Moving mountains: Why a healthcare compliance consultant might be your new best friend

July 3, 2019   |   James Schroeder

Read on for 5 reasons to hire a consultant who can help you remove roadblocks and push your security and compliance strategy forward.

Can’t seem to secure budget approval for that important cybersecurity project? What about getting physicians to change how they access patient data so it stays confidential? Or convincing the CIO that an operational disaster recovery plan is necessary before he retires?

Sometimes internal roadblocks are just too massive to move on your own, whether they are caused by political and power struggles or budgetary restrictions. In cases like these, a healthcare compliance consultant might just be your new best friend.

5 reasons to hire a healthcare compliance consultant

  1. The C-Suite will pay attention

    Despite your best efforts to convince executive leadership that your security and compliance initiatives should take center stage, they may need to hear the argument from an objective third party. An outside healthcare compliance consultant can help you gather and provide as much detail as possible around security risk assessments, HIPAA vulnerabilities, business associate vulnerabilities and more. With a comprehensive report in hand, a consultant can make the case for any initiatives that should take priority

  1. No political game playing

    An independent consultant is not concerned or involved with internal politics or competition. Their only agenda is to objectively review and transparently report the whole truth, and to help you strategize on how to solve problems. Speaking of which, we highly recommend that your Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) have a separate reporting structure from IT. This will also help lessen the impact of internal power struggles, and add another layer of checks and balances between IT and compliance.

EXPERT TIP

ComplyAssistant offers a vCISO Program to help fulfill the CISO responsibilities at your organization.

  1. Strategic thinking for the long-range work

    Depending on the organization, you may need strategic support for a particular project or strategy. Let’s say your Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan is woefully out of date (or even non-existent!). A team of healthcare compliance consultants can help you build one from the ground up. And that’s just one example. Perhaps you need an expert representative on your compliance team or governance committee, assistance with building a 3-year plan to accommodate for acquisition growth, or assistance with the security aspects of an EMR implementation. Your consultant can be right by your side for any of these initiatives.

  1. An extra set of hands for the dirty work

    We all know it. After the assessments are done, you have to get down to the dirty work of actually filling security gaps and mitigating risk. You know – that 150-page report the consultant handed you? If you’ve hired the right healthcare compliance consultants, they’ll not only provide the final vulnerabilities report, but they will also give you an action plan to tackle the long list of priorities. And, they will jump in to help check the boxes on your action plan

EXPERT TIP

Look for a company that combines consulting services with structured GRC software for a structured approach to security and compliance management

  1. Friends in high places

    While no consultancy is going to cover every single niche area of governance, risk and compliance, they should have partners they can call on your behalf. You’ll need a consultant who has connections for niche areas such as legal considerations, business associate reviews or breach detection software.

Hiring the right healthcare compliance consultants for your organization

Look for a consultant who has long-term expertise in security and compliance for healthcare. You’ll want to partner with a team that has credibility and proven experience in driving a culture of compliance throughout your organization.

Healthcare privacy and security comes with its own set of challenges and regulations that other industries don’t have. A consultant with decades of healthcare experience will easily recognize when private patient information is visible and accessible to passers-by.

You’ll also want to find a consultancy that will push your organization to be better. Look for a partner who can walk with you through the ongoing process of security and compliance, not just hand you a 150-page report and walk away. It’s not a one and done. You’ll need a partner by your side who can help you drive change and actually implement mitigation activities to protect your organization and your patients.

Additional compliance management software resources from ComplyAssistant

Blog: Have you tested your breach response process?
Free tool: 4 Free Tools for Healthcare Compliance Management
Article: My Security Risk Audit is Complete. Now what?
Solution: HIPAA Consultants
Solution: Virtual CISO Program