For many hospitals and healthcare organizations, sourcing and finding the appropriate Healthcare Policy Management Administrator to oversee their policy and procedure management system is a daunting challenge. One of the most common questions we hear from hospital (healthcare) administrators is: Does a policy manager role have to be full-time or can it be effectively handled as a part-time position? The answer to this question as you might imagine is different for every hospital. That being said, in this article we will discuss the things you need to think about when hiring a person to manage your policy management system. And then at the end, you should be able to make the best decision for your organization.
Needs of Small vs. Large Healthcare Organizations
If your policy management system is largely manual – by that we mean it’s contained in a variety of spreadsheets, manuals and binders distributed across multiple departments and locations – the time requirement to manage that manual system may justify a full-time hire.
If you’re using a good policy management software system and it’s properly deployed – it might take your policy management administrator between 15 and 30 minutes per month to maintain. This should be your healthcare policy committee/team’s ideal goal and sweet spot to strive for. At many organizations this person may be sourced internally. Of course, they can be sourced externally as well, but this is typically done in larger Integrated Delivery Networks/Health System settings where the overall scope of work for the policy organization project is much larger.
Tasks Associated With Policy Management Systems
In these larger settings, a temporary full-time employee may be needed for an interim period to help with tasks outside of the policy system itself. These are mainly tasks associated with the initial set-up and implementation of a new policy management system. Good examples of these tasks would be:
- Completing a comprehensive inventory of policies.
- Cataloging the location of all policies.
- Documenting who is responsible for each policy.
- Determining if all policies have an electronic (MS Word) version.
- Cleansing the policy library of duplicate and obsolete policies.
- Drafting an updated policy on policies.
- Locating where all archive versions of policies are.
- Determining if there may be any critical gaps in policies.
For knowledge transfer and risk mitigation reasons, it is important to have one to two additional people shadow the training sessions of this policy administrator. One of these additional people would serve the purpose of filling the Policy Administrator’s role (either permanently or temporarily) should the original policy administrator not be available anymore. There is more turnover than ever within the healthcare sector due to legislative changes and intense merger and acquisition activity. The reality of all of this is there will be turnover and you want to be prepared to have your policy and procedure project smoothly transition onto the replacement(s) without too many setbacks.
Where to Find Good Policy Administrator Candidates in Your Organization
Great candidates for the policy administrator role usually come from an administrative support role within the following departments (these are in the order of the most likely places to find a successful candidate):
- Quality (usually reporting to the Vice President of Quality).
- Compliance (usually reporting to the Corporate Compliance Officer).
- Administration (usually reporting to the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO).
- Nursing (usually reporting to the Chief Nursing Officer).
Policy Management – Manually Maintained or System-Driven?
There is no real dispute that the best way to manage your policies is via an electronic policy management system. Whether it’s developed in house (which is rare) or an out of the box policy management solution like PolicyManager, the policy administrator must be incredibly comfortable with web based technology, content management systems and word processing. The proficiency in these skills should be critically assessed when hiring your policy administrator. When hiring internally, organizations usually find a good candidate from the administrative and support staff within departments such as administration, quality or compliance.
Many organizations will feel perfectly comfortable interviewing and hiring a policy administrator. However, if you are unsure about the process, Policy Medical would be happy to help in the following two ways:
- If you would like to have a free copy of a healthcare policy administrator job description to use for your own recruiting purposes please click here to download it.
- If you would like me to do a 20-minute interview with your final candidate for the role to see if they will be the ideal policy administrator for your healthcare organization please click here: