PolicyTech Slashes Six Months Off San Juan Regional Medical Center's Policy Process

PolicyTech helped SJRMC connect its policies to its seven outside health care facilities and improve its policy management system.

San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) consists of seven health care facilities in the Four Corners region of northwest New Mexico that also services parts of Utah, Colorado and Arizona. SJRMC employs over 1,400 personnel and has a medical staff of 130 physicians, as it provides a wide variety of medical services to a widely dispersed population. SJRMC is a locally owned and governed hospital with strong community ties dating back to 1910. Two local physicians originally started the small, eight-bed facility that has grown into a 240-bed non-profit company with seven facilities in its organization.

SJRMC needed a system for connecting its policies with its seven health care facilities located outside of the main hospital in San Juan County, as well to improve its overall policy management process.

SJRMC needed effective management of policies in a central location. Additionally, the policy creation process needed to be faster, more reliable and with increased accountability. A typical policy passed through six entities, including various levels of document owners, reviewers, approvers and committees before it became an official policy.

“Policies were taking sometimes six months to a year to go through everyone’s hands,” said SJRMC policy management administrator Kelli Marsh. “We thought ‘there’s got to be a better way.’” Another problem facing SJRMC was storage. Prior to using the NAVEX Global solution, SJRMC did not have a central way to store and track their policies—many of which existed in a solely typewritten format. Additionally, SJRMC’s previous document management system for electronic policies did not provide reminders to update documents or possess the capability for a structured review and approval cycle.

The Better Way: NAVEX Global's PolicyTech
When SJRMC selected NAVEX Global PolicyTech policy management software they were looking for a cost-effective solution to handle the process more efficiently and quickly. “We had two other software companies that we narrowed the list to,” said SJRMC Cardiac Patient Services Manager Barbara Galvich. “However, we didn’t feel there were any other options based on the criteria we wanted to meet that would accomplish what we needed to accomplish without using the PolicyTech software.”

After working with the Implementation Services team to get rolling, SJRMC cut policy production time down to about 90 days on most policies. During the policy process, Marsh can easily identify a stalled document and keep it moving in case a reviewer is on vacation or otherwise unavailable. Marsh also holds the responsibility of training each of SJRMC’s 90 managers in the use of the software for their policy needs.

“Once I get someone into the system and train them on it they can see how it flows and it is easy for them even if they thought it was going to be difficult,” said Marsh. In this way she is able to effectively manage hospital-wide policy, as well as department-specific policy with the same system, eliminating conflicting or redundant policy without sacrificing accountability.

Now that the system is up and running, Marsh feels it makes her job much more manageable. “It has helped us get organized and have an actual process for policy management,” she went on to say.

Marsh indicated that adopting PolicyTech:

  • Reduced the policy process from more than six months to an average of 90 days;
  • Greatly improved the policy updating process;
  • Confirmed readership of hospital policies and procedures; and
  • Improved access to important policies through keyword search functionality.

Return on Investment: More than just financial
PolicyTech’s pre-designed system of reviewers and approvers also helped SJRMC create structure around their policy management process in a way that hadn’t previously existed.

“It has helped us get organized and to have an actual process for policy creation,” Marsh said. Marsh feels that the NAVEX Global policy management solution has had a positive effect on SJRMC’s policy management system and helped the hospital function more effectively.

“I think we’ve already achieved our return because the system is organized. Things are getting done in a timely manner now; we’re not waiting six months to a year to get a policy approved,” she said.

Galvich felt Policy and Procedure Manager provided the correct solution for SJRMC’s policy management needs.

“NAVEX Global met all of our criteria at a competitive price in a web-based, easy-to-use platform,” Galvich said.

Interested in learning more about how policy management can assist your organization? Contact NAVEX Global.