WARNING: I am going to sound like an old guy in this blog post!
Over the last few months I have been struck by how common it is for people to just not show up when they have committed to be some place. Whether it is a job applicant who fails to show up for an interview, an electrician who never arrives to fix an issue with a thermostat, or even clients who don’t show up for a scheduled appointment and never call to say they aren’t coming, the practice of ghosting has become commonplace and even accepted. The courtesy of a reply to acknowledge receipt of a communication, or the simple act of letting someone know you aren’t going to keep an appointment you made, has become somewhat of a lost art. I understand customs change over time, and societal norms move along with those changes but not showing up is never acceptable. (Told you I was going to sound like an old guy!)
In health care compliance, showing up is essential, and can be a key differentiator between whether the organization’s compliance program is effective or just window dressing. I am not talking about showing up just when something goes wrong; it is easy to dash in, lights and sirens going strong, when there is an allegation of fraud. The kind of showing up that really impacts the effectiveness of a compliance program is making sure compliance is part of the everyday operations of the organization, not something that only rolls out when something goes bump in the night. The compliance officer should not be someone to be feared, rather, they should be seen as a resource to make operations better. To do that, the compliance officer simply must show up, every day. Having compliance as part of the leadership team, involved in operational decisions, leads to compliance being an important part of the fabric of the organization. When compliance is part of the fabric of the organization it leads to a culture where employees do the right thing, the right way, at the right time.
Increasing visibility and awareness through showing up is the most important way a compliance officer can bring the compliance program into the fabric of the organization. At the end of the day, doesn’t every organization want to have a culture where employees do the right thing, the right way, at the right time?