How can the health care professional work with the agencies creating regulations to ensure that their concerns about patient care, quality, and safety are addressed?
Regulation is an important entity in healthcare and healthcare insurance. The role of regulatory bodies is to protect healthcare consumers from health risks, provide a safe working environment for healthcare professionals, and ensure that public health and welfare are served by health programs. Regulation works at all levels, and the regulatory standards are developed by government and private organizations as well.
Regulations are necessary to standardize and supervise healthcare, ensuring that healthcare bodies and facilities comply with public health policies and that they provide safe care to all patients and visitors to the healthcare system.
Regulatory agencies thus monitor individual and corporate healthcare practitioners and facilities; inform the government about changes in the way the healthcare industry operates; ensure higher safety standards; and attempt to improve healthcare quality and follow local, state, and federal guidelines.
A regulatory system helps keep track of how well the healthcare system is complying with its contractual obligations and other legal requirements, protecting the public interest. It also lays down the standards for technical operations, safety and quality as required apart from the contracts themselves, and the penalties for non-compliance.
Cost-effectiveness, performance analyses, tariff evaluations, and regular reviews, as well as setting up mechanisms for settling disputes between parties, are all part of regulation. The regulatory body also advises the government on private-public partnerships in healthcare, helping to shape policies and other related matters.
Statutory bodies thus publish quality standards, offer accreditation, and offer continuing education and training for healthcare professionals. Regulatory bodies of this sort may regulate services or professionals.
In contrast to such governmental oversight, accreditation agencies offer another level of oversight which is voluntary but offers quality certification and rankings, incentivizing efforts to improve the quality of healthcare and promoting best practices. These are more indirect in their approach but intend to enhance patient care.
Regulatory activities are aimed at building appropriate motives and attitudes, policies, and healthcare protocols, within facilities and systems. Some regulatory activities include regular inspections and measures to enhance good practice and a better clinical culture.
The flip side is that slavish imposition of regulations could fail to address real problems of attitude and a non-professional approach to healthcare, is not flexible enough to cope with challenges and changes in the industry and may promote a bureaucratic pattern of complying with rules mechanically rather than seeking the patient’s welfare.
Some may perceive it as interference by an external authority that reduces the efficiency of work and intrudes on the smooth functioning of the clinical service, but regulatory oversight is designed to encompass a broader range of functions. This has led many individual and corporate observers to advocate for regulatory reform, leading to a simplified approach that clubs together regulations relating to similar services, and reduces the load on healthcare providers.
The main problems are multiple regulatory bodies that share the same aims; make for a complex and rapidly changing regulatory environment; and cause duplication of work, increasing the workload and creating frustration and negative relationships with the regulatory bodies.