With compliance and regulations constantly changing, it’s no wonder that we’ve witnessed a slew of new solutions over the years designed to improve operational efficiencies in the healthcare industry. After all, all things–especially in healthcare–must progress with the times and the technology that is being offered. Despite this, poor data quality is still a common complaint throughout hospitals across North America. The main complaint around policies and procedure documentation is often that they are outdated, misleading or contradictory, which of course hinders staff from performing their roles properly. So, what can be done from a policies and procedures perspective to improve healthcare data quality to where it needs to be to allow them to perform to the caliber that’s expected.
Get Rid of Legacy Solutions
One of the biggest problems in the world of policies and procedure management in the healthcare world is outdated documents. There are many underlying reasons for this but mainly stems from organizations using manual systems, like paper or homegrown systems, to manage their policies and procedures. So, in many cases even if a policy and procedure have in theory been updated, a manual process means that communicating isn’t immediate. What’s more, a manual approach means that older documents don’t always get replaced.
There are many solutions out there, like PolicyManager, that can help hospitals big and small modernize, manage and streamline processes to improve healthcare data quality and ensure compliance.
Lose the Jargon
What if you have an automated system? Not so fast, there’s definitely more that you can do! Another complaint that staff has had is that policies and procedures are too misleading or contradictory. So, a good way to get around this problem is to ensure policies and procedures are written in a way that is clear and concise. Doing so eliminates confusion and offers managers and staff the peace of mind in knowing that they are acting accordingly. A good rule of thumb to go by is to ask yourself if someone with no exposure to the industry were to read this, would they understand? If the answer is no, revise the parts that may not be clear until it’s a resounding yes!
Back it Up
Remove second guessing entirely by backing up your policies by linking them to evidence-based procedures or other supporting links, videos and documentation. Doing so can offer staff a new level of clarity that they have never experienced before. This is also an extra precaution on the side of management to be able to say confidently every tool and documentation was offered to ensure policies were executed correctly. But the perks don’t end there, In the end, having a level of documentation such as this is also just what the doctored ordered in the world of governance, risk and compliance.
Ultimately, in the end, we are striving to reach a single goal–that is seeing to the proper management of information. Having documents move from filing cabinets or shelves and only being accessible in a specific location to one that is digitized and accessible to everyone at any point. What good is technology if we are not maximizing its benefits for the greater good–patient safety, quality, and experiences being no exception. What’s important to remember in this process is to lay out improvements in increments, overhauling and mandating a change in one shot can serve as a shock to your staff as opposed to a careful and purposeful roll out. This way you can measure improvements, and turn to staff for feedback–if they feel heard they’ll be more inclined to support your changes, and there’s nothing like having a champion on the floor!