Why are Policies and Procedures important in healthcare?
Policies and procedures are important in healthcare as they 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 reasons why policies and procedures are important in health and social care services.
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?
If your health or social care service is looking to develop an up-to-date suite of Policies and Procedures, then HCI can support you. HCI have extensive experience in supporting healthcare providers in process mapping and developing evidence-based Policies and Procedures that are in line with regulatory requirements and tailored to your specific organisation.
HCI has also developed a suite of best practice policies and procedures and records and forms for nursing homes which will help improve the quality of care and support HIQA compliance. When you purchase this bundle package you get access to all new updates and new document releases for 12 months.
Keeping policies and procedures up to date with current standards and best practice guidance can be time consuming. This is why our package is very beneficial for nursing homes. Our dedicated Best Practice Team do the hard work for you as they will continuously research all National Standards, regulations and best practice guidance relating to long-term care and include the requirements in our documents. When we release an updated document, all changes are highlighted in blue making it easier for you to educate and train staff on the updates. All documents are available in an electronic format (Microsoft word), allowing you to tailor them to suit your specific requirements.
If you would like more information on the Policies and Procedures bundle or support in the development of policies and procedures then contact HCI today at 01 629 2559 or email@example.com.