As a Hospital IT manager, you already have a multitude of tasks and you just had another one added to the list: Finding and implementing new hospital policy management software. HospitalPORTAL has worked with hospital IT managers since 1998. During that time we learned a lot about features and characteristics of policy management software that not only makes their work life easier, but makes policy management a breeze hospital wide. This post will give you a few things to keep in mind when looking for a new policy manager.
One aspect of policy automation IT managers should consider is the ease of use of the system. You don’t want to choose software with too big of a learning curve. It will take a lot of your time and resources to train and retrain employees. You will want policy management software that is intuitive enough to let your hospital’s departments be responsible for their policies and not have to rely on the IT staff to upload and maintain the policies. Finding a solution with good training and support resources is a must.
Possibly the most important feature of good policy software is the ability to maintain and manage archive documents. Since audits from accreditation commissions and regulatory agencies are thorough and can come with little notice, it is essential for archives of policies to be readily accessible. Administrators should be able to restore archives if needed. If they can do this without the help of the IT department, it would be ideal. This frees up IT to do other mission critical tasks.
Another feature to look out for would be the ability to automate the approval process and to keep everyone in the loop. With a busy hospital, it is easy to lose track of a document in the approval process. Good hospital policy management software will take documents through well-defined stages so you will know exactly what needs to be done and where it is at any time. System notifications that a task needs to be completed are key as well as reminder notifications if a task has not been completed after a certain period of time. This a great time saver for everyone and ensures nothing falls between the cracks. Approval automation should also include a thorough audit trail as well as collaboration notes.
Last but not least, the ability to proactively notify responsible staff about new and revised policies is critical. However, considering healthcare regulations, just notifying staff does not usually suffice. Proof of compliance is optimized when staff must acknowledge having read a policy with their electronic signature.
Keep these features in mind when looking for policy management software for your hospital. If you can find a system that has these features, it will make your hospital more effective at managing hospital policies and procedures. Click below to see automated policy management in action with a brief recorded demo.