Policy Management Software vs SharePoint: The Pros and Cons

January 6, 2021 RLDatix Marketing

Policies and procedures are the fibers that hold healthcare organizations together, they streamline and standardize daily operational activities, create efficiencies and enable smooth operations. Each organization has unique policies and procedures that are aligned to their specific goals and outcomes.  Without these guiding documents, they would struggle to provide clarity and direction for dealing with activities that are critical to health and safety, legal liabilities and regulatory requirements. To support these efforts, an organization’s system for managing policies needs to empower staff to seamlessly create, edit and share policies and procedures. 

Using an automated policy management system gives policy administrators the ability to quickly create, revise and distribute new or updated policy content. Having the ability to track where your policies are in a review process saves valuable time and dollars in case of an audit. Having policies and procedures well documented is crucial to healthcare because accreditation status may be on the line. 

RLDatix PolicyStat vs. SharePoint 

Many healthcare organizations utilize Office 365 for business processesWith so many using Office 365 for the day-to-day operations, it seems like Microsoft SharePoint would be a natural choice for policy and procedure management but is it? What do we know about the functionality of SharePoint for document management? 

Depending on the company, SharePoint is used in different ways; some use it as a personal cloud system for storage and archiving abilities and others as a means of internal communication. SharePoint is certainly a document management database and collaboration platform that could be used for managing policiesBut should it be used for these types of documentsparticularly in a healthcare settingHow does it compare to an automated document management platform that was built for specifically with the needs of healthcare organizations in mind?  

RLDatix PolicyStat is policy management SaaS software that was built specifically for the unique needs of hospitals, getting your staff the information, they need -- right when they need it. From single hospitals to multi-site organizations, all your policies and procedures are in one easily accessible library. 
 
Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison of out of the box features and functions of RLDatix PolicyStat and SharePoint. 

Software Features 

RLDatix PolicyStat 

Out of the Box SharePoint 

Document Management/Storage 

 

 

Automated Approval Reminders 

 

 

Automated Approval Notifications 

 

 

Automated Workflow 

 

 

Customized Workflow 

 

Archived History 

 

Automated Acknowledgement Notifications 

 

 

Automated Acknowledgement Reminders 

 

 

Compliance Monitoring 

 

 

Advanced Reporting 

 

 

Standardization/Templating 

 

 

Crosswalk policies and procedures to accreditation agencies 

 

 

Integration with Incident Reporting Software 

 

 

 

What is SharePoint Missing? 

SharePoint can be utilized for document managementbut it has several areas where it lacks in capabilityincluding policy distribution, acknowledgements and attestations, audit tracking, employee compliance and tracking. When it comes to policy management, especially in a healthcare organization, these areas are crucial for not only compliance purposes but to ease the overall administrative burden policy administrators feelUsing SharePoint to develop your policy and procedure management system means your IT department will need to spend a lot of time upfront creating more functionality, resulting in time consuming maintenance, support and additional product enhancement requests. 

Patient Safety & Policy Management  

Issues with policies and procedures are commonly identified as contributing factors to events captured in the RLDatix patient safety tools, and in many casesidentified as the root cause. Oftentimes, it is discovered that, a good policy exists but without the ability to quickly and easily find the informationstaff will perform the action without verification.  In other casesan outdated policy or missing policy leaves staff acting without standard guidance or conflicting policies that creates confusionAll these scenarios contribute to adverse events, complaints, infections, and claims within an organization.  An automated policy management system can help overcome these challenges and drive better, safer care 

The benefits of using PolicyStat are numerous and it is easy to get started. Our conversions team takes your PDF and Word based polices and turns them into HTML filesmaking every word of every policy now searchable and giving your staff the power to find what they need faster and at the point of care.  The user interface is very straightforward and easy to walk through and learn, meaning your team does not need to be technologically advanced. One of the biggest value-adds is the simplicity of sharing documents across the various facilities within a multi-hospital network. For example, some documents (such as Human Resourcesare the same for all locations -- with PolicyStat, HR only needs to update and maintain the document centrally, before pushing across all sites, saving time and minimizing the possibility of human error. While other documents may only apply to a few locations (such as a NICUwhich may only be at some locations in the network) the policy and procedure changes can be pushed to all relevant locations. Lastly, some documents will be site-specific (such as an evacuation policy or a specialized unit policy)By having one single source of truth, you don’t have to worry if a specific location is utilizing an outdated policy or if there are multiple policies. 

Your policies do not have to live in a silo, evidence-based policies help drive patient safety in a healthcare organization. You can directly link your 3rd party evidence-based procedures into your policies, giving another level of patient safety directly to your front-line clinical staffHaving the ability to directly link policies and procedures into your incident reporting gives your organization the data it needs to make informed decisions about changing policies and procedures that could be contributing adverse events. 

PolicyStat is a document lifecycle management solution, that works with you hand in hand to create the best document management platform for your organizationStarting from our active implementation process, all the way through to our comprehensive training and premier customer support, we work closely with you to help you manage and build your document lifecycle from start to endWe create customizations your organization needsand a team of experts directly work with you, through processes such as determining areas, workflows, and review cycles. By utilizing our advanced reporting, organizations can readily access a dashboard of compliance and non-compliance to help identify gaps in your policy library. PolicyStat ensures that your organization is always survey ready 

While SharePoint can be developed to help support your policy management needs, it is not built with healthcare policy management in mind. PolicyStat’s robust capabilitiesactive implementation, and support team help get your organization up and running in no time. Our customer community, HUB, connects you with other users in similar roles to share ideas and learn best practices. PolicyStat is proven to shorten the time required during an audit or survey, learn how it has helped the Greater Baltimore Medical Center go from spending days searching for the relevant policies to pulling them in less than hour.  

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Policy Management Software Vs SharePoint: The Pros and Cons
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