Before choosing a policy management software, it is important to know what types of software are available as well as what features that you should be looking out for, to ensure the system you choose fully meets your organization's needs.
In this article we will answer the most important questions to ask yourself before choosing a policy management software solution.
Policy management software allows for the digitization and simplified access to your organization policies. Unlike paper-based policy management where policies were kept in filing cabinets or binders for reference, policy management software keeps policies up to date with changes possible in real time.
With healthcare policies frequently changing it can be hard to ensure that your policies are compliant and that your staff have agreed to any changes. The automation offered by policy management software makes this process less overwhelming.
2. Insurance Policy Management Software
Insurance policy management software is typically part of an insurance policy administration system and provides access to various policies and processes used in premium ratings, insurance quoting, contract binding, contract issuing, contract endorsements, and contract renewals.
3. Corporate Policy Management Software
Corporations use policy management software to allow them to increase efficiency and enable their employees through easy access to all corporate policies and procedures that may be needed.
4. Financial Policy Management Software
The financial service industry uses policy management software to make sure they meet regulatory compliance, have consistent control over documents to prevent errors, document employee and 3rd party attestations to reduce risk exposure.
1. One Centralized Location
All policies are stored digitally in one single location, which enables easy access by anyone in the organization, and allows for instant updating and notifications for important policy changes.
2. Single Source of Truth
Avoids scattered policies and multiple versions to prevent employees from referencing old or out-dated policies that are no longer applicable.
3. Easy and Timely Communication
Rather than manually sending policy updates via postal mail, policies can be automatically sent via email or via software notifications without shipping costs or delays.
4. Full Collaboration
Changes to internal policies can be discussed easily with all employees that they affect. At the same time, employees can make recommendations for policy changes based on real-world data or evolving situations.
5. Search Functionality
Ever try to find a corporate policy in a filing cabinet or binder? Probably the most significant feature for policy management software is you can search using keywords and boolean which can help you find what you need quickly.
Have full control over your company policies without having to worry about misplaced paper versions or old policies getting into the wrong hands. Limit access to certain policies based on seniority or other desired factors.
Collect digital signatures and attestations to ensure that employees have agreed to and accepted policies and updates to avoid non-compliance risk. Also have visibility into employees who have not seen or accepted updates so it can be addressed.
8. Cost Savings
Replacing paper-based systems can save your organization thousands of dollars per year in printing costs, free up office space by removing filing cabinets, and at the same time are environmentally friendly.
Bookmarking allows employees or departments to create a personalized list of policies that are most relevant to them for quick and easy reference. For example an employee who travels a lot might want to have quick access to the corporate travel expenses reimbursement policy, or the PR team might want to bookmark the communication policy for easy reference.
2. User Permissions:
Organizations typically want to control which departments, employees, or third parties can access which policies. For example, maybe Human Resources does not want certain policies shared outside the HR team. This can be done by assigning user permissions to individuals or groups, so that only certain people and certain groups can access certain files.
Policies are often changing, some might get updated on a monthly or yearly basis. Versioning allows you to track these changes over time, see how the policy has changed, what updates have been made, and even revert back to previous versions if necessary. You can also see who has not accepted updated versions of the policy as well.
4. Bulk Updating:
If you need to make changes to multiple documