How to Write Consistent Policies and Procedures

May 4, 2020 Polly Kirk

Often in healthcare, writing policies and procedures involves a team of people, including stakeholders. The problem is that with so many people and respective opinions involved, things tend to get tricky. So, what can be done to ensure that organisations can achieve consistency when it comes to writing policies and procedures. Well, you may be tempted to rush the process or even cut people out for the sake of getting it done, but you know as well as we do that that will just lead to bigger problems. Don’t fret, the situation isn’t hopeless. Here are a few ideas you can take away to help your organisation write more 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. Finding members can be as easy as grabbing someone from key departments or searching for champions who are hungry for change. With differing commitment levels, it’s important to identify committee members who can help you push the needle and those who are there to offer high-level input.

Appoint a policy owner – One person can’t do it all. This is where a policy owner comes into play. Appointing a policy owner gives a sense of ownership and desire to see the project through. Not just in writing, but promoting the policy after the fact and ensuring it’s up to date.

Standardise a policy structure – No two policies are the same or are created equal, but there’s always key information that needs to be covered. From naming conventions to purpose, your policy structure should outline the information required to be included. What’s more, once the policy is written it should go under review by the committee to ensure it’s hit all the 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. It also goes without saying that organisations can benefit greatly from an automated solution. That’s not to say all of this can’t be done manually, but it’ll be more difficult to streamline workflow, disseminate, and update without one.

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.

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