There are many reasons that your healthcare organization may choose to transition to an automated policy management system. You may want the benefits of centralized access to your organization’s policies and procedures. You may be looking for ways to ensure that employees can access the most up-to-date versions of policies and procedures, or you may be looking for ways to easily track whether or not employees have received, read and understood policies. Regardless of the reason for transitioning to an automated policy management system, you will need a plan to ensure a seamless transition to the new system.
The process of automating policy management can be daunting due to the sheer number of policies that healthcare organizations are required to manage. Be sure to choose an experienced technology partner that understands unique needs of your organization as well as general requirements of policy management in the healthcare industry.
Thoughtful planning can really help streamline your organization’s transition to automation. Your vendor should work with you to establish an implementation roadmap and timeline. You will also need an internal project manager who will track progress against this roadmap while keeping the team informed and involved throughout the transition. The timeline should allow ample time for stakeholders to identify those documents that will need to migrate to the new system. If your organization currently relies on paper binders, this process may require a great deal of time, so it is important to allow a generous amount of time for this phase of your project.
One of the most essential parts of the process is ensuring that all of the documents that you need to migrate to your new system are identified and available.
Now is the time to also identify document owners and stakeholders that you will need to help migrate these documents. It is important to allocate adequate time to first identify the location of your current documents and begin the process of trying to locate any documents that appear to be missing.
Next, establish a temporary repository for all documents that will be migrated to your new policy management system. As you assemble these documents, take the time to organize them into the hierarchy in which you would like for them to appear in your new system. For example, you may want to have a section for administrative and clinical documents, and you may also wish to sort documents by department or discipline. As you organize and review these documents, make sure to examine naming conventions as your new automated system will be searchable and you want to be sure that the documents are easy for users to find. It is likely that you will find multiple versions of the same document. Work with your stakeholders to remove duplicates and older versions of your policies.
As you prepare the documents for upload, collaborate with your stakeholders to also determine the review process for each document. Specifically, who are the designated reviewers, how often should each document be reviewed, and what is the process for that review. Record this information into a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet then becomes the reference document that will inform how you map information into the workflow configuration in the new system.
When choosing an experienced partner, be sure to choose one that will offer great training and is willing to customize that training to the unique needs of your organization. Ensure that all policy management supervisors attend the training provided by the vendor.
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