Review Healthcare Policies And Procedures
Through our regular review of compliance and standards, we are acutely aware of how constantly in flux the healthcare industry is. This means it can be incredibly difficult for healthcare professionals to stay up-to-date with all the changes and this is understandably frustrating. The process can take some of their focus away from their already demanding jobs. Thus in most cases having responsive and easy to manage healthcare policy management software makes the job a bit easier. For some healthcare providers this might mean using our software, but for others another software may be a better fit. In either instance, once the software is deployed it is important to look at the on-going management of your policies and procedures. This is why it is important to consider how often to review healthcare policies and procedures.
Once Healthcare Policy Management Software Is Deployed
Your policy management system is up and running. Your policies have a uniform format, they are meticulously organized, and they are easily accessible to staff members. Time to relax, right? Wrong! Policy management is a dynamic and continual process that requires regular monitoring and review of policies and procedures. Policy review entails regularly visiting each one of your policies, and ensuring that it is in compliance with various standards and regulations and reflects current processes within your organization.
So how often should you conduct a review? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. The answer depends on several factors, including the size and type of your healthcare organization, the complexity of your processes, and the number of standards and regulations you’re required to observe. We have encountered numerous healthcare organizations, with various methods for reviewing policies. In order to determine how often policies and procedures should be reviewed in your organization, the most important factor to consider is your organization’s accreditation requirements in combination with internal standards.
The Vast Number Of Healthcare Standards And Regulations
Healthcare organizations throughout North America have an abundance of standards and regulations to abide by, from The Affordable Care Act and HIPAA, to state, provincial, and regional regulations. Each new standard and regulation comes with new policies to create, or existing policies to update, leaving you with a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Not only must you review and update policies, but you must also disseminate them to employees and train them on new procedures. The constantly evolving provisions of healthcare standards and regulations impact every hospital department in some way. It is easy to recognize the need for a robust policy and procedure management system, as well as an established method for review. Despite these challenges, many accrediting agencies stipulate exactly how often policies and procedures must be updated, whether it is annually, biennially, or triennially. This can serve as a good general guideline for healthcare facilities as they establish their policy and procedure review schedule.
Though following guidelines set out by accrediting agencies is a good general guide, many healthcare facilities have additional internal standards that guide the frequency of policy review. These internal guidelines are often more frequent than accrediting agencies, and ensure that when inspections and audits occur, policies are up-to-date.
A good general rule for healthcare organizations is to start with an annual review of all policies and procedures. Stagger the dates for reviews for each type of policy, so that you are never overwhelmed or bombarded. As you gain experience and circumstances change, you can adjust the frequency and scope of your policy and procedure reviews. In today’s ever-evolving healthcare regulatory environment, policies must evolve as well. However, revising them too frequently may create an unnecessary burden on administrators as well as quality and compliance professionals. It is critical to find an appropriate balance.
Risk Of Not Complying Correctly To Healthcare Policies And Procedures
Failure to regularly review your policies and procedures puts your organization at risk for non-compliance. If staff members cannot easily access updated policies and procedures to guide their day-to-day activities, they are likely to make mistakes. In addition, if policies are not reviewed regularly, when the time inevitably comes for an inspection or audit, there will be tight deadlines and an unnecessary rush to review and update policies. Therefore the rush may result in inaccurate and ineffective policies and procedures.
Policy Management As An Ongoing Process
Establishing a policy management system is a major feat. However, policy management is an ongoing process, rather than a final goal. Though it can be difficult to determine just how often policies and procedures should be updated within your organization, this is a critical step in your policy management journey. If an organization defines a regular policy and procedure review schedule, they will easily achieve and sustain quality and compliance.
We Can Help You Review Your Healthcare Policies And Procedures
It can sometimes be bit daunting navigating one’s way through the regulatory world of the healthcare industry to ensure that practices are correct, especially when the regulations are constantly being updated. This means that having the policy management software that is the best fit for your organization is essential. At the end of the day not having the right software for you can result in a lot of ongoing negative side effects. We at PolicyMedical would be happy to discuss your current situation and your ongoing needs. It may be that we can offer the right solution for you, or it may be that we can’t, but we will certainly point you in the right direction. Please contact us to chat things through or click here to request a demonstration of our policy management software.