3 Major Considerations for Transitioning Your Coder to Working from Home
If you’re one of the many healthcare organizations that was rushed into sending your coders to work remotely from home, you know that right now business is not operating as usual. As a remote coding services provider for over 25 years, The Coding Network understands the challenges that many of you are facing for the first time. We’ve helped to identify 3 primary considerations you should focus your efforts on to gain some semblance of normalcy in working conditions.
1) HIPAA & Security – Do not forget that HIPAA exists outside of the office and that all coding done at home must be compliant with HIPAA regulations and any internal security procedures. Many coders might not have the ability to create HIPAA approved workspaces in their homes. For a complete discussion on this see our breakdown on Challenges in Making Your Workforce Remote. Coordinate with your IT and compliance to ensure that you’re transitioning your coders properly without creating any liability.
2) Productivity – The coding industry has been transitioning to a remote work environment for years. Many coders are now either completely working from home or allowed to work from home a portion of their week. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that you’ll receive the same productivity from your coders during this time. Even during normal periods there is an adjustment period, but in this Covid-19 climate there are additional factors such as childcare that will limit your coders ability to functional at full capacity during business hours. Moreover, coders may not have access to the same resources that they are acclimated to utilizing in an office setting. Understand that it will take time and patience for your coders to get to their standard productivity levels, and that it might not happen during traditional business hours.
3) Management – It’s one thing to manage an office of coders in the same building and collaborate directly with other departments like IT and billing that are under the same roof. The act of communication itself will become more difficult as you are no longer able to have face to face conversations, but constant communication will become indispensable to managing your team. Monitoring coding queues and individual coder performance will be essential to providing the essential feedback necessary to ensure that you do not fall behind in your work, even if your particular practice has seen a slowdown in work. Schedule regular calls and meetings, reaching out both on an individual basis and in group settings. Going that extra mile to foster a sense of teamwork and engagement will pay dividends and allow you to stay on top of your team’s performance from afar.
While these 3 areas of concern may seem quite manageable at first glance, until you’ve actually started to experience the change from in-person to remote based working environments, you will not understand the delicate balancing act that appropriately addressing each consideration takes. If any one area becomes unruly, you may find that you need alternative resources to fill certain gaps. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Coding Network to provide the extra bench strength and expertise you’re looking for, not just in terms of coding services provision but in understanding the complexities of thriving in a virtual office setting.