All policy management systems are not created equally. Through our research and development, we have seen a range of systems, from binders and folders to intranet and cloud-based software. This can often lead to those within the healthcare industry getting confused as to the best system to use and this is completely understandable. What is right for one healthcare provider may not be right for another and vice versa. This represents the first initial conversation between PolicyMedical and any prospective new audience member; what is the best policy management system for you?
The best policy management system for you is one what provides a central repository for all policies, procedures, and forms, making these documents more easily accessible to staff, while facilitating collaboration on creation and maintenance. All of this should be provided within a cost effective, time efficient and high uptake framework. A great system also supports training and accreditation activities and creates an audit trail in the case of litigation. A typical hospital has hundreds of policies on varied topics, so a great policy management system is critical.
Policy management can be described in the following four-step cycle: creation, communication, management, and maintenance. The best policy management systems support your healthcare organization each step of the way.
Step 1: Creating Policies
When a need is identified within an organization, a policy is written and goes through an approval process. A great policy management system allows you to utilize policy templates, achieving a consistent look and feel for your policies, with a corporate logo, an appropriate legal disclaimer, and the inclusion of all key policy sections. Additionally, when creating new policies and updating existing policies, workflows can be established, determining who will receive the policy in what order, and making collaboration seamless.
Step 2: Communicating Policies
After creation and approval, a policy must be communicated to staff. This includes publication of the policy, distribution, training, and attestation. The best policy management systems allow you to quickly and easily distribute new and updated policies to staff, and to verify who has read them and when. The ability to link your policy management system with a learning management system is an excellent addition as well. This gives you the ability to provide additional resources and quizzes to ensure that staff members have fully understood the policies they have received.
Step 3: Managing Policies
Throughout the life of a policy, it must be accessible to the appropriate individuals, consistently enforced, and easily edited when necessary. The best policy management systems give administrators full control over which users have access to various features of the system, from reading and printing policies, to editing and approving them. This increases overall security and privacy while retaining accessibility.
Step 4: Maintenance Of A Policy Management System
Once your policy management system is established, policies must be reviewed regularly, updated, and archived when necessary. The best policy management systems create a clear audit trail, documenting who made each change, when it was made, and why. Your policy management system should automatically notify the appropriate individuals when policies are up for review, and once policies are updated, it should archive previous versions. The best policy management systems also have robust reporting features, giving insight into the utilization of the system.
The hallmark of a great policy management system is the ability to manage the full lifecycle of policies – from policy creation, through approval, publication and regular reviews – in one, centralized place. It is imperative that healthcare facilities have a comprehensive, well-managed, and fully adhered to a set of policies to support and protect their patients, employees, and their facility. In today’s ever-changing regulatory environment, it is critical to have a policy management system that can adjust and adapt to the needs of your organization.
The Best Policy Management System For You
While the fundamental cornerstones of what makes for good policy management are the same for each organization, the way they implement them can vary given their particular situation. It is for this reason, it is a good idea to conduct a thorough review and good amount of research to ascertain which system is best for you. At PolicyMedical we may, or may not, fit those needs but one universal truth is that we will do our best to taper our system to your situation. If that is not possible then we will contribute towards your research and point you in the right direction.