About Highland Rivers Health
One of Georgia’s largest behavioral healthcare providers, Highland Rivers Health provides compassionate, professional treatment and recovery services to adults, children, families and veterans affected by mental health issues, substance abuse and addiction, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Highland Rivers Health serves a 12-county region of northwest Georgia. They operate outpatient clinics, residential treatment facilities, crisis stabilization units and programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Challenge: Paper Policy Trails Create Major Headaches
“Simply monitoring version tracking required a team of about 15 people to travel once a month to review and revise all policies – it was a ton of admin work. It was another challenge all together having to search and find evidence for accreditation.” - Stephanie Collum, Chief Compliance Officer
With 36 facilities, almost 700 employees and an ever-growing number of policy and accreditation documents to maintain, relying on a paper policy management system was a losing battle for Highland Rivers Health.
Having no centralized headquarters, Highland Rivers had to depend on individual employees at various locations who were deemed the keepers of policies and procedures. The organization also had to maintain a team that was responsible for taking paper policies, converting them to PDF and uploading them to the organization’s intranet – a process that oftentimes had so much lag time that policies were outdated by the time they made it online.
The Solution: PolicyTech Takes Highland Rivers Digital
The PolicyTech system now houses more than 1,200 policies and procedures, all of which can be easily found, referenced and updated. As a healthcare organization subject to strict accreditation requirements, Highland Rivers can now easily upload any policy that a licensing body requires, cross reference each standard and assign policies and procedures based on employees’ roles, making it easy for a potential auditor to review and track.
After learning about the integration between NAVEX Global’s EthicsPoint Incident Management system and its policy management software, Highland Rivers decided to simultaneously upgrade their incident management program and implement PolicyTech to overhaul and automate their policy management system. The combination created a centralized repository for hotline reports, internal investigations, policies and accreditation documentation.
As an added benefit, the seamless integration of PolicyTech and the upgraded incident management system means that Highland Rivers is able to offer their employees a more user-friendly hotline system on the front-end, better track hotline reports and internal investigations on the back-end and respond quickly to concerns raised by reporters.
The Results: Seamless Software Integration Boosts Culture of Compliance
“It forces you to never be satisfied with the status quo because there’s always room for improvement.” - Stephanie Collum, Chief Compliance Officer
With an increased ability to educate employees on policies and procedures, and an integrated and easy-to-use system for hotline reporting, Highland Rivers has seen some distinct benefits in terms of establishing a culture of compliance.
One clear advantage of the new system has been an increase in known reporting. Since 2014, anonymous reporting has fallen from 80% to 32%, speaking to a culture that responds to and resolves incidents quickly and demonstrating that Highland Rivers has a non-retaliatory culture.
As the organization continues to evolve, make process improvements and encounter new challenges, their policy and incident management systems are able to grow with them.
NAVEX’s GRC software and compliance management solutions support the integrated risk, ESG and compliance management programs at more than 13,000 organizations worldwide.