Condescending sarcasm aside, I am of course talking about paper forms. But this article isn’t about paper forms, per se; it’s about how you can get rid of paper forms in your business with form automationsoftware.
If you are a healthcare provider that comes into contact with Protected Health Information (PHI), HIPAA compliance is not voluntary. You simply have no option but to comply with HIPAA policies and procedures.
“Figures from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights breach portal show a major increase in healthcare data breaches in 2019. Last year, 510 healthcare data breaches of 500 or more records were reported, which represents a 196% increase from 2018.” – Steve Alder, 2019 Healthcare Data Breach Report
It gets worse.
If your organization violates HIPAA regulations, you can face a jaw-dropping fine. Take, for example, the 2014 case in which the New York Presbyterian Hospital accidentally disclosed the records of 6,800 patients, making them available online and fully Google-able.
“The enactment of the Final Omnibus Rule in 2013 doubled the maximum fine for a single violation of HIPAA from $25,000 to $50,000 per compromised patient record. This meant that when the New York-Presbyterian Hospital inadvertently disclosed the unsecured records of 6,800 patients on the Internet, the potential fine for the violation of HIPAA could have been as much as $340 million. Fortunately (for the New York-Presbyterian Hospital) the breach of PHI was settled for $3.3 million.” – Marc Ladin, The Importance of HIPAA Compliance: 7 Things You Should Know
Here are some other examples of HIPAA violations:
The University of California Los Angeles Health System was fined $865,000 for failing to restrict access to medical records.
North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota had to pay $1.55 million in a settlement, for failing to enter into a Business Associate Agreement with a major contractor.
The Memorial Healthcare System received a $5,500,000 penalty for insufficient ePHI access controls.
The Memorial Hermann Health System had to pay $2.4 million in a settlement for disclosing a patient’s PHI in a press release.
If you think these are one-off cases, you are sorely mistaken.
A report by the Ponemon Institute found that 90% of surveyed healthcare institutions had at least one data breach within the past two years. What’s even more concerning is the continuous rise in the costs incurred by healthcare organizations facing a breach.
The researchers found for the ninth consecutive year, the healthcare sector is still the hardest hit financially by data breaches.
“Over the past five years, the average cost of a data breach has increased by 12%. The global average cost of a data breach has increased to $3.92 million. The average breach size is 25,575 records and the cost per breached record is now $150; up from $148 last year. Data breach costs are the highest in the United States, where the average cost of a data breach is $8.19 million – or $242 per record. The average cost of a healthcare data breach in the United States is $15 million.” Steve Alder, 2019 Cost of A Data Breach Study Reveals Increase in U.S. Healthcare Data Breach Costs
All things considered, I think it’s clear why HIPAA compliance is so essential for not only protecting sensitive patient information, but also for minimizing the risk of a data breach that could result in a huge fine, not to mention lasting damage to the organization’s reputation.
Process Street’s HIPAA policies and procedures templates
Not to worry though. With the correct processes in place, you can maintain compliance without having to deal with any unwelcome surprises. It’s also not expensive to set up an effective solution.
It’s all too common to find yourself wading through your organization’s shared folders in search of the file you’ve been asked to review:
Why does this happen? Why can’t everyone just use proper file naming conventions? The reasons can be lack of proper internal policy or procedure for naming and organizing files, lack of any consideration for folder or information architecture, and just plain carelessness.
With a small amount of effort, you can establish proper file naming conventions and avoid this kind of document spaghetti. The more organized you can be with your internal information, the more efficient and effective you can be in your business goals.
Just imagine – seeing neat, intuitively named folders, knowing which folders contain the documents you’re looking for, and – take a seat – having confidence that the file you’re about to click on will be what you expect it to be.
Following a pre-planned meeting agenda can decrease meeting time by 80%.
Despite this, less than half (37%) of U.S. meetings follow a set agenda.
Why, when the time savings of doing so are substantial? When time = money, it doesn’t take a genius to visualize the knock-on effects this has to an organization’s bottom-line.
Using a Meeting Minutes Template will establish processes to clearly define and set the meeting agenda before the meeting has begun, saving you both time and money.
In addition, a Meeting Minutes Template offers legal protection, provides meeting structure, documents state ownership, drives action, serves as a reference point, helps avoid repetition, and offers a platform for open communication.
Sounds good right?
