Island Hospital Streamlines Safety Procedures and Boosts Compliance with PolicyTech™
About Island Hospital
Island Hospital is staffed by 750 employees, including over 190 physicians and healthcare providers. It is the smallest hospital in Washington State providing Level III trauma care. Island Hospital also operates seven family care clinics and six specialty clinics.
The Challenge: Email Discussions Bury Critical Information
Island Hospital’s accreditation process requires them to keep detailed records on hospital procedures and internal audits – including audit findings and remediation.
“Before PolicyTech, we often had multiple versions of the same document floating around our organization. When implementing internal audits, we recognized staff were unaware of procedures due to inconsistent versions of policies,” said Sandra Sheikh, Island Hospital’s quality improvement coordinator and safety officer. “We were sending out spreadsheets via email to alert management to safety audit findings that needed to be addressed.”
"PolicyTech makes it much easier to share and standardize safety information so we can make sure the right action plans have been implemented and recorded. PolicyTech helped us significantly reduce safety violations."
Sandra Sheikh, Quality Improvement Coordinator & Safety Officer, Island Hospital
After receiving the findings, department managers, subject matter experts and the safety officer would exchange dozens of emails discussing how to address each finding. “We would accumulate 40 to 60 emails per audit making it very challenging to track critical information,” said Sheikh. “It was an inefficient and time intensive process.”
The Solution: PolicyTech from NAVEX Global
After purchasing PolicyTech, Island Hospital leveraged the tool to facilitate a systematic process of updating and standardizing the hospital’s 2,000 policies and procedures. This process eliminated redundancies and outdated versions of policies, and established a clean, approved version of each policy and procedure.
Once the organization had the new master set of policies and procedures captured in PolicyTech, they began to make improvements in their approach to internal auditing.
“Instead of walking around the hospital noting findings in a spreadsheet during our ‘Safety Walks,’ we created a Safety Walk template in PolicyTech,” said Sheikh. “This allowed us to communicate the requirements along with the findings. Now, when staff finds a violation, they generate a corrective action plan in PolicyTech. When it is time to follow up—PolicyTech prompts us—we can clearly see what was done and who signed off on it. The whole process is automatically documented—from what was found to how it was remedied.”
The Results: Reducing Violations, Improving Workflows and More
- 100% Policy & Procedure Consistency Across Locations. Before PolicyTech, staff in different locations created their own versions of documents. “Each of our service lines now uses PolicyTech,” said Sheikh. “It has been instrumental in achieving ISO certification and maintaining consistency throughout our organization.” They are assured that everyone, no matter their location, is aligned.
- Reduced Safety Violations. Island Hospital’s new streamlined Safety Walk program has significantly improved education regarding safety requirements which has in turn enhanced compliance. “While we are resolving an issue, the whole department is required to read and attest to the incident findings so they know what happened and what is being done to correct it,” Sheikh said.
- Increased Accreditation & Audit Compliance. With thorough, systematic and easy-to-access documentation, PolicyTech has helped the hospital better maintain and document compliance with accreditation requirements. Sheikh estimates they have saved about one hour of staff time per audit, and saved about three hours of staff time on follow up per audit. Across the organization, staff and executives enjoy PolicyTech’s ability to streamline workflows, provide clear action steps and documentation and help find and circulate the right information quickly.
About NAVEX Global, Inc.
NAVEX Global’s comprehensive suite of ethics and compliance software, content and services helps organizations protect their people, reputation and bottom line. Trusted by 95 of the FORTUNE 100 and more than 12,500 clients, our solutions are informed by the largest ethics and compliance community in the world.