Providing healthcare is an extremely complicated task. With lives in their hands, healthcare professionals should not take their roles lightly. All healthcare organizations and hospitals are required to comply with many policies and procedure requirements designed to make healthcare safer and more convenient for the people. From patient discharge procedures to guidelines for complying with rules and regulations, the maintenance of such policies and guidelines ensures reduced risks of accidents, improve efficiency, and helps maintain a sound working environment.
Why Are They Important?
Hospital policies play a vital role in all aspects of healthcare; Written policies help prevent chaos, confusion, and legal problems. Policies are also put in place for guidance, so that the hospital, doesn’t make any illogical, irrational, or even illegal decisions. Written policies provide a robust set of instructions that helps to determine present and future decisions. Policies are based on accepted, well-defined, norms and standards of practice, and help to establish consistency, expectations, patterns for practice, and a benchmark for quality measurement and improvement.
What Is The Purpose?
There are several reasons that policies are written and formalized. Here are a few of their purposes:
- Facilitate adherence with recognized professional practices.
- Promote compliance with regulations, statutes, and accreditation requirements, such as HIPAA.
- Reduce practice variation.
- Standardize practices across multiple entities within a single health system.
- Serve as a resource for staff, especially new personnel.
- Reduce reliance on memory, thereby reducing human error and oversights.
Types of Policies
Administrative Policies – The administration of a hospital serves as its backbone, ensuring that everything is running smoothly and that patients, staff, and visitors are being appropriately handled. Administrative policies include visitation rules, dress code policy, acquisition of equipment, bed policy, and more.
Human Resource Management Policies – As you may already know, Human Resource Management focuses on the staff and organization as a whole. Policies under human resource management focus on employee well-being, skill sets, vacation days, personal hygiene maintenance, shift policies, and assigning tasks to individuals.
Providing Care Policies – This comprehensive set of policies are put in place to ensure quality care is provided to patients. Policies in this area include nutrition guides, patient and family education, abuse and neglect, admission and discharge, patient rights and responsibilities, and more.
Medicine Policies – Within hospitals, one of the more significant departments is the pharmacy. Policies and a strict set of guidelines are established to ensure there are no accidents or mistakes that occur. Policies include handling drug samples, handling of drug shipment, outpatient prescription availability, and more.