So good that the content creation team here at Process Street give you this comprehensive guide, so you can effectively record meeting minutes in your business and line of work. You are provided with our free Meeting Minutes Template, to be used in conjunction with 3 more top meeting process templates.
Click on the relevant subheader below to hop to that section. Alternatively, read all to discover our secrets for how you can become a pro meetings note taker 🤓.
Without documentation, software is just a black box. And black boxes aren’t anywhere near as useful as they could be because their inner workings are hidden from those who need them in the open.
Software documentation turns your software into a glass box by explaining to users and developers how it operates or is used.
You’ve probably seen documentation before, but if you need a refresher, here’s an example from Slack‘s API:
As you can see, Slack explains everything about its API in excruciating detail. Any related pages are linked, there’s a sidebar with easy-to-access topics, and screenshots of what the user can expect to see.
To explain software documentation in more detail, we will cover the following topics in this Process Street post:
In a past life, I interned at a fashion company. And at the tender age of 19, it was my first introduction to the working world.
But my time there was largely spent in a state of bewilderment, wondering what tasks I should be focusing on, what the right processes for those tasks were, and what a successful end-result for those tasks would look like. (This company was part of the 22% that have no onboarding program.)
And because the team was always out of the office – attending photoshoots, meeting brands and retailers, going for their 17th coffee of the day at over-priced (and mediocre) cafés in London’s East End – it meant I was often alone in the office, wondering what the hell to do.
Unsurprisingly, the company went bust in 2019.
If they’d have had an operations manual or some operations manual templates, however, I would’ve been able to complete a ton of work while they were focusing on other parts of the business. That’s because an operations manual contains information about the company, the company’s hierarchy, roles and responsibilities, business policies, and key facts regarding processes and procedures.
Don’t let your business fall into the same trap as the now-defunct fashion company.
Create, implement, and audit an operations manual.
In this post, I’ll further define what an operations manual is and the benefits of having an operations manual. To boot, I’ll provide you with a host of nifty operations manual templates, and tell you how Process Street can aid you with your manual!
Whether you’re starting a business or trying to improve an existing one, you have to understand how things are going to get done.
What tasks do you need to do? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?
Working out how these questions can be answered is the first step toward systemizing your business. The creation of processes and workflows will define the way in which your day to day activities function.
One popular approach to this is the creation of standard operating procedures. The simple definition provided by IBM for standard operating procedures is:
…a set of instructions that describes all the relevant steps and activities of a process or procedure.
But how do we create these SOPs? What we need are standard operating procedures for creating standard operating procedures – and some standard operating procedure software. And that’s what we’re going to give you.
We’ll look at:
How to create a set of standard operating procedures
Some advanced techniques for improving your SOPs
Why Process Street is a useful tool for both mapping and following your standard operating procedures
In many industries it is important to have documentation which shows you have been adhering to ISO guidelines. This can help you clinch major clients and demonstrate your professionalism.
However, when you’re starting out with your first SOPs it can be difficult to know where to begin.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a range of the best free SOP templates for you to work from.
Simply go through the available SOPs below and pick out the one best suited to your needs. We’ve included Microsoft Word templates and Process Street ones too. You’ll also find a guide for writing SOPs to help you get started.
Given that it can be intimidating writing standard operating procedures, we have provided a number of industry-specific examples plus suggestions for how you can pull together basic SOPs even if they’re not documented according to ISO standards.
Read through the following sections to get completely clued up:
SOPs (often pronounced S-O-P) are basically just another way to think about processes. Specifically, with a focus on formally defining the best way of doing something.
In business terms, that means saving time and money by building a clear, concise set of instructions for all of your internal processes. Policies (or standards) are important too; SOPs are kind of like a hybrid of policy and procedure.
Traditionally, SOPs were useful in principle, but often suffered from being difficult to maintain and crucially, hard to enforce. What good is an SOP if it lives its life sat on a dusty stack of paper forms? Your SOPs should be actionable, and that’s where BPM software like Process Street comes in.
If you understand how to build, maintain, and optimize SOPs with software, you can supercharge your standard operating procedures.
In this article, we want to give you everything you will ever need to know about SOPs, including:
One of the most important things you can offer your customers and employees is consistency.
Your customers need consistency in your products and services, your employees need consistency to help them do their job efficiently, and your company needs consistency in order to continuously improve your policies and procedures.