Challenge: Divestment Leads to Need for New Hotline & Incident Management System
When Hahnemann Hospital and Saint Christopher’s Hospital for Children were divested from Tenet Healthcare and purchased by American Academic Health System in early 2018, the two hospitals found themselves without a hotline reporting system.
Familiar with NAVEX Global from his time at a previous organization, Robert Kay, Chief Compliance Officer for Hahnemann and Saint Christopher’s, decided to bring EthicsPoint hotline and incident management system on board to fill the gap.
Solution: EthicsPoint® Helps Meet Federal Compliance Guidelines for Hospitals
One of the most important parts of implementing the hotline system was making sure that the two hospitals’ compliance programs were following the program guidelines set forth by the Health and Human Services Office for the Inspector General. Based on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the guidelines recommend seven elements that make up effective compliance programs including “the maintenance of a process, such as a hotline to receive complaints, and the adoption of procedures to protect the anonymity of complainants and to protect whistleblowers from retaliation.”
Kay worked with NAVEX Global’s Professional Services team to implement EthicsPoint to fulfill the recommended guideline. Kay wanted to use EthicsPoint, not just as a phone or web intake system to raise issues, but as a space for logging audits, asking questions, making suggestions or recognizing a colleague for catching a potential issue. “We wanted this to be a spot where people could have one phone or one web intake and they could put their voice out there,” he said.
In addition, Kay worked with Professional Services to bring together three distinct entities within the hospitals that would have an interest in the hotline: human resources, physician practices and compliance.
Results: Automatic Triaging for Hotline Reports
Now up and running, EthicsPoint is able to effectively and automatically triage hotline reports to where they need to go. If an HR issue is raised at one of the hospitals, it is routed to that hospital’s HR department to be addressed. Reports that identify employees for a job well done or a good compliance catch are sent to senior leadership for recognition. Kay is hoping that adding this recognition portion to the hotline reporting system will help embed a culture of compliance within the hospitals. “You need to let people know that this is also a place where you can note good catches as opposed to bad issues,” he said.
The ability to use EthicsPoint, not just as a reporting system, but also for recognizing employees and logging audits has been one of the biggest benefits for Kay. “EthicsPoint is flexible enough that I don’t need to buy other modules for three times the price,” he noted. “It’s sophisticated enough that I don’t need to add a whole lot to it.”
About American Academic Health System
American Academic Health System owns or manages both academic and community-based acute care hospitals, including Hahnemann University Hospital, the teaching hospital for the Drexel University College of Medicine, and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia; Howard University Hospital, a 145-year-old teaching hospital located on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC; and four general acute care hospitals in Southern California. American Academic is an affiliate of Paladin Healthcare, a national healthcare management company with a proven track record of building strong healthcare delivery networks in urban and suburban areas, including some of the nation’s most diverse communities facing healthcare challenges.