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hree medical practitioners looking at a x-ray chart, representing the importance of hospital policies and procedures

Safety is of obvious importance in workplaces, but nowhere more so than in hospitals, the ground zero for policy and procedure–which makes hospital policies and procedures a major priority. The primary purpose of hospitals—saving lives—often needs structure and a certain kind of creative rigidity to be effective. Though rigidity is sometimes seen as bad, hospital policies and procedures provide the kind of structure that can promote cleanliness, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness.

What are Hospital Policies and Procedures?

Hospital policies are rules, codes of behavior, and regulations that are meant to guide workers in the course of their duties. They are used to ensure that a hospital’s services are properly carried out and that healthcare regulations regarding these services are complied with. Hospital procedures, meanwhile, are plans for how to put policies into action. Hospital policies and procedures are considered very important by most healthcare organizations due to the nature of the industry they are involved in, with most–if not all–hospitals having these policies and procedures in effect.

One example of this can be seen in Washington, where many of the state’s hospitals have an array of policies and procedures that they use on a regular basis. Similar policies and procedures can be found in other healthcare institutions, and these policies can, in some cases, be used alongside or interchangeably with those found in hospitals.

What Are the Benefits of Policies?

Vagueness is the difference between a figure of speech and a plan of action, which is to say that detail makes the grade. Policies in hospitals work so well because of their specificity; rather than general rules, breaking down specific instructions ensures clarity and decreases miscommunication. A policy is all the better if it answers any and all questions that could conceivably be asked. With this concrete information comes familiarity, which is then enhanced by repeated use of the policies and procedures. The greater the confidence that employees have in following the rules and forming a mindset around them, the less of a potential for errors exists. Particularly in a hospital, errors can be costly.

Hospital policies and procedures provide workers with necessary guidance and direction in the course of their duties and ensure that hospitals provide the services expected of them, adequately care for their patients, and function effectively.

Who Creates Hospital Policies and Procedures?

Hospital policies and procedures are written by healthcare policy writers or technical writers. The former are workers who specialize in creating such policies and have extensive knowledge and experience with them. The latter, meanwhile, write a large variety of documents–they do not always specialize in one particular kind like healthcare policy writers do–and are skilled at translating information into more easily understandable forms. Regardless of who ends up documenting the policies and procedures, these rules are often first developed by the hospital’s policy analyst or policy manager.

How to Create Hospital Policies and Procedures

When creating hospital policy and procedure documentation, a writer should start by determining the nature of the specific process or situation a policy or procedure is meant to be used for, and how said policy or procedure is meant to address it. Next, the writer should explain how to comply with the policy or procedure, ensuring that all necessary details are included in the document. Following this, they should outline all safety precautions and measures that should be taken before or during the process of carrying out the procedure or policy. When creating hospital policies and procedures, make sure that the information is written easily enough for the readers to understand.

Why are Hospital Policies and Procedures Important?

As is often the case in hospital and medical practices, lives are at stake. The emergency room may seem like the most important place in a hospital. However, the standards of quality a hospital provides begin at the front door, extending to the cafeteria, designated smoking area, lobby, and nurse stations. Hospital policies and procedures, when applied to every sector of the system, keep all parts moving smoothly and successfully. In essence, hospital policies and procedures are necessary to ensure the quality of a hospital’s services and functions, which directly impact patient care.

Hospital Policies and Procedures: The Solution for You

The minutiae of any given process or subject can aid in the preparation for a person not particularly aware of what that preparation involves. For this reason, technical writers are a necessity. You give writers the data, and they’ll give you the format needed to make an effective policy or procedure. Essential Data specializes in detailed documentation to ensure your hospital’s policies and procedures are top-notch.

How EDC can Help

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or to get started.

Written by Will Boswell