Although introducing policy software to your healthcare facility will allow you to centralize your policies and procedures, we have learned over the past 15 years that the decision to implement this type of software goes much deeper than that.
There are a lot of considerations which can make it a complicated choice. It can also be a financial commitment where the benefits don’t outweigh the cost, or if they do it may not at first be obvious. In my role I am in charge of invoicing our hospitals and am in touch directly with the dollars they invest in policy software. I therefore thought it was important to set out some of the key reasons why this type of operating system may benefit certain healthcare facilities and not others.
Healthcare policy management software may not be the right fit for your organization for a number of reasons. For example you need to have a staff member who is willing to engage and manage the policy software and make sure all staff members are using it correctly. Having such an individual means they need to be aware of all the policies that your organization must have in place.
Another important consideration is having a basic technical infrastructure. This includes decent internet access and computers that staff have adequate access to. It may be that you need to invest in better computers, a greater number of computers or better Wi-Fi equipment. It may also take some initial time for staff members to become comfortable in using the new software.
That said there are numerous benefits that may be quickly realized once healthcare policy software is implemented. While in the short term it may take members of staff some basic training to be able adequately use the software, in the long term it will save them time. If employees are spending over 1 minute looking for a policy, this is valuable time they could be spending assisting other patients. Whether your establishment is small or large, increasing employee efficiency is always an important factor in maintaining a well-organized establishment.
Giving employees access to a centrally located document management system allows them the ability to search and pull necessary policies or procedures in just a few seconds. By introducing a system with features that give you the ability to assign authors and approvers, and the ability to assign timelines and reminders, you eliminate duplicate and outdated policies. This ensures the information you are providing to your healthcare professionals is up to date and correct.
We were recently supporting a large organization as they were wanting to implement our software. It took them a while to be prepared as they needed time to roll out a new IT system but once they had the system in place they noticed a huge difference in staff utilization of the software. This was particularly relevant as they have recently had to overhaul their policies and this made it much easier.
Proper Organization and Compliance to Accreditation
With a poorly disorganized policy management system comes the chaos of properly applying the policies to the work environment. If there is any difficulty with managing the expectation of the accreditation bodies, a policy management system can assist in maintaining the documents to a high standard.
Beyond the internal benefits that come from centralizing your policies and procedures, one of the main reasons for healthcare providers to introduce policy software is to mitigate any potential for risk and enhance compliance. Having a policy management system will also increase your healthcare facility’s ability to be accreditation ready.
Your healthcare facility’s policies and procedures need to meet important standards of state and national healthcare requirements that will allow for a more prepared and equipped team. Leading policy management solutions specifically provide the ability to link individual policies to standards. It also links videos, pictures, internal documents, external documents and websites. This will provide you with the ability to educate your team easily and to a high standard.
Allowing Staff To Do Their Jobs
All things considered, we know that healthcare facilities are trying to provide the highest quality care possible for their patients. A policy management system can increase productivity and manage the consistency between the working process of creating and managing policies. The diverse tools allow you to customize the software to the preference of your system administrators. Providing the ability to grant permissions to specific users eliminates the risk of the policy being revised without authorization from the policy administrator or department head.
This article should hopefully provide you some of the basic knowledge and considerations when making a decision about if your organization really needs healthcare policy management software. It may also have raised more questions that we would be only to happy to answer so please contact us. Alternatively if you want to see our software in action, please request a demo.