Corporate policies exist to protect your organization, both from people outside and inside. They ensure that everyone follows all laws, regulations, corporate standards, industry standards, ethical practices, and best practices.
Some of these standards and practices are created by the company founders and executives as part of its larger vision. Regulations are often created by government agencies and regulatory bodies. Laws are created by the local, state, and federal governments. And many of the industry standards, and best/ethical practices, are created by the agencies that oversee the organization's accreditation and licensing.
Policy compliance prevents and detects violations of the different rules, which protects your organization and its executives from fines, lawsuits, and even criminal charges.
In this article, we'll look at how compliance looks in industries like law enforcement, public safety, manufacturing, and corporations in general. And we'll show you how policy compliance software can make your compliance and accreditation work much easier.
How compliance differs between industries
Depending on your industry, there are different kinds of rules, policies, and laws you have to follow. For example, healthcare has to follow HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). For nursing, there's the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM).
Hospitals themselves can be accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), American Accreditation Commission International (AACI), Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP), and The Joint Commission (TJC), just to name a few.
Other industries have other standards. For example, most e-commerce businesses and email marketers have to follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of privacy laws that come from Europe.
There's the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which is a law that was passed to help protect investors from fraudulent financial reporting by corporations. Publicly-traded companies affected by SOX or Sarbox must undergo an annual audit to provide proof of accurate, data-secured financial reporting.
And any business that accepts credit and debit card payments has to follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) security requirements. So if your organization stores, processes, or transmits cardholder data, you have to follow these requirements, which includes anyone that processes credit cards including publicly traded companies, e-commerce merchants, and even healthcare facilities. They all have to follow the PCI-DSS requirements.
Chances are, your organization has to follow some sort of compliance requirements, even if it's just basic legal requirements for business insurance, state and local licensing, or various municipal laws.
Policy compliance software
Creating your compliance policies and their subsequent training is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring, updates, and tracking. As existing policies are updated and new policies are created, it's important to know that everyone has received and read every new requirement and that they have received the necessary training to meet the necessary accreditation requirements.
While you could try to keep track of everything with spreadsheets, sign-in sheets, and forms, policy compliance software makes life so much easier. It saves countless hours of sharing policies, mapping new policies to new training requirements, and meeting your accreditation requirements.
What is policy compliance software?
If you know what document management software is, you have a basic understanding of compliance software. A document management solution is basically a central repository that lets you store all of your corporate documents and information on a cloud-based server.
A policy management solution goes far beyond that. For one thing, most document management software doesn't do anything beyond just storing your documents. Some of them do offer additional features, such as version control, collaboration, and signature tracking. While many policy management software solutions let you organize, create, disseminate, and track policies, they don't create a "living connection" between your policies, training, and accreditation.
That's one important feature that document management software and some policy management solutions cannot do. But PowerDMS does.
For one thing, PowerDMS creates a living connection between your policies, training, and accreditation requirements. As one changes, the others will change as well. That means you can map your policies and training requirements directly to your accreditation standards. That saves you a lot of time trying to update documents by hand, making sure that everything matches.
This also helps you save many hours of time by reducing your accreditation prep time by up to 50%. You can update your policies up to four times faster. And many of our customers are able to prepare for an onsite assessment in less than six months.
We've also heard from clients that PowerDMS' policy compliance software has saved them thousands of dollars just by decreasing printing and paper costs. It has even saved them from hiring extra staff just to help with accreditation. For others, this helps them reduce their overtime training costs. And for some organizations, it can even reduce their liability because they know everyone is working from the same single point of truth: There are no more variations or different policy versions being shared among your employees.
Regardless of your industry, PowerDMS' policy compliance software can help you with your policy creation, linking those to your training requirements, and tying all that into your accreditation licensing, so everything matches up.
Learn about the top features your policy compliance software should have. Or schedule a free demo today to learn how PowerDMS can help your organization.