On a recent onsite support trip to a large hospital in Texas I was asked, “What is the best way to edit healthcare policies?” This is a great question, and an understandable one. It is important for individuals to know the answer, as they want to make sure they are using the best method to edit a policy. Now there is no single correct method to edit a policy because it is not a simple, black and white situation.
Depending on certain variables, each organization will have a different method to edit policies. However, from my experiences, I have formulated a best practice plan that I have seen work successfully in various healthcare facilities. I call this plan the Five W’s of Editing a Policy, which are explained below so you can better understand how to edit a healthcare policy. Regardless of whether you use our software, or not, there are some common steps that you should follow.
The Best Way To Edit A Healthcare Policy
Step 1 “Why Are We Editing The Policy”
There are times where individuals will edit a policy without knowing the exact reason. It is vital to answer the question as to why you are editing this policy. Is the document due for review? Is it a simple grammatical error? Or, do you need to add an entire new section to this policy?
Step 2 “Who Is Going To Be Involved In The Editing Process”
Through speaking to many healthcare providers, I have always heard that they do not like to edit policies because sometimes they are then added to the revision process, even though they are not educated on the specific topic or area. This can mean it is sometimes necessary that you select not only the right people, but the relevant people, who are educated on the matter, to help edit a policy accurately.
Step 3 “What Needs To Be Revised In The Policy”
Ensuring that you are revising, or adding, the correct content within a policy is a key question as well. You want to ensure that you are not removing important information, or adding incorrect content. It is important not to revise a policy just for the sake of completing a task.
Step 4 “When Is The Policy Going To Be Revised”
Timing is also a critical factor. I have noticed in some facilities that they will place the review date for all their policies at the same time of the year, not taking into consideration factors such as workload, or the availability of the individuals that will be editing the documents. This causes another pain point that healthcare workers have shared with me. They do not feel like editing documents, or dread the time period because the workload is not spread out accordingly.
Step 5 “Where And How Will This Policy Be Revised”
Defining where and how you are going to edit a policy are also key considerations. The questions you want to ask yourself are:
- Are you going to edit the policy as a team in a boardroom?
- Are you going to break up the tasks individually and use an online collaboration tool to work together, from different locations?
- Will the work be completed by hand and then placed into Word format?
- How much time will you give each individual to complete his or her task to edit the document?
Narrowing this information will help you create a more efficient method to edit your policy. After all time management is a key component for any healthcare professional.
After answering the Five W’s of Editing a Policy you should ensure that this method is also outlined in a document. I always refer to this as the Policy on Policies. If individuals do not have a road map and instructions to see where they are going, you cannot expect them to accomplish their task accordingly. Following the process above will help you create a method on the best way to edit policies.
So I have suggested these best practices for editing a policy, regardless of whether you use our software or not. I hope that they will prove of some use to your healthcare policy management procedures. If you would like to learn more about best practices for policy management, please get in touch. Alternatively if you would like to see our software in action, please request a demonstration.