During the evaluation stage of a hospital’s search for policy management software, one of the first questions that a prospective customer will ask, and one that we often hear at PolicyMedical, is “How long does it take to implement policy management software? Simple and straightforward. We like that. Although there’s no blanket answer that will cover all organizations, clients, and/or software products, I might be able to give you a good indication of what sort of timeline to expect when implementing a policy management software.
How long does it take to implement policy management software?
From working in the healthcare industry for over a decade now, we here at PolicyMedical have come to find that it typically takes 6 – 8 weeks in total to implement our policy management software, PolicyManager™. That approximation includes the implementation of the PolicyManager™ application, training the necessary users, and getting the organization ready for the “Go-Live” event. Of course like I said every organization is different and may have unique needs so this answer is not necessarily the be-all and end-all. There are several factors that can influence how quickly (or slowly) an implementation will take. To give you a better idea of what can affect the length of an implementation, let’s take a look at the actual implementation process.
At PolicyMedical we have broken down the onboarding for PolicyManager™, our policy management software, into 5 simple categories:
- Policy Chaos: What we like to call the current state of a hospital’s policies and procedures.
- Policy Round-up: This step involves gathering policy and procedure documents from different locations, whether that is in hard copy format inside: binders, folders on multiple shared drives, or from another software solution.
- Organize and Update Documents: Exactly how it sounds. This is when all of the documents are getting ready to be uploaded.
- Folder Structure Set-up and Document Upload: I want to take a moment to stress the importance of this step in the implementation process: setting up the folder structure is critical to the successful organization of your policies. Uploading documents is a quick and simple process in the PolicyManager™ application because we have tools to help quickly upload documents in bulk into the system. However, it is important to note that it will take a long time for prospective clients to ensure that the metadata* for each of their documents is accurate. This takes approximately 20-25 human hours for every 1000 documents. Metadata is critical to a system like PolicyManager™, since these are the pieces of information that trigger automated email notifications for policy reviews and ensure that the right people are getting notified when updates are required or when projects need to be completed.
- Training and Go-Live: This is where the product team (in our case it would be our lovely PolicyMedical Customer Success Specialists) would make sure all hospital staff are trained on the various features and functionality of the policy management software, as well as prepare them to launch the software to their hospital staff! If you’re interested in learning more, check out this great blog post on effective training one of our training experts wrote.
As you can see, the steps for a successful implementation are relatively straightforward, however, there can be delays in the project depending on the hospital’s internal decision making and the amount of policies and procedure documents they have in place.
From our experience we have found that having a dedicated project lead from the client end is very important. Having a clear line of communication between the client and the software vendor can greatly help speed up the onboarding and implementation process. On the flip side, something that typically slows a project down is the current state of the documents at the hospital. Some may be in binders, some in a shared drive network, others stored on an external hard drive, and archived documents may be in boxes within storage. Gathering these documents and centralizing them into one location can take time. If that’s the case at your healthcare organization, don’t beat yourself up over it. That’s why you’re looking for a quality policy management software in the first place!
At PolicyMedical we do our best to listen to our clients and help find the best solution to their policy management woes. If you’re currently experiencing policy chaos at your hospital or healthcare system, contact us, we can help. If you’re hesitant to contact us because you’re not ready to buy and you don’t want to be pressured by a salesperson, I can promise you that won’t happen here. Think of us as your resident policy management software geek squad, willing to answer any of your questions simply because we want to help you get back to your patients faster, no strings attached. Better yet, request a free demo from me personally, I’m here to help.
*In the context of our policy management software, metadata is important information that is associated with each policy. For example, the ‘Next Review Date’ is considered metadata and lets users know when that policy will be coming up for review, and will also trigger automated email notifications in advance of that review date.