If you’re interested in how to create a policy committee at your hospital—you’ve come to the right place! A committee is a necessary step towards a safer, more compliant hospital. After all, you know as well as we do that policies and regulations change and evolve as we move forward in the journey of making our hospitals safer.
We’re excited that you’re creating a committee at your hospital, and we couldn’t be happier to offer you a helping hand. First things first, you’ll definitely want like-minded individuals, but also those within your organization who can offer valuable insight and help influence lasting change. With that said, here are the eight people you absolutely, positively, must have on your policy management committee and why:
Let’s get started with the top of your food chain, your chairperson. Ideally, this individual will be the one who heads quality at your hospital. Why? Simply put, this person is tasked with ensuring your hospital is up-to-date and adhering to all the latest accreditations and regulations. What’s more, from service to treatment, quality reaches all corners of the hospital. With a true lay of the land in their back pocket, the quality person can be relied upon to have a good sense of the hospital’s needs. Additionally, he or she is also committed to delivering consistent care and can be a driving force in creating policies your committee can stand behind.
When it comes to our hospitals, it’s so important that they’re safe for ourselves, the staff, and for the people in our community. This is why it only makes sense that the next person you should add to your committee be the Corporate Compliance Officer or someone in Risk Management. Most importantly, they’ll be able to use incident reports to provide insight into what’s working and what’s not.
Before we move further down the line, we want to make sure you know just how important it is for you to invite the CIO or the head of your IT team onboard early on. Not only do they have a number of their own policies that must be adhered to, but when it comes to implementing a new system or tool needed to manage everything, they’re the ones whose expertise will be invaluable.
Of course, you’ll want someone who represents the fine men and women who work in the trenches. We’re talking about our doctors and nurses, who are out there helping patients do in and day out. Having the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer on the committee is one small but simple step to ensure your frontline staff feels represented. It may also be helpful that these two probably have the most amount of policies and regulatory requirements that they must adhere to in the hospital. However, be warned, these are busy people who will often be engaged in clinical tasks, so don’t be surprised if they can’t make it every time.
Next, the Lab Director is definitely someone you’ll want to have on your committee. This is because beyond being in charge of patient safety via pathology and laboratory services, they also carry the heavy burden of fulfilling many accreditation tasks. Well, what’s a committee without some Admin C-suite folks? Be sure you include people like the CEO and the CFO. Since, it’s more than likely that you’ll need to get their thumbs up somewhere down the line, be it for new policies or new software, this is probably the best and quickest way to keep them in the loop.
Last but definitely not least, you’ll want to invite someone from Human Resources to the table. When it comes to training, they have a great understanding on how to spread the word and to educate the masses. Moreover, when it comes to policies, they’ll be able to tell you what can and cannot be implemented.
There you have it, eight critical people that need to be on your policy committee. Once you have your committee formed, you’ll want to meet regularly. We recommend quarterly, one-hour meetings, where you can discuss critical policy implementation strategies and workflow, as well as review wins, losses, and next steps. Down the line, you might find the need to add more people, and that’s fine. The more insight you have, the more thorough you can be.