On the surface, an organization’s intranet may seem like the perfect location to house policies and procedures. After all, it is accessible to all employees, and when documents are out of date, they can be easily replaced with new versions. However, in today’s healthcare environment, regulations are increasing and compliance is paramount. The intranet lacks key policy management features and is simply no longer sufficient.
Policy management is a four part process, including:
Creating policies with ease: When a need is identified within an organization, a policy management system should help you write, review, and approve policies quickly and easily. This should include the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues.
Communicating policies efficiently: After creation and approval, a policy should be easily communicated to staff. This includes publication of the policy, training, and attestation. System administrators should be able to see who has read a policy and when.
Managing your policy library effectively: Throughout the life of the policy, a policy management system should help you consistently enforce policies and maintain an organized and easy to access policy library. It should have an efficient and robust search engine allowing you to quickly retrieve policies, e-mail them, and manage version control. In addition to this, employees should be able to access policies remotely.
Maintaining your policy library: Your policy management system should ensure that policies are reviewed regularly, updated, and archived when necessary. When it’s time to update policies, your policy management system should send automated e-mail reminders.
Technology moves quickly, and the intranet’s time as a policy management system has passed. As you search for a policy management system to satisfy the needs of your healthcare organization, don’t settle for anything that could jeopardize the integrity and usability of your policies and procedures. Make sure your staff members have instant and appropriate access to secure, accurate, and searchable policies and procedures, and a system that is easy to administer over the long haul.