Policies and procedures are the fibres that hold healthcare organisations together, they streamline and standardise daily operational activities, create efficiencies and enable smooth operations. Each organisation 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, such as the CQC KLOEs, ISO accreditation, JCI accreditations and other local regulations. To support these efforts, an organisation’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 expense in case of an audit. Having policies and procedures well documented is crucial to healthcare because accreditation status and inspection ratings may be on the line.
RLDatix PolicyStat vs. SharePoint
Many healthcare organisations utilise Office 365 for business processes. With 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 organisation, 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 policies. But should it be used for these types of documents, particularly in a healthcare setting? How does it compare to an automated document management platform that was built specifically with the needs of healthcare organisations in mind?
RLDatix PolicyStat is a policy management SaaS tool that was built specifically for the unique needs of healthcare organisations, getting your staff the information they need - right when they need it. From district hospitals to care in the community and patients’ homes, all your policies and procedures are in one easily accessible library, across any device.
Let’s look at a side-by-side comparison of out of the box features and functions of RLDatix PolicyStat and SharePoint.
What is SharePoint Missing?
SharePoint can be utilised for document management, but it has several areas where it lacks in capability, including policy distribution, acknowledgements and attestations, audit tracking, employee compliance and tracking. When it comes to policy management, especially in a healthcare organisation, these areas are crucial for not only compliance purposes but to ease the overall administrative burden policy administrators and all other involved staff feel. Using 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
One of the most important considerations that healthcare providers ask us is, “How does policy management software address patient safety and improvement in quality?” This is an extremely understandable concern and one that we see as becoming increasingly important at the forefront of policy management automation projects. Usually, hospitals or health systems are driven to invest in policy management systems because of a poor or pending inspection. However, it is the impact on patient safety, continuous quality improvement, and patient satisfaction that truly matters when thinking about upgrading your policy and procedures management systems. Our solutions support the new Patient Safety Response Framework (PSIRF). Policies can support the system-based approach to investigations that are managed in DatixCloudIQ and ensure that organisations have up to date information at their fingertips to provide safe and effective care. Issues with policies and procedures are commonly identified as contributing factors to events captured in RLDatix patient safety tools, and in many cases, identified as the root cause. Often, it is discovered that, a good policy exists but without the ability to quickly and easily find the information, staff will perform the action without verification. In other cases, an outdated policy or missing policy leaves staff acting without standard guidance or conflicting policies that creates confusion. All these scenarios contribute to adverse events, complaints, infections, and claims within an organisation. 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 files, making 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-site network. You can maintain one policy and share to the relevant locations. By having one single source of truth, you don’t have to worry if a specific location is utilising an outdated policy or if there are multiple policy versions.
Your policies do not have to live in a silo, evidence-based policies help drive patient safety in a healthcare organisation. Using an automated document management system combined with practical and engaging tactics will promote consistency and safety. The specific actions needed are organisation, teamwork, change management and programme oversight.
PolicyStat is a document lifecycle management solution, that works with you hand in hand to create the most efficient document management platform for your organisation. Starting 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 finish. We create customisations your organisation needs, and a team of experts work directly with you, through processes such as determining areas, workflows, and review cycles. By utilising our advanced reporting, organisations can readily access a dashboard of compliance and non-compliance to help identify gaps in your policy library. PolicyStat ensures that your organisation is always inspection ready.
While SharePoint can be developed to help support your policy management needs, it is not built with healthcare policy management or patient safety requirements in mind. PolicyStat’s robust capabilities, active implementation, and support team help get your organisation up and running in no time. HUB, our customer community, 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.