Quick guide: Finding success with hospital accreditation
- Written by Amy Dinsmore
- September 24 2015
A hospital accreditation program can offer health care organizations an opportunity to create value by establishing best practices and ensuring workers are positioned to follow those procedures. A good accreditation program will also protect against litigation as it removes liability for accidents. If a hospital can verify that it has trained workers properly and put them in a position to follow best practices, it can demonstrate that it did its part to prevent harm.
While these benefits are clear, actually getting documentation and policy materials up to the task of supporting accreditation isn’t easy. You need to be able to coordinate all of your document creation, distribution and compliance documents and perform self audits, not to mention getting evaluated by a certifying body. The right combination of technologies and processes can go a long way toward simplifying accreditation. Three especially important considerations include:
1. Get all of your documents in one place
Many hospitals have policies and training documents segregated based on specific operational demands. While this makes sense from a training perspective, it also creates significant complexity when it comes time to asses your training materials and policies to ensure they comply with industry standards. Furthermore, this diversification of policy materials makes it more difficult to provide organizational oversight, leaving you dependent on individual department leaders to manage documents.
Centralizing policy documents makes it easier to provide management and oversight, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. It also lets you use advanced document management systems, like accreditation management software, that provide built-in self-auditing functions.
2. Simplify editing processes
The diverse policy requirements impacting hospitals create an environment in which documents are frequently being updated, replaced or otherwise managed. When all of your policy records are dispersed across multiple departments and handled by a wide range of users. This makes even small edits incredibly complex, and you can’t afford to have policy updates get backlogged because your workers don’t have time to keep up with editing demands.
A document management software platform can provide capabilities like edit tracking and built-in collaboration functions to help you connect different stakeholders and give them the tools they need to update policies efficiently.
3. Streamline auditing
Performing self audits efficiently is key if you want to streamline accreditation. You need to have clear oversight of your various policies, training materials and internal certifications before you have a third-party auditor look at them. Audit tracking software simplifies these processes by automating many of the documentation processes that go into policy management. For example, it can keep track of which workers have signed policy documents so you can quickly identify any individuals you need to target to ensure compliance.
Hospital accreditation is valuable from a fiscal perspective, and a cost-efficient document management solution ensures that you maximize the potential ROI. At its worst, an accreditation program will ensure you are protected against litigation, saving you significant amounts of money in the event of a lawsuit. At its best, however, an accreditation program will help you streamline training processes, improve policy management and protect against lawsuits, generating value in diverse ways.