In the US, there is a great demand placed on healthcare professionals to manage risk, be cost efficient and be compliant. This brings the communication and management of Policies and Procedures to the forefront. Policy Management software has been developing over the past few years and can provide great benefits for the industry. Let's take a look at some of them below:
• Better collaboration
Policy management software provides and facilitates better collaboration amongst policy makers and followers. It makes developing new policies easier, as most automated solutions contain dashboards and control panels with all the necessary information for staff to consider. Expiring policies, document revision history, summary of changes, required actions etc. are visible to policy creators and moderators so that they can make decisions immediately. These software programs also send immediate notifications through email to inform approvers and reviewers about their upcoming responsibilities. Compliance and risk management staff can thus save a lot of time and do not have to e-mail back and forth or save multiple documents to their computer.
• Reduced risk
A typical organization has hundreds of policies and documents to keep track of, and doing it manually is tedious. An automated solution saves all your data and makes sure everyone is on the same page. By automating policy management activities, your organization will have better version control and iron clad audit trails. Alert notifications allow you to avoid risks and stay on top of all the policies that must be reviewed or soon to expire. Since the system is highly automated, information will reach everyone at the same time, which reduces compliance risks. Greater accountability is thus induced throughout the organization. Employees that fail to comply with policies can be held accountable through tracked read acknowledgement features.
• Improved Accessibility
Policy management software is accessible via web-based platforms or internal communication tools such as an Intranet, making it easy for policy owners to access and edit policy documents. Since information can be quickly located via internal search engines, staff can easily consult policies to check protocols instead of relying on other employees for information about procedures and practices. This reduces the chance of non-compliance and unnecessary interruptions delivering high-quality patient care.
• Easy Creation and Sharing
By utilizing an automated policy management software, hospitals can easily share policy documents and updates with their physicians, board members, and partners. Many policy management software tools contain inline editing tools using Microsoft Word products.
Policy administrators can control the format for all documents through the use of predefined policy templates that contain the hospital’s branding. Many policy software providers also offer policy libraries for content development. This makes drafting new policies much easier when formatting fonts and layout are not a concern. Entire health networks can benefit from standardized policy communication processes. Standardizing policy management creation will help mitigate risks during the revision and authoring stages.
• Streamline Processes
Policy management software streamlines processes and documents in so many areas of the healthcare industry. Standard forms that are available on every floor of the hospital can be transformed into online forms. These forms are then shareable with necessary clinicians and staff departments online. Urgent policy forms are able to be reviewed immediately. Documents that are collected for new employees can be processed digitally, along with staff training materials and contracts. Similarly, certain hospitals have administrators that publish or change policies on a regular basis - these documents can be circulated throughout the hospital for employees to read. Critical policy changes and announcements can be sent directly to employees' email and reminder screens if logged into the organization’s Intranet.
Policy management software is great for improving internal communication and reducing organizational risks. As such, choosing the right software is just as important for successful implementation and results.