Over the span of a decade in the healthcare industry, we have seen that often times hospitals are faced with many decisions regarding the technology they are using. In most cases, hospitals and healthcare organizations have their own internal Information Technology (IT) staff that oversees new software implementations and decisions around technical infrastructure. Being policy management and contracts management software providers, we regularly find ourselves talking to potential clients as to whether or not they should buy healthcare policy management software. Despite trying our best to cater to every healthcare organization’s needs, we find ourselves unable to do so. Regardless, at PolicyMedical, we strive to provide potential clients and readers with as much knowledge as we can about the software and the needs associated with it to help them during the decision-making process.
What Approach To Take When Considering Implementing Policy Management Software
We often have conversations with prospective clients that are looking at a few options when it comes to improving their policy management:
Doing nothing is an option, but not one that we would recommend. With no system in place to manage your policies and procedures, your organization is at risk of (to name a few):
- Having out-dated documents floating around the healthcare organization
- Having multiple versions of the same document that your staff are accessing
- Time wasted by staff to find the most recent and relevant documents
- Getting “dinged” by surveyors and inspectors during their examination of the existing policies and procedures
Pros of Building an Internal Healthcare Policy Management Software
There are some advantages of building an internal solution to help manage policies and procedures. This option is often less expensive, since the hospital is using internal resources such as programmers or developers that are already employed by the hospital as part of the IT team. We have seen some in-house systems that are quite sophisticated and provide a variety of options to hospitals when managing their documents. This does depend on the experience of the IT staff who are building the in house application. However, the main advantage that we discover when speaking with organizations that have built their own in-house solution, is based on cost and the amount that can be saved by utilizing existing resources.
Cons of Building an Internal Healthcare Policy Management Software
You may have to purchase additional server space that can be tailored to your needs depending on the IT staff. While the cost is often a major consideration when evaluating whether or not to build vs buy new software applications, there are some other key factors that need to be discussed.
While often initially cheaper to build an in-house solution, there are many other costs to consider such as purchasing additional servers, the cost of maintaining the software on an ongoing basis, as well as the time that your IT staff will be taking to develop the program. This is often a very time consuming process, and usually the IT staff already has a lot on their plates including, daily maintenance and troubleshooting of other software programs. There is also the risk that the in-house program may not turn out exactly how you envisioned. Consider the following question: What if that person who built the program leaves the organization? We have seen this happen and it often causes a very stressful time since it leaves the hospital in a time sensitive search to find someone who must now learn and take over the maintenance of the internal application.
Pros of Buying Policy Management Software
Hospitals and healthcare organizations who purchase software to help manage their policies and procedures can feel comfortable that they are moving forward with a program that has been proven in the industry and is trusted by other healthcare Quality and Compliance professionals. Selecting a software vendor that has experience in the healthcare space can make the on-boarding process much smoother and allow for a quick turnaround in getting the system up and running. Ideally, there are very few IT resources required from the hospital which frees up time for the IT staff to focus on other important projects. Another question to consider: Is the software a client hosted solution or SaaS based (Software-as-a-Service)? The advantage of working with a vendor that provides a web-based solution is that no additional hardware needs to be purchased by the hospital.
Cons of Buying Policy Management Software
One of the major cons of buying policy management software is the financial cost associated with it. Most robust and powerful software may come at a cost higher than the average solutions. With that said, the cost of such software is compensated with several long-term benefits such as the time and effort saved from not building, implementing and supporting an in-house solution. In addition to the cost, many healthcare facilities usually require a long-chain of communication thread, requesting permissions, board approvals, and contract negotiations in order to get the ball rolling for purchasing a new software application.
PolicyManager™ As Healthcare Policy Management Software
PolicyMedical and our team of experts have the solutions and customer support to help ensure that hospitals and other healthcare organizations don’t have to concern themselves with IT related tasks. Instead, focus on what’s important – ensuring that the policies and procedures at the organization are stored in a central location and are easy to manage. However, we would like to note that we may not always be every healthcare organization’s cup of tea and that there may be other vendors that offer a better suited product. Regardless, we are always willing to help you come to a sound conclusion even if it means another vendor is the way to go. If you would like to see how our PolicyManager™ software is helping over 1500 healthcare organizations manage their workflow of policies and procedures more effectively, please feel free to Contact Us or Request a no-obligation online demonstration.