Throughout our history as a company, we have seen firsthand how much the healthcare industry is changing and evolving. This has many effects and, as such, can make life understandably difficult for healthcare workers. It can also take some of the focus away from the critical job in hand. This is why having effective and responsive healthcare policy management software is vitally important. A flexible and responsive system makes life easier for policy administrators to implement changes. It may be that the flexibility of one system over another works better for you and your organization, or it may be that several work well for your needs. It is important to note though that while different software may be more or less suitable, that the review process is pretty much uniform. In this article, I will go through some of the basic key steps when it comes to the healthcare policy review process on the assumption you have deployed policy management software.
Your policy management system is up and running. Your policies have a uniform format, they are meticulously organized, and they are easily accessible to staff members. Time to relax, right? Wrong! Policy management is a dynamic and continual process that requires regular monitoring and a review of policies and procedures. Policy review entails regularly visiting each one of your policies, and ensuring that it is in compliance with various standards and regulations and reflects current processes within your organization. Policy management software obviously greatly helps with this.
So how often should you conduct a review? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. The answer depends on several factors, including the size and type of your healthcare organization, the complexity of your processes, and the number of standards and regulations you’re required to observe. We have encountered numerous healthcare organizations, with various methods for reviewing policies. In order to determine how often policies and procedures should be reviewed in your organization, the most important factor to consider is your organization’s accreditation requirements in combination with internal standards.
The vast number of healthcare standards and regulations for organizations throughout North America means keeping up to speed. From The Affordable Care Act and HIPAA to state, provincial, and regional regulations. Each new standard and regulation comes with new policies to create, or existing policies to update, leaving you with a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Not only must you review and update policies, but you must also disseminate them to employees and train them on new procedures. The constantly evolving provisions of healthcare standards and regulations impact every hospital department in some way. It is easy to recognize the need for a robust policy and procedure management system, as well as an established method for review. Despite these challenges, many accrediting agencies stipulate exactly how often policies and procedures must be updated, whether it is annually, biennially, or triennially. This can serve as a good general guideline for healthcare facilities as they establish their policy and procedure review schedule.
The important first step, when it comes time to review your polices and procedures, is to discuss the updates with the following:
Healthcare organizations throughout North America have a lot of different standards and regulations they need to adhere to. It is vitally important that you attain a full list of those you need to comply with and then get a list of all the latest standards set by these organizations. It is because of the constantly fluid and evolving nature of the healthcare industry that it makes it doubly important to make sure you stay up with the latest accreditation standards.
Perhaps licenses need renewed. Or are there licenses that need updated? Are there new licenses needed? If so who issues them and what is needed to attain them? These are all key questions to explore.
While all parts of the policy review process are important, compliance is perhaps the most important. Compliance must verify that a policy is needed and is compliant with the relevant standards and regulations. Until this approval is received everything before this stage is null and void.
It can understandably be a bit overwhelming getting to grips with policy management and the healthcare policy review. The regulatory world of the healthcare industry is vast, complicated and in constant flux. While good policy management software greatly helps you, the review process is very much a human job. However, having the right policy management software can reduce the chance of ongoing side effects. At PolicyMedical, we are consistently working long and hard to ensure we provide robust policy management solutions to healthcare workers. However, we admit that despite our best efforts, we may not always be able to cater to every healthcare organization’s needs and that another vendor may have a better offering. Regardless, if you would like to find out if you have the right policy management software for your needs, or you need some advice with your policy review process, please contact us. Alternatively, you may book a free, no obligation, demo to see our solutions in action.