A healthcare facility is often a vast organization with complex staff structure. As we have been operating in the industry for over a decade, having a direct connection with hundreds of healthcare organizations, we have witnessed, first-hand, how complex the communication channels may become. We have also realized the importance of having effective communication, and of having an established set of policies and regulations in order to communicate successfully. This is where, a sound policy management system comes into play in order to manage policy and procedure manuals so that staff members are able to access the documents easily, and thus effortlessly comprehend what is expected of them. At PolicyMedical, we strive to develop policy management solutions to ensure healthcare workers are always aware of the policies and procedures, so they can implement them in their roles efficiently. However, we realize that we may not always be able to cater every organization’s needs and that another vendor may have a better offering. Therefore, this article addresses general healthcare policy management practices, regardless of which system you might have employed.
Conference In New York
As a Client’s Interactions Manager, I attended a conference this summer on how to improve a customer’s experience for hospital policy management system. The conference was in New York City and, although I was there to learn about enhancing our customer’s journey, I was able to gain knowledge on how the hospital policy management process does not only relate to the healthcare world, but other industries as well.
The guest speaker, and consultant, shared a story about a hospital in England that is world-renowned for performing some of the most complex surgeries for children. This hospital used some of the most advanced technology and techniques to operate on their patients. The surgeries were always a success when they were completed. However, they had a high rate of patient loss once the patient was transferred to the recovery room. The surgeons, operating staff, and senior leadership were baffled as to why this was occurring, since the most complicated process was the actual surgery, and therefore, if they were able to complete this process successfully, why were they having such a high rate of patient loss in the recovery room. Thus, in order to rectify this issue, the entire team was rounded up together and everyone had an assignment to think about the ways to improve the process.
All the departments thought really hard but were unable to come up with a solution. However, one night 3 surgeons finished their shift and headed out to one of their local restaurants to enjoy a meal while watching a F1 race when all of a sudden it hit them. As they were watching the pit crew execute their tasks so efficiently and being able to help their team get back on the track, the surgeons looked at each other and had an “ah ha” moment. The entire time, they were looking for consultants in the healthcare world, however, now they decided to think outside the box. As they watched the F1 Team work hard, they saw that they were working on complex techniques as well, and if one of the members did not complete their task properly the driver’s life would be in danger.
The hospital contacted the Ferrari F1 team to ask them if they could visit one of their facilities and view their teams in action. The Ferrari Team welcomed the surgeons from the hospital, as well as, other staff members that were part of the process of transferring patients from the surgery room to the recovery room, to their facility in Italy.
After they visited the facility for about two weeks and had the F1 team visit their hospital as well, they realized that the reason the F1 team is so successful is because they have a process and procedure on how to complete certain tasks. When the team was working in the pit everyone knew what their job was and they kept quiet. They knew how important it was to complete their tasks, since if they did not do them properly they might lose the race and might risk the racer’s life as well.
When the F1 team visited the hospital they found that their biggest challenge was poor communication and the absence of structured process when the patients were being transferred from the surgery room to the recovery room. The surgeons would usually be communicating with one another and would often be having discussions during the operating procedure. However, they would often fail to properly communicate the appropriate information when the staff was transferring the patients. In addition, during the operating procedure the surgeons would often talk about their daily lives or events amongst each other and, in turn, forget to accomplish certain tasks. Therefore, the F1 team noted the biggest challenge they had was poor communication, and absence of proper procedures to follow.
As a racing team, they basically “shut-up” when they are in the pit and everyone knows what their tasks are. If a task is completed the wrong way due to irrelevant conversations, someone may forget to tighten the wheels on the car and put the driver’s life in danger. The hospital staff understood that they needed to create policies and procedures to help them execute their tasks and ensure that the job at hand was completed properly. After the F1 Team consultation, the hospital was able to implement several processes and procedures to improve the transfer process to help reduce the loss of life.
Healthcare Policy Management
In conclusion, although we may think that we have the appropriate processes and procedures in place, it is important to really pay attention to what is in practice and ensure all staff members are following the proper procedures. This will not only help create a better quality of care for patients, but it will actually save lives as well.
Furthermore, a hospital can only implement its policies and regulations if they are being communicated effectively. In order to ensure firm delivery of the message, it is imperative that a facility has a robust, yet simple, healthcare policy management system that houses and delivers all the policy and procedure manuals. This way the manuals are digitally delivered, ensuring the staff members have direct access to the documents, without them being lost and outdated as a result of being in hard cover binders. Thus, having a powerful healthcare policy management system is vital to ensuring that your healthcare facilities’ staff members are complying with the regulations. Our policy management software, PolicyManager, is developed with healthcare facilities in mind, so that you can reap as many benefits as possible. However, we also realize that we may not always be able to address every healthcare organization’s needs and that another vendor may have an offering that is a better match. Regardless, we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so please do not hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, you may book a demo to see our offerings in live action.