Evolving Regulatory Environment Is Driving Organizational Document Management and Control
From the many conferences we have been attending over the last few years it has become apparent that the evolving regulatory environment is driving organizational document management and control at a much faster pace. This is, understandably, very difficult for healthcare providers as the goal posts keep changing. Organizational needs and requirements for better systems have to be put in place as document management and controls are constantly changing, putting undue pressure on providers to keep up. This is why having a responsive policy and procedures management software system could be ideal for today’s healthcare organizations. The important thing to realize though is that because of this rapidly changing regulatory environment; what may be right for your organization today might not be right in the long term, based on regulatory standards. As such it is important to assess and evaluate the solutions available, especially those that can be robust enough to accommodate the evolving requirements and needs. It may be that our software is a long term fit for your organization, or it may be that it is not.
The Changing Regulatory Healthcare Environment
Today, the regulatory environment is far more complicated, exhaustive, and with greater oversight. There are a lot of healthcare organizations, especially the larger ones, that are now aiming for the International Standards Organization (ISO) certification. In Canada there are a lot of companies that are in fact ISO 9001 certified. The same is beginning to happen in the US. In terms of accreditation and certification, there are a greater number of bodies in the US, thus, today there are alternatives to The Joint Commission (TJC). The DNV is beginning to garner quite a bit of market share in the US, in terms of the number of hospitals moving over to DNV for their accreditation needs, as compared to The Joint Commission (TJC).
There is a belief that healthcare organizations are moving to work in a much more integrated, or at least in a much more cohesive and collaborative, fashion with each other. In the past there were a number of players that organizations didn’t necessarily have to align with. As such, this is further requiring healthcare organizations to have better control of their different document types, such as policies and procedures, contracts, clinical order sets, forms etc.
The healthcare dynamics in the US, administered and paid for, are being driven both in terms of the payer side as well as the provider side. This trend is changing very rapidly. It is because of this ever changing trend that there is a lot more needed today. In order for healthcare organizations to have these documents properly catalogued, aligned, monitored and tracked in terms of any changes or updates. In addition they need to be available, and to be shared in a much more robust fashion with third parties. Before they didn’t necessarily have that requirement, but that requirement has now begun to increase.
Increased Desire For Centralized Document Management
Due to these evolving regulations there has been a drive and an increase in the desire for centralized document management. The centralization of document management organizes everything in order, as well as, providing a great log to ensure that everything is well organized.
To put it another way, your house will be in order. It is not like lots of different versions of the same document spread out all over with different departments, or even institutes. You have everything collected in one place, and you have governance on top of them. You have people that are designated to be responsible for them. Therefore, you know that there is at least accountability built into the system, in terms of who is the owner, or who is managing them and what committee is responsible. It will even give timelines in terms of how frequently they need to get updated and when they are coming up for review.
For all of these issues a good policy management system helps you at least monitor, track and govern activities. This is a very important function for the system to provide and is very efficient. Last but not least, it actually gives you great capabilities to be able to readily distribute this content; that’s what most people talk to us about.
With a robust search engine all a healthcare professional has to do is type in a few things for whatever they need and it will locate it quickly and easily. It’s just like Google! In today’s healthcare space it is very problematic for people to spend a lot of time looking for the correct documents. It is all about creating efficiency and this is one of the key components healthcare organizations are trying to create more of.
The fact that these documents are centralized within one environment, and one system, it allows the users to associate, interlink and relate with each document. It is about having everything within an environment that can then be utilized. This then makes it easier to oversee and manage, which is the key target in successful document management.
Aiding Compliance Through New Partnerships
At PolicyMedical we try and make our software up to date and as reactive as possible to deal with this ever-changing regulatory environment. Recently, we announced a new partnership with Aegify, which will greatly aid with compliance audits and oversight (HIPAA and others), as well as Security Assessment and Business Associate Management. It may be that our offering is right for your organization, or it might not be , but the important thing to remember is to pick a healthcare policy management provider that is right for your future. We would be more than happy to discuss this in more detail so please contact us. Alternatively if you would like to see our software in action, please request a demonstration.