Those of you in Public Health Licensing have heard me talk about the difference between compliance and enforcement more than once. They’re 2 different things. Compliance means that a licensed healthcare, residential or childcare facility meets our standards and expectations. Enforcement is an action that we occasionally take in order to get a facility into compliance.
In other words, our goal is always compliance- not enforcement. The most cost effective way to achieve compliance is to provide clear and understandable customer assistance, provide education during on-site surveys, set clear expectations, and work effectively with our licensees and associations to make sure they understand what we expect. When customer assistance, education and clarity aren’t enough to get compliance, we sometimes need to resort to enforcement actions to move a licensee into compliance.
The bottom line is that while we sometimes need to take enforcement actions to incentivize a facility to become and/or stay compliant- it’s usually the least cost-effective tool in our toolbox.