Many hospitals that are still using their Intranet to manage their policies and procedures are experiencing what we have coined “policy chaos.” Policy chaos is a state of disorganization and disarray, where policies are housed in a system with no folder structure, staff members that need to access policies have a hard time finding the right one, and there is no system for notifying policy owners that a policy needs to be updated… leading to outdated policies floating around the system.
Oftentimes, it takes an emergent event – like a Joint Commission survey – or the watchful eye of a patient safety champion to realize that your healthcare organization might need a better system.
Audit Your Intranet As A Policy Management System
Let’s say that you’re that patient safety champion. You’ve been commissioned to evaluate whether your organization needs to upgrade to a more advanced system or not. What would you audit if you needed to provide leadership with the details of your Intranet system?
A good place to start is to survey front line staff – the primary users of the Intranet site. It is important to personally visit the units while surveying the staff. Ask to attend a staff meeting and explain why you want to attend and what you’re hoping to learn from it. During this meeting, evaluation questions you could use to find out if the Intranet is effective are:
- How often do you use the system?
- Do you need assistance to get into the system?
- Is navigating through the system easy or challenging?
- Are you usually able to find policies and procedures in the system?
- How long did it take you to find policies / procedures?
- Do you like using the Intranet site for policies?
- Are you able to comply to policies within the Intranet?
- If you could change anything about the Intranet what would you change?
You are now equipped with the knowledge for becoming a policy and procedure champion and bringing the case to leadership. Often, leadership does not have the time or ability to make the business case for a system upgrade, so it’s good to gather the data you need to make the case yourself. That being said, not all hospitals will require an electronic policy management system like PolicyManager6. However when you have the answers to the questions above you will be in a better position to determine what is the best policy management system for your hospital.
If you would like to dig deeper into analyzing whether your intranet is a good option for providing healthcare policies and procedures in your hospital, you can download the whitepaper “The Problems With Using Your Intranet As A Policy Management System in Hospitals.” In this whitepaper, you will learn:
- How to become an advocate and enabler
- How to seek out more champions
- The next steps to change and performance improvement