Policies and Procedures: A Force for Good
Policies and procedures are core to the provision of a safe and high-quality healthcare service. Having well-documented policies and procedures in place allows your staff to know what to do in certain situations. They ensure compliance with standards and regulations, create systematic processes, provide guidance to staff and assist with decision making.
Policies and procedures are often seen purely as paperwork, and incorrectly so. If we use them as a way of looking at what we are doing, seeing how we can improve it, and agreeing how we are now going to do it, they can be highly beneficial. Central to creating effective policies and procedures is getting staff involved. Through discussion, staff can participate in determining what works and how it can be improved. By documenting processes in the form of policies and procedures staff must consider and agree different aspects of each process.
In this blog we outline some of the key benefits of policies and procedures for nursing homes.
Benefits of Policies and Procedures
- Accountability: Addresses and incorporates the regulatory/contractual requirements to ensure compliance with the relevant standards and regulations.
- Clarity: Provides clarity on the processes to be implemented to fulfil your service requirements.
- Improved Care: Promotes evidence based best practice care, e.g. are we doing this the best way?
- Standardisation: Standardising processes helps to reduce variation in practice and service delivery.
- Promotes person-centred care: Ensures that service users are central to all processes carried out within the organisation.
- Efficiencies: Clearly defined processes help to avoid unnecessary duplication of workload.
- Clarity on Roles and Responsibilities: Policies and procedures detail the responsibilities and expectations for staff.
- Clear lines of Accountability: Policies and procedures detail the line management structure to be followed.
- Teamwork: Involves stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive approach.
- Education and Training: Facilitate effective staff induction and supports education and training on any changes to processes.
- Risk Identification: Forces us to consider where the points of risk are and what should happen when something goes wrong.
- Continuous Improvement: Acts as a basis for audit, evaluation and continuous improvement.
- Opportunity to review practices: The development of policies and procedures provides systematic process of asking:
- What are we doing?
- Are we all doing the same thing?
- Does everyone know what they are supposed to be doing?
- Are we doing the right thing?
- If not, how can we improve it?
How can HCI help?
Keeping up to date with current standards and guidance can be time consuming. This is where HCI can help. HCI has a dedicated Best Practice Team that continuously research all National Standards, regulations and best practice guidance relating to health and social care.
Our team has specific expertise in developing Policies and Procedures for a range of health and social care providers. With our support, you can ensure that your organisation is developing and implementing policies and procedures that will not only fulfil regulatory requirements, but support you in implementing best practice within your service.