First and foremost, policies and procedures for healthcare organizations ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. They are critical to the health and safety of everyone at the organization, and also to diminish any legal liabilities. Policies and Procedures are required to provide consistency and standardization across your organization. They will give your employees clarity on their day-to-day activities as well as any responsibilities.
Each policy or procedure should set clear expectations on the correct ways of doing things. In turn, your staff will be able to use those as a general plan of action to streamline internal processes. When an effective policy manual is in place, organizations can focus on patient outcomes and providing the best possible care to patients.
Why have a Policy Manual?
- A Policy Manual is mandated by law but also required to provide standardization across your organization.
- Set clear expectations for the entire staff
- Provide employees with a better understanding of their responsibilities
- Ensure quality care to patients
- Provide a safe workplace environment
- Reduce mistakes and mitigate risk at your organization
- All staff members should have access to the Policies and Procedures at all times to ensure each employee has clarity when dealing with issues and activities at your organization.
- By keeping your Policy Manual on file, organizations can focus on efficiency and improving patient outcomes.
Creating Your Policy Manual
It is important to cover all your bases with federal and state requirements to ensure compliance. When creating a Policy Manual, be sure to have those guidelines on hand. New regulations with the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, and Meaningful Use will also require certain policies for organizations.
Accreditation is one of the ways organizations improve their quality of care, and seeking accreditation often requires additional and more strict requirements to a Policy Manual.
Employees will be turning to this manual in many different scenarios, so it needs to be written in easy to understand language. It should be easy to follow, list out procedure steps and include measurable objectives. This is also important in the event of an issue with a third-party.
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