Policies are a type of plan from which goals can be set, action taken, and decisions made. Organizations usually have both organization level policies and also department level policies. Therefore, health services managers at all levels in an organization are involved with writing policies and procedures. Regardless of level, each must be consistent with the mission, vision, and values of the organization. An organization or department should have a policy manual. Most of the time these are found on an intranet; we rarely see the traditional paper manual any more.
Procedures are another type of plan. Procedures are a series of steps to accomplish a specific task. They are plans for action. Procedures are usually developed for repetitive tasks to give it uniformity and for training purposes. Each step in a procedure should be numbered. Careful attention should be given to the writing of the steps to ensure that each is clear and brief. Also, each step should begin with an action word.
Organizations most often have a standard format, heading section, and numbering system for the development of policies and procedures. These should all be adhered to for consistency purposes. Both policies and procedures should also be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are kept up-to-date. To help with this process, always include a “date written” and a “date revised” for each.
Conduct research to view examples of policies and procedures. It is best if these are from health care organizations, but any examples will suffice. Make note of how each of these is written and the types of things that are included. This will help you to determine what sections and information to include in your own document.
Through experience and/or research, you will need to be familiar with the area or process that you choose. Examples might include the following: Confidentiality, Email Usage, Faxing, Sexual Harassment, Patient Registration, or other topic of your choice.
Compose a policy or a procedure for the fictional organization -healthcare facility. Keep in mind that sometimes a policy and procedure might be combined into a single document. You may write a policy or procedure for the organization as a whole or one for a specific department.