How to Create Consistency Around Your Policies and Procedures
In healthcare, writing policies and procedures often involves a team of individuals that typically includes key stakeholders from across the organization. This task is a major undertaking for healthcare teams, but it provides members from various departments with the opportunity to develop policies that will help staff deliver the best care possible to patients. While no policy is the same, there should be some consistency around how policies are created and structured. To maintain this consistency, healthcare organizations should also implement an effective policy management system to help with standardization across all documents. If you’re just getting started, here are a few ideas that can help your organization achieve consistent policies and procedures.
Form a committee – Your first step is to create a committee of people who are as dedicated to the cause as you are. Aim to find individuals from key departments or search for champions who are interested in improving your organization through the development of new policies. Having team members with different levels of commitment to the project will serve as an important way to balance your team’s efforts. It’s helpful to identify committee members who can help you with writing and developing policies, as well as members who are there to offer high-level input and feedback.
Appoint a policy owner – One person can’t do it all. This is where a policy owner comes into play. Within your team, appointing a policy owner for each policy gives a sense of ownership and desire to see the project through. A policy owner’s responsibilities don’t end after the policy is written. This individual will be responsible for promoting the policy after the fact and ensuring it’s up to date moving forward. RLDatix robust approval workflows helps policy owners ensure that policies have been updated and approved by the correct people. Approval workflows are essential to maintaining policies once they are created. All policies in must complete the approval workflow process before they can become active and searchable by staff.
Standardize a policy structure – No two policies are the same or are created equal, but each policy has key information that needs to be covered. From naming conventions to purpose, your policy structure should clearly outline a policy’s content. In addition to offering a centralized location for all policy documents, when organizations manage their documents with , all content is standardized to ensure a consistent look and feel. A structured format keeps your policy library organized and allows staff find the information they need at the point of care. Once you have established your policy content, it should go under review by the policy committee to ensure it hits all key areas.
When it comes to policies and procedures, consistency is key. It allows staff to locate the information they need and identify quickly if something is incomplete, thus helping hospitals mitigate potential risks. To help ensure a policy library is effective, organizations should consider an automated solution such as . A digital policy management system empowers organizations to streamline workflows, automate notifications and easily update policy content to support care efforts across all departments.
Last thing you should know is the 6 most common mistakes typically made when writing healthcare policies and procedures. Knowing is half the battle, and once you know what to avoid you’ll be that much closer to creating a killer compliance program.