Maintaining consistent policies, documentation and compliance procedures, particularly across multiple facilities, locations and across multiple states, is difficult and often done after the fact.
To maintain your reputation in the community as well as maintain a complete culture of compliance, it is critical that your corporate culture of prioritizing quality, compliant patient care consistent with clinicians’ best judgment is reflected in your policies and procedures, and that those policies and procedures are up-to-date, accessible, actionable, and a living part of your compliance program.
While policy and procedure management may not take up a significant part of one staff member’s day, when you combine every department head, administrator, or floor nurse who will create, edit, review, approve, or simply find and read policies, the time adds up. A web-based system that allows everyone to securely access while allowing compliance professionals to proactively manage the library, including ensuring that policies and procedures are regularly reviewed, approved, up-to-date, and meet current compliance requirements, will both increase efficiency and drive compliance and quality of care. A software as a service system will further reduce IT/IS involvement in building and/or supporting a document management solution.
A critique of your policy and procedure library is often included in an accreditation survey. Facilities must be confident in the quality, accessibility, security, timeliness and governance over this crucial documentation. Given the detail-oriented work involved, bringing policies and procedures up to scratch can take a disproportionate amount of time when preparing for a successful survey. A well-managed library allows staff to focus on the clinical and patient-centric survey preparation.
In the unfortunate case of an audit, investigation or, worse, litigation, it is imperative that compliance and legal teams are able to find the exact policy at the exact point in time when an incident occurred. All activity around each document needs to be trackable, including origination date and any and all edits and governance, and easily reportable to the investigation body.