Getting accredited can be a long, painful process. Cost-efficient document management tools are making accreditation simpler, but putting your hospital through the ringer of internal and external audits that goes into accreditation can still seem like a daunting process. This is especially true when you perceive that accreditation doesn’t really deliver value beyond protecting you from litigation. That perception is housed in misperceptions about what accreditation can offer.

Embracing accreditation is about more than safeguarding yourself against litigation, and three of the best reasons to do so include:

1. Ensuring your workers are prepared for emergencies
Health care is, ultimately, about saving lives. Preparing staff for emergency events is critical if you want to keep patients safe, and throwing new workers a binder with a bunch of information isn’t going to get the job done. A document management system will let you digitize your policies, distribute them to employees through a web application, let workers sign off on policies within the app and perform internal audits to ensure that workers have complied. You can even build quizzes into policy signing to make sure employees understand what is expected of them.

Accreditation standards won’t demand that you have all of these functions, but they will make sure you are following standard best practices for emergency preparedness training, putting your hospital in the best position for success.

2. Simplifying regulatory compliance
The auditing processes that go into getting accredited can get your employees the information they need to work within regulatory laws. Hospitals face major challenges making sure all of their workers are properly trained to follow industry regulations, and getting accredited verifies that you have proper policies in place and the processes you need to get employees on board.

The fines, reputation damages and other consequences of regulatory breaches can be difficult to deal with. An accreditation program ensures that you have the policies needed to keep up with industry regulations.

3. Streamlining employee transitions
Many organizations end up in a situation in which workers who are highly experienced at what they do hold the majority of the knowledge when it comes to best practices and proper procedures. For example, a hospital may have a veteran file clerk who trains new employees, and have depended on that person to keep everybody on task. In these scenarios, actual policy materials often get overlooked as skilled workers adjust processes based on changing operational needs.

If you don’t take the time to document those changes, train various employees on what goes into those decision-making processes and spread out the knowledge, you could end up in serious trouble when that long-tenured employee leaves the company and nobody else understands the nuances of what he or she put into place. When this happens, a new or promoted employee can run into all kinds of problems trying to fill in the role. Accreditation is, in large part, about making sure necessary policies are standardized and formalized. This ensures that you don’t have individual people serving as sole knowledge centers, leaving you in trouble when employee transitions take place.

Accreditation offers clear value for hospitals. The accreditation processes demands that you put the operational measures in place to keep up with the rising complexity of health care operations.