When something distracts us from our primary focus, it can be, understandably, frustrating. This is true for healthcare workers who have to sacrifice some of the time they have to deliver care to patients in order to comply with hospital policies and procedures. To assist these workers, policy administrators may be able to deliver and manage hospital policies and procedures to staff in an easy, quick, efficient, and effective manner that enables them to comply with minimal time or effort. This article will show you how this can be accomplished using a healthcare policy management software. When you are finished, you will be able to determine if it’s a good fit for your organization – or not.
Through the years we have been trying to tailor our software to healthcare provider’s needs, we have seen how the importance of hospital policies and procedures has drastically increased. This has stayed true as various government administrations have come and gone, but just why are they so important? First, let’s look at exactly what hospital policies and procedures are.
It is important for all individuals within a healthcare organization to be involved in the development and implementation of policies and procedures and to have an understanding of what they are and how they are used. Written policies can prevent chaos, confusion, and legal problems. Policies are there so that a hospital decision does not make an illogical, irrational, or possibly, even an illegal decision. Such decisions can have a negative impact through not meeting industry regulations. A policy is a solid set of instructions and determines present and future decisions. It also aids decision making under a given set of circumstances. Policies are usually based upon accepted, well-defined, norms/standards of practice.
Standards are needed to establish consistency, expectations, and patterns for practice. Standards also provide a benchmark for quality measurement and improvement.
The importance of hospital policy and procedures cannot be disputed, but the way they are managed best will vary from one organization to another. Finding the best management system for your organization is what is vitally important. Policies are needed because they set a general plan of action used to guide desired outcomes and is a fundamental guideline to help make decisions. The purpose of healthcare policy and procedures is to communicate to employees the desired outcomes of the organization. They help employees understand their roles and responsibilities within the organization. In the healthcare environment specifically, policies should set the foundation for the delivery of safe and cost-effective quality care.
With the continued increase in new regulations and requirements, such as the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, and Meaningful Use, the burden of setting policies and effectively communicating them to the employees has become burdensome.
The main purpose of having hospital policies and procedures is to establish a high degree of understanding, cooperation, efficiency, and unity among employees of your hospital. Another purpose is to provide uniform policies for all employees so that there are no discrepancies.
For every new law or regulation, new, or updated, policies must be created and disseminated to staff. There are regularly changing provisions within the Affordable Care Act, other federal healthcare requirements, state laws and regulations, CMS Conditions of Participation, Joint Commission Standards, and other accreditation requirements. This makes it difficult to ensure that proper polices are not only created, but efficiently communicated to the employees. As such, the legacy policy management systems for maintaining polices are no longer viable and can place the organization at risk. It is difficult just keeping up with every new law or regulation update, therefore, ensuring policies and procedures are effectively rolled out to employees, is just as complicated.
With the rapid pace of new and updated laws and regulations that providers must address, the task of ensuring that policies and procedures are up-to-date, available, and effectively communicated throughout the organization can be very difficult. This is where more state-of-the-art policy management software can be helpful.
The best policy management software solutions will ensure that employees can easily access that information and can communicate to managers and stakeholders the changes in regulations that affect those policies. Additionally, good healthcare policy management systems can help ensure information contained within hospital policies and procedures are updated and accurate. This provides more effective means for regulatory and accrediting organizations to validate that you are operating in a state of continued readiness for a survey or audit. Not having sound systems in place can result in additional on-site visits by these bodies, putting the organization at risk for increased deficiencies and penalties.
Effective and reliable hospital policies and procedures set the foundation for providing the best level of care. When conducting your research to determine which policy management software is the best fit for your organization, look for programs that combine sound organizational processes with complimentary technology to achieve your desired outcome. If you would like to see for yourself how PolicyManager solves the challenges of managing hospital policies and procedures, get in touch with our team to request a full demonstration.