Regulatory concerns can lead to a lot of sleepless nights for compliance officers. Guidelines such as those outlined by the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) can be difficult to adhere to in even the best circumstances - and the cost of a violation can be steep.
One of the biggest issues organizations run into when it comes to compliance is ensuring that every employee is doing their part. Regardless of which specific regulations you must adhere to, total compliance requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. To support such endeavors and help cultivate the organizational culture needed to diligently follow industry- or government-mandated guidelines, businesses should consider implementing issue tracking software.
Are businesses doing everything they can to be compliant?
Compliance demands can be a major headache for human resources, legal and other departments, but it's the cost of doing business in the digital age. HIPAA and other regulations look for the best interests of patients, customers and other individuals, and adhering to them shows a similar commitment to their personal privacy.
"Compliance demands can be a major headache."
Moreover, the cost of a single violation can be extremely high - HIPAA, for example, has a maximum penalty of $1.5 million for instances of "willful neglect." Ignorance is no argument for noncompliance, either, as cases of "unknowing" negligence may still face the maximum fine, depending on the exact circumstances.
The list of HIPAA violators is long and not so illustrious - and they may have numerous newcomers to welcome in the coming months and years. According to McKnight's, industry observers expect a ramp-up in HIPAA audits as federal authorities switch their focus from education to enforcement. The grace period is officially over, and organizations that handle medical patient information in any way should be ready to fully comply with these guidelines.
Regardless of the industry, organizations have been historically slow to prepare for new regulations. Just look at the EU's forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation: According to PricewaterhouseCooper, nearly a quarter of businesses haven't even begun taking initial steps to become compliant. Meanwhile, only 6 percent have met their readiness goals.
Keep compliance teams on track with issue tracking software
Effectively meeting compliance regulations requires the full support of your staff. The last thing you need is for something to slip through the cracks or for someone to forget a certain task and jeopardize your standing with a regulatory body.
That's where issue tracking software can help.
Issue tracking software can provide more oversight across your compliance efforts, allowing stakeholders to easily assign tasks to certain individuals and see if and when they've completed those jobs. Compliance officers can even establish alerts and escalation rules to flag an uncompleted assignment that has dragged on for too long. This helps keep any compliance initiative moving forward and ensures that nothing is missed in the process.
Another major benefit to using issue tracking software for compliance practices is to create the kind of detailed audit needed to show regulatory authorities that your organization has operated in good faith. Many standards like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley require a clear papertrail showing various transactions and records. Spreadsheet-based approaches really aren't up to the task of comprehensively covering your bases. Moreover, they introduce the potential for error, leading to further problems. Issue tracking software can provide the auditing capabilities needed to satisfy these types of requirements.
Regulatory compliance may not be a breeze, but with a high-quality, multi-faceted issue tracking solution in your corner, it gets a whole lot easier. Contact Issuetrak today to find out how we can help solve your most pressing compliance concerns.