At PolicyMedical our account managers get the chance to meet with a lot of healthcare professionals and this helps to find out the best ways to successfully manage healthcare policies and procedures. Whether it is onsite presentations, healthcare conferences or networking events, our team is always in constant communication with individuals in quality and compliance roles at hospitals and healthcare organizations across North America.
This has allowed us the opportunity to see how healthcare organizations spend their time when it comes to document management, and assess the major challenges that they face. This is something that we may be able to help with, or not, depending on your current situation.
Time Managing Policy Workflow
Each hospital is unique and has different pain points when it comes to how policies and procedures are managed. However, one thing that many healthcare organizations tend to have in common is that it takes too much time to properly manage the workflow when it comes to updating and reviewing their policies. Such allocation of additional time and effort may cause added stress to the already busy schedules of employees. The importance of having up-to-date policies and procedures is vital in the healthcare environment, since employees rely on these documents to help conduct their day-to-day work. There can be significant liability concerns if those documents are not managed properly.
Before clients move to policy management software, managing the workflow for document reviews and updates was historically a time consuming and tedious process. For healthcare facilities that were using paper-based policies located in binders and on bulletin boards, the process often involved making changes to the policy (red-ink all over the paper!), interoffice envelopes, and approvals only being able to happen during committee or board meetings where sign-off can occur. This is not the way to successfully manage healthcare policies and procedures.
Using Microsoft Excel
One of the more common methods that we see healthcare providers using is a combination of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and emails. Hospitals tend to have multiple lists in Microsoft Excel, and within those spreadsheets are listings of hundreds or thousands of documents. Next to each document in the list is the owner of the policy, as well as the next review date. Then it would be up to one individual (often referred to as the Policy Queen or Policy King) or a few people to email individuals as the review dates approached. It’s hard to imagine how time consuming this process must be, emailing people back and forth to ensure that updates to policies are made on time, reviews are completed, and changes are approved and signed off by the appropriate executives. In fact, not only does this process take up a significant amount of time, but also there can be a lot of tasks that fall through the cracks. The resulting delays and missed activities can result in out-of-date policies, which is a risk for the hospital at many levels (accreditation, governance, legal risk, etc.).
Reviewing And Approving In Order To Successfully Manage Healthcare Policies And Procedures
With most leading policy management solutions, all of the tasks associated with creating, reviewing and approving policies or procedures can be streamlined through automated email alerts to the appropriate people or committees. For example, in policy management software, clients are automatically notified in advance of review dates and the system continues to inform individuals as the review date gets closer. Let’s assume that the review date has passed, the best software solutions in policy management will provide escalation emails to management letting them know what documents need to be reviewed and who is not keeping up with their workload. This allows healthcare organizations to take immediate action to resolve the situation and ensure that those documents get reviewed and updated. The software is designed to help reduce the workload of the Policy Queen by automating the notification process. That way, everyone involved in the workflow, and approval path of policies, will be made aware of their required activities and when they must be completed by.
If you would like to see how we have been helping over 1500 healthcare organizations manage their workflow of policies and procedures more effectively, please feel free to contact us or request a no-obligation online demonstration.