The Benefits of Automation and Process Improvement in Your Compliance Monitoring Programs
By Robert Zelinsky on November 15, 2019
Is your compliance monitoring program as efficient as it could be? With the addition of new automation technology and a renewed focus on process improvement, your company can add efficiencies that give it a boost.
Here are some ways to create people and process efficiencies that benefit your compliance monitoring program.
Compliance: The Basics
According to the Pharma Compliance Forum, the basic elements that should be included in any auditing and compliance plan are:
- A formal monitoring and auditing program as part of the overall compliance plan
- Spot reviews of sales and marketing activities
- Remedial training and disciplinary measures to address the results of reviews
In addition, the plan should include some specific ways to monitor compliance including ride-alongs, tracking, and documentation. Each of these should be specifically laid out in the compliance plan, including who should do them, how often, the company’s required recording methods, and the proper procedures for follow-up.
The U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) also provides more specific guidelines for implementing compliance and auditing procedures. These guidelines allow a company to identify, monitor, and audit risky activities in an organized way.
Here are the 7 fundamental elements of an effective compliance program from the OIG:
1. Implementing written policies, procedures and standards of conduct.
2. Designating a compliance officer and compliance committee.
3. Conducting effective training and education.
4. Developing effective lines of communication.
5. Conducting internal monitoring and auditing.
6. Enforcing standards through well-publicized disciplinary guidelines.
7. Responding promptly to detected offenses and undertaking corrective action.
Together, all of these guidelines and best practices are a lot to manage. That’s why so many companies have turned to automation to streamline compliance.
Automation in Compliance Plans
First, it’s important to point out that compliance automation is not intended to replace your compliance officers. It’s not a substitute for having a competent compliance team; it’s a tool for your compliance team to use.
Automation allows your compliance officers to work smarter, not harder. It provides an organized structure to your compliance plan, so everything can be handled and tracked with maximum efficiency.
This is particularly important when it comes to urgent issues that need immediate remediation. With automation, these pressing matters can be addressed quickly - sometimes within hours, or even at the moment they occur - rather than waiting days or weeks for the remediation process to grind along.
Benefits of Compliance Automation
Compliance technology offers this kind of efficiency. Using dashboards, alerts, analytics, and other tech solutions, a company can monitor its compliance efforts in real-time and keep a finger on the pulse of the organization.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using automation in your compliance plan.
A tech solution is a global solution. Use it to monitor your compliance activities across departments, across companies in your organization, and across your entire worldwide enterprise.
Speed to remediation
This is one of the first benefits a company notices when adding automation. Compliance activities happen quickly and smoothly, from ride-alongs to remediation. It’s a technology-guided process that can move at a very fast pace.
The act of inputting everything into a compliance platform helps you clarify what types of data you have, and clean it up on an ongoing basis with the help of the platform. As a byproduct of the process, your data will naturally be more standardized and organized moving forward.
Your compliance tools will allow deep visibility into your company’s activities. See what’s happening in real-time, so you can refine protocols and react to compliance issues.
When it’s time to provide information to regulators, you’ll have all the documentation you need. Print reports, generate proof upon request, and maintain a detailed archive that puts you among the leaders in the industry.
A compliance platform provides an array of analytics you can use to track relevant metrics for your organization. Set thresholds for certain activities, establish benchmarks, and pursue process improvement using the power of analytics.
Over the long term, automation makes it easier to plan strategically for compliance improvements. Strategic decisions are on-target because they are fueled by actual data - not assumptions.
Some platforms are cloud-based, solving the problem of building, hosting, monitoring, and maintaining your compliance framework. This eliminates the most costly infrastructure aspect of compliance monitoring.
Consulting and advice
Certain compliance solutions also come with consulting services, or these services can be purchased separately. It’s typically a wise investment, because it helps you get the most out of compliance automation.
A List of Automation Solutions
Finally, let’s look at some examples of effective automation solutions that will help your company achieve its compliance goals.
Monitor Mate is a global compliance monitoring solution that offers integrated global risk assessment functionality that’s built right into the platform. It’s a sleek tech solution that can scale up or down, meeting the needs of both small businesses and huge enterprises.
Data EZ is a cloud-based data management platform that supports the aggregation, cleansing and standardization of compliance information. It’s a great tool for any company concerned about having global transparency into its operations, because it provides detailed real-time insights.
Data Analytics provides detailed reports and insights. It allows a company to make strategic decisions based on aggregated data it has collected on payments, grants, contract fees, risk monitoring data and more. It’s the ideal compliance decision-making tool.
Vault Extender is an infrastructure solution that prevents you from having to build and maintain the business logic behind your compliance plan. It frees your company to focus on compliance itself, rather than the complex framework that makes compliance happen.
Cresen Solutions Life Sciences Consulting rounds out your compliance program with outside help from seasoned pros. It’s a consulting service that prevents things from falling through the cracks and helps your compliance team excel.
If your company needs assistance with compliance tasks, Cresen Solutions is here to help. Our talented life sciences professionals have decades of combined experience. We’re ready to tackle even your toughest compliance challenges, so connect with us today to discuss your company’s automation and process improvement plan.
Topics: Key Risk Indicators in Compliance Monitoring