Samaritan Health Services Finds a Cure for the Common Compliance System
United by a set of core values and consideration for local health care needs, Samaritan Health Services is a regional network of Oregon hospitals, physicians and senior care facilities that serves the needs of people in the mid-Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast.
The SHS vision is inspired by values that include integrity and respect. In keeping with those values, SHS chose a partnership with NAVEX Global to foster an environment of safety and ethical practices for workers and patients.
“We rely on every employee to be ethical and aware of their job requirements as they relate to rules and regulations. NAVEX Global gives us a better ability to communicate with and educate employees which is a necessity in today’s environment.” - Colleen Fair, Corporate Compliance Officer
A Small Department with Numerous Compliance Demands
Colleen Fair, Corporate Compliance Officer at SHS, is responsible for keeping the organization compliant with all governmental mandates. If there are any questions, misunderstandings or problems related to compliance, Fair is the resource for all 5,000 SHS employees. Her department needed an incident reporting and case management system to keep track of it all.
An anonymous employee reporting system is standard practice for many companies and SHS initially used a toll-free hotline through a third-party service, Fair informed. However, that service had limitations. There was no web-based reporting functionality and no case management system allowing compliance staff to add data from conversations that did not come to her attention through the hotline.
The Ideal Solution: NAVEX Global’s EthicsPoint®
“Some compliance concerns are exposed through direct conversations. I need a way to track and file those conversations while keeping them separate from hotline and web reports,” said Fair.
SHS and Fair found all the functionality they needed with NAVEX Global. The system they selected included an anonymous hotline and web-based incident reporting with the capability to track and manage cases that began with face-to-face conversations. It also cost less than the previous hotline solution.
SHS needed specific elements for the compliance system Fair was building. She worked with her dedicated representative within NAVEX Global’s Implementation Services team to make sure the system met those needs.
“Some compliance concerns are exposed through direct conversations. I need a way to track and file those conversations while keeping them separate from hotline and web reports,” said Fair.”
Since there is no way to know with complete certainty that every person is always fully compliant with all policies and regulations, SHS wants to make sure everyone has input and feels responsible for watching out for what is in the best interest of the organization, patients and staff. The key is more understanding, not more people, Fair said.
“I don’t want to build a compliance department. I want to build compliance awareness and understanding,” she continued. Fair tries to make compliance applicable to employees on a daily basis. Whether it is a nurse, a housekeeper or a finance or information technology professional, employees should be educated about the compliance issues that relate to their work.
When an issue notification comes in, it goes to Fair and three other staff including a privacy officer and legal counsel. Using the NAVEX Global system, Fair assigns the case, directs the next steps and tracks progress toward resolution. by providing employees the training and resources necessary to identify and resolve issues early, Fair’s team has improved the effectiveness of its compliance efforts.
The results so far are consistent with the commitment to community that SHS stands for. “Our organization is committed to high ethical standards and we want to do the right thing. We focus on making the right decisions for patients, employees and staff, and NAVEX Global has helped us live into that promise.” finished Fair.
NAVEX’s GRC software and compliance management solutions support the integrated risk, ESG and compliance management programs at more than 13,000 organizations worldwide.