughout the organization through appropriate incentives to perform in accordance with the compliance and ethics program.”

One of the most obvious examples of compliance activities in which incentivize can be measured is the participation of workforce in compliance training. Education, but also current policies and procedures can help organizations develop a culture of Do the right thing. The most obvious consequence will be a well-informed workforce.

As you can see, every organization and every individual has an important part in the development of a ethical culture. Each workforce member should be aware of the fact that he is responsible for reviewing policies and procedures, for taking part in assigned education, but also for reporting illegal activities or miscount. Carrying out responsibilities according with the organization’s values, but also in accordance with the law is equally important. When everyone is trying to do the right thing, we are all thinking compliance first.

Inspired by: Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics

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