The 6 best policy management solutions in healthcare

Review the top six healthcare solutions, explore their pros and cons, and discover which software is the right fit for your organization's needs.

November 10, 2021

Article highlights:

Healthcare truly is the business of life and death. Across the continuum of care, patients and their families trust medical professionals with injuries, ailments, surgery, longterm care, and ultimately, their lives.

The entire healthcare operation plays a direct role in the patient experience, and their outcomes. A large percentage of that depends on effective healthcare policy and procedure management.

As you know, your policy and procedure manuals are the rules and instructions that your employees should follow as they go about their jobs. It’s a playbook, one that offers guidance on how to protect patients, how to react in an emergency, how to safeguard patient privacy data, and so much more. 

When organizations don’t manage their policies and procedures effectively, they create an opening that can lead to inconsistent care, poor patient outcomes, and regulatory fines. This puts you at risk of lawsuits, and may cause your organization to lose Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Fortunately, there are tools available that make the complex process of policy management much simpler, even as far as automating policy updates and organizing training. While there are several healthcare policy management solutions to choose from, it’s important that you consider the functionality of each (what they offer and what they don’t) before picking the best policy management software for you and your organization.

In this article, we’ll look at six of the top healthcare policy software options and compare and contrast their offerings.

Common features of policy management software

We’ve established that your healthcare policies and procedures are essential to risk mitigation, legal compliance, and accountability. But they only work if they’re regularly updated and if your employees can access the policies on-the-go.

Healthcare policy management software takes your policies and procedures and brings them to life in your operation. It stores those policies in a single place and allows for easy collaboration and dissemination, whether across an entire organization or within one department. It allows you to work faster and more efficiently.

In this article, we’ll examine seven policy management platforms: PolicyStat, MCN Healthcare, PolicyMedical, PolicyTech, HealthStream Policy Manager, and PowerDMS. First, let’s look at the common features that each service offers.

Content Repository

A content repository is the foundation of policy management software. It stores all of your policies and procedures in one place, giving you a single source for policy, procedure, and training information.

Any healthcare policy management software worth its salt will offer a cloud-based service that makes policies available any time, anywhere. This also makes it more efficient to make changes, and to ensure that all policies are updated. But as we’ll see later, not all offer the same degree of access.

Automated Workflows

Whether you are managing policies for a massive healthcare system or for one department within a larger organization, you need to collaborate with others to create policies and update them regularly. And once policies are updated, they need to be shared.

To manage these processes efficiently, you need software with a workflow feature. Though the functionality varies, the tools in this article each provide workflows to streamline policy reviews and policy updates. Expect to be able to see stakeholder approvals, comments, and rejections on documents. 

Signature Capture & Tracking

When managing policies and compliance, the ability to assign, track, and collate signatures on important documents is essential. This builds a culture of accountability, protects your healthcare facility from liability, and helps prove compliance to accreditation standards.

While this can be done on paper, it’s incredibly tedious and manual. The software solutions in this article should all provide a digital means of signature capture and tracking.

Version Control

Version control is a key element of policy and compliance management, providing a single source of truth for your policies. Version control allows you to track and review the history of revisions of any policy to show who made changes, and when. It ensures that only one version of every policy is published at a time, meaning staff can’t access outdated information.

Accreditation Management

The accreditation process can be cumbersome and time intensive. Each of these software systems includes some level of assistance in navigating that process. This includes managing the critical documents that are needed as you apply for accreditation; some can automatically pull together the resources you need.

Now that we’ve looked at the common features of each, let’s look in depth at each policy management software for healthcare.


What is PolicyStat?

PolicyStat is a product of RLDatix, a patient safety technology company. PolicyStat offers cloud-based policy and management control that is focused on performance and compliance. Employee adoption is a core focus.

Pros of PolicyStat

PolicyStat offers a cloud-based platform to healthcare facilities, so all policies are collected in one place and accessible to all users. It streamlines the workflow of policy creation, review, and approval.

It offers an editing tool within the platform, so that users can make edits to documents without having to download them. This helps with version control.

PolicyStat offers a strong compliance manager that automatically notifies you when policies are expiring and need to be updated.

PolicyStat is considered to be the more affordable, less robust version of PolicyMedical.

Cons of PolicyStat

PolicyStat doesn’t offer policy templates, so all policies must be created from scratch or templates found elsewhere. It doesn’t publish accreditation standards or manage standards updates for you. You also cannot connect your policies to standards to easily prove compliance.

One of the biggest drawbacks of PolicyStat is that it doesn’t offer a fully functional mobile app, which limits your ability to push updates to your employees on their devices. It also means that employees can’t access job-critical documents on-the-go from any device.

PolicyStat is considered to be the more affordable, less robust version of PolicyMedical.


What is PolicyMedical?

PolicyMedical is owned by RLDatix and sold exclusively by Elsevier. It is specifically designed for healthcare, streamlining the workflows around policies. Its site describes an easy-to-use interface that emphasizes collaboration, bringing all stakeholders together in one process.

Pros of PolicyMedical

PolicyMedical lets you automate processes while maintaining compliance and preparing for accreditation. For example, PolicyMedical offers automated alerts for outdated policies, version control, and the ability to check policies against the Joint Commission Standards to ensure compliance.

It has an iAttest feature that allows admins to check whether employees have reviewed and signed off on policies. 

PolicyMedical is considered to be a more expensive, more robust version of PolicyStat.

Cons of PolicyMedical

PolicyMedical is only accessible through the web, not through a mobile app. This makes it harder to push updates to your employees, and it means that users can’t access policies any time, anywhere.

Its pricing is per-user, meaning that it can grow significantly more expensive for larger organizations. PolicyMedical is considered to be a more expensive, more robust version of PolicyStat.

PolicyMedical doesn’t publish standards on their platform, making it difficult to connect policies to standards other than TJC and identify gaps in compliance.

MCN Healthcare

What is MCN Healthcare?

MCN Healthcare is a healthcare policy management software that, as its name implies, is specifically focused on the medical field. Its software, Policy Manager, is designed to control the workflow of policy creation, review, approval, and attestation.

It is easy to implement and offers a simple, user-friendly interface that includes tracking and reporting features, which help with the compliance and accreditation processes (according to their website and some online reviews).

Pros of MCN Healthcare

The Policy Manager software is particularly strong in navigating the accreditation process. Users note that it’s easy to comprehend and requires little IT help to implement.

One of its strongest features is a comprehensive policy library that includes 18,000 customizable documents based on professional standards of the CDC, OSHA, and other leaders of the healthcare industry. But this is an add-on to the software.

It offers real-time tracking and reporting of policies, robust search, and automated policy workflow. And competency assessments allow you to track whether or not your employees comprehend your policies.

Cons of MCN Healthcare

The biggest drawback of Policy Manager is that it doesn’t offer a mobile app. This means that the system can only be used through its website, which limits the ability for users to access it on mobile devices. That makes it particularly challenging to push updates and information to users, and it makes it difficult for users to access job-critical information on the go.

Policy Manager also requires additional add-ons, each at additional cost, to unlock extra features. This can make it expensive for organizations to unlock all of the resources they need.

It offers limited access to accreditation standards on the platform itself, and its ability to map policies and proofs of compliance to those standards is very limited as well.


What is PolicyTech?

PolicyTech is a cloud-based policy and procedure management software created by NAVEX Global. It isn’t industry specific, and so is a more general solution than others on this list. Its focus is increasing efficiency in policy creation and updates, and it offers functionality to produce audit-ready reports.

Pros of PolicyTech

NAVEX provides sample policy templates and training content for the most common risk areas. You can also purchase complementary NAVEX Global products that work with PolicyTech to manage ethics and compliance. NAVEX has multiple products designed for enterprise-level organizations.

PolicyTech offers a mobile app, though its functionality is limited compared to other options.

Reviewers have noted that it is effective in managing version control and tracking compliance. 

PolicyTech allows you to run checks to see whether employees have received and signed off on policies. Via workflows, it lets you track who has reviewed, approved, and rejected documents.

Cons of PolicyTech

Reviewers have noted that PolicyTech is challenging to implement and has a clunky interface, making it difficult to adopt and use efficiently. Many have also cited a lack of customer support.

While it has a mobile app, it does not work with all web browsers.

PolicyTech is a general product, and so it does not have specific features designed to suit the healthcare industry. Users have also noted that it has limited features beyond simply managing policies.

It doesn’t allow you to map a single document to multiple standards. And there’s no list or dashboard to see which documents are connected to each standard, making it difficult to update affected documents when standards are updated.

Get a direct comparison of PolicyTech and PowerDMS here.

HealthStream Policy Manager

What is HealthStream Policy Manager?

Formerly ComplyALIGN, HealthStream Policy Manager is a cloud-based platform designed specifically for healthcare. Policy Manager’s core strength is helping you maintain compliance.

Pros of HealthStream Policy Manager

HealthStream is built specifically for hospitals and medical care providers. It offers a simplified interface that reviewers say is easy to navigate.

It allows you to publish, access, and manage your policies and procedures. It features customizable document management workflow, shared review and approval, version control, auditing, and staff attestation.

It also includes training functionality to help keep employees up to speed. That training includes the ability to push quizzes to employees.

Policy Manager also offers automated reminders to make necessary policy updates, as well as the ability to run reports.

Cons of HealthStream Policy Manager

HealthStream doesn’t offer a mobile app, which limits how accessible it is. Employees won’t be able to get to policies any time, anywhere, which is less than ideal for a mobile workforce.

HealthStream doesn’t publish accreditation standards on its site. It lacks functionality allowing admins to fully map their policies to industry standards, making it difficult to prove compliance in an automated, digital way.

Reviewers have also noted some bugs in the software and that it is inflexible and can be difficult to adjust.


What is PowerDMS?

PowerDMS is a policy and compliance management platform, empowering healthcare organizations with everyday survey readiness. It creates a living connection between policy, training, and accreditation to save you time, money, and stress in the survey process. PowerDMS serves more than 4,000 private and public sector organizations worldwide with secure, cloud-based solutions.

Pros of PowerDMS

PowerDMS is a cloud-based platform with an easy-to-use, modern interface and a robust mobile app, giving admins and users flexibility and convenience. Organizations have saved as much as $10,000 on paper/printing costs and have saved up to four times the amount of money and time typically spent on policy and accreditation processes.

PowerDMS publishes standards manuals for almost every CMS-deemed accreditation body, so you can map your policies and proofs of compliance to accreditation standards like AAAHC, DNV, CIHQ, NCCHC, TJC, and more. When standards are updated, you get notified about every policy impacted by the update.

PowerDMS provides automated version control and archiving functionality (so employees can only access the most up-to-date documents), and each customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Advisor to support your needs (90% of customer cases are resolved in under one business day). PowerDMS provides industry-leading customer support, with a U.S.-based support team and 97% customer satisfaction rating.

PowerDMS scales across multiple departments/facilities within an organization, while still allowing each department/facility to maintain independent systems. It also pushes frequent, automatic updates that do not require IT assistance. PowerDMS is hosted on AWS GovCloud, the most secure infrastructure. They lead the industry in uptime, security, and privacy and hold attestations with SOC 2, HIPAA, and CJIS.

The platform supports a variety of file formats, including documents, images, videos, and audio. It includes access to virtually every standards manual.

Learn how PowerDMS is specialized for healthcare.

Cons of PowerDMS

PowerDMS serves multiple industries, so it was not created specifically for healthcare organizations. However, its software is specialized for healthcare and it has numerous healthcare providers, labs, and systems among its clients. Learn how Triangle Orthopedics and War Memorial Hospital benefitted from PowerDMS.

PowerDMS doesn’t create policies for your organization, but they do partner with policy and content providers whose templates can be made accessible on the PowerDMS platform.

PowerDMS requires some time upfront to learn the platform, as many robust solutions do. However, the software saves time and money in the long term, and their onboarding specialists support customers every step of the way.

The platform has a base cost and beyond that is priced on a per-user, per-year basis. The annual cost depends on the number of users and licenses you purchase. Pricing can vary widely between organizations. To provide a quote, PowerDMS would like to learn more about your needs over a friendly, no-obligation call.

Final thoughts

The best policy management software can help you streamline your processes, move your important documents to a digital platform, and keep staff accountable to your policies and procedures.

An effective solution helps you improve consistency of care, protect yourself against the liability of lawsuits, and simplify compliance and accreditation. But as you’ve seen, not all solutions are created equally.

To choose the right healthcare policy management software for your organization, you can start by thinking about your specific needs. What work do you need help with, and what problems are you trying to solve?

Making those decisions usually means gathering the leaders of departments and having conversations with employees, as well as reviewing existing processes to identify gaps in compliance. How are your policies being used now, and how can they be used more effectively?

Once you know what your needs are, compare them to the pros and cons of the top solutions on the market to see what fits you best. And as you’re considering the costs, remember that a good policy management software pays for itself in time. Learn more about healthcare policy and procedure management in this helpful guide.

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