Providing the best policy management software in today’s environment has changed dramatically over the past six years. This article hopes to set out why that environment has changed and what you should look for when choosing a tool that will provide the best ROI (Return on Investment) for healthcare policy management software.
Moving From Paper Processes To Electronic Systems
Many years ago healthcare organizations realized the benefit of moving from their manual paper processes to systems that could help more effortlessly organize their policies electronically. What transpired was a vast movement away from paper systems to electronic document warehouses. Some organizations took it upon themselves to create these tools or looked to outside parties to assist them with this.
These early solutions allowed healthcare organizations to move from paper to electronic systems that become a more sophisticated “e” house for storing and accessing policies. One of the drawbacks that many of these first generation solutions did not address was the workflow process for approving and reviewing documents. This resulted in much of this work being performed outside the system.
Evolution To SharePoint
With the advent of the Healthcare Portability Act, the introduction of Electronic Medical Records, Meaningful Use Certification, Accountable Care Organizations, and the increasing regulatory and compliance requirements, the demands for highly functional healthcare policy management software has become even more crucial.
Many organizations started managing polices with SharePoint. It was one of the first legacy tools that advocated moving from paper to digital policy management and was really instrumental in getting us to where we are today. Initially this was good because it was one of the first legacy document management systems with many new features for policy management systems. It allowed there to be a systematic control area to house information. There were drawbacks though because it needed a lot of IT configuration and thus needed a dedicated professional to manage. This meant it was quite labor intensive.
The problem was that policy management was evolving so quickly that SharePoint quickly became outdated. It was fair to say that SharePoint couldn’t adapt quick enough as it evolved and therefore a more focused approach was needed so that there was better collaboration and more workable utilities.
The Growth Of Big Data
Nowadays when evaluating solutions, healthcare organizations should be insisting the tools they have are easy to use and more robust to include sophisticated workflow and triaging tools. With ever-changing regulations, it is important to look at solutions that allow you to link, or reference, regulations and accreditation standards to your policies and have easy ways to be alerted if they change to more proactively address and make sure that your processes are up to date.
Additionally, with the ever-increasing growth in Big Data the best policy software for healthcare providers should provide easy to digest dashboards or alerting systems. Big Data is a relatively new term referencing the massive explosion of digital media. Many tools are being developed to better use this increased amount of data. The purpose and benefit of having a easy to use dashboard is that there is a tremendous amount of data for users to digest and a well coordinated dashboard allow key stakeholders to more easily understand trends in all the data.
These tools should highlight exceptions to the norm amongst the Big Data and can be integrated with other key Governance, Risk, and Compliance tools such as Business Associate Management and Contract Management Applications. The purpose of this is to look for issues out of the ordinary. For example a user may not look at every policy but may want to look at the most commonly accessed policies, or those that are causing the most problems (an example of exception reporting).
Successful Software Solutions Today
Simple policy housing solutions are today obsolete. The winners in providing the best policy management software are those that easily and seamlessly integrate these components while continuing to make access simple and easy for the end users. Companies that can demonstrate a clear understanding of the constantly changing demands on the healthcare community will be those who will continue to grow in this space and provide the best product possible.
With PolicyManager software we have worked tirelessly to try and keep ahead of the curve by integrating the components discussed above. Dashboards with a summary level view are important, with linked in utilities and contract management. Integration references for accreditation and regulations that impact these policies are also highly important. A sophisticated search function has become critically important for PolicyManager. These cutting edge features allow more scrutiny of policies and HIPPA compliance. By continuing to incorporate new tools to keep up to speed with these developments we aim to keep PolicyManager as one of the forefront policy management tools.
So whether you are a large or small healthcare provider it pays to research thoroughly your choices when it comes to selecting a healthcare policy management provider. While there are many important criteria to look out for, an organization that is evolving with the healthcare industry is one that will be best placed to meet your needs currently and in the future. If you want to find out if PolicyManager is the right fit for your healthcare provider contact us to find out more or to schedule a demo.