Healthcare policies and procedures save lives. When front line staff are not able to quickly and easily access policies and procedures at the point of care this can have a negative impact on the accuracy and speed of patient care.
A recent article published in Healthcare IT News outlined how El Camino Hospital, a 420-bed facility located in California, implemented a policy to identify and treat patients who are high risk for falls. The policy dictates that patients should wear yellow slippers, yellow bands and have a sign on their door so clinicians know that they are at high risk of falls. Without policies such as this one, frontline staff would not know that the patient is a high risk of falling and the patient could be put in harm’s way unnecessarily. With the color coded slippers and band staff are able to quickly identify the individual is at high risk and take the necessary steps to treat them accordingly. Policies help avoid unnecessary situations that can affect the health and wellbeing of patients as well as the medical facility. Having the right policies and procedures in place is critical, but having the system in place to enable frontline staff to easily access these documents in seconds at the time of patient care, not only protects the patient, but it also protects the healthcare facility from costly lawsuits, public shame and negative quality scores.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, nearly 1 million patients in the United States, fall in the hospital each year. Further, patients who sustain an injury from a fall add 6.3 days to a hospital stay and cost an additional $14,000 according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare.
Healthgrades also noted that 134,568 patient safety events could have been avoided in 2017 and according to Leapfrog medical mistakes kill 1000 patients a day, the third leading cause of death in America.
Advancing patient safety is critical for hospitals and integrated delivery networks as more patients turn to social media sites like Yelp to gather decision making insights on the quality of care delivered and publicly share their own personal experiences. And watchdogs like Leapfrog Group are advocates for health care purchasers.
One approach hospitals, and integrated delivery networks can take to support the advancement in patient safety is to automate healthcare policies and procedures management. Allowing nurses, nursing aides and assistants to access all policies and procedures from one central online repository enables them to quickly reference the policies at the time of patient care to take the right and appropriate action. Searching for paper-based documents is time consuming and error-prone. With automated systems, healthcare workers can access the latest version of a policy and/or procedure and be confident in their approach whether it be a handwashing policy, postpartum policy, or, labor and delivery policy.
To find out more about automating and streamlining your policies and procedures visit https://www.policymedical.com/solutions/policymanager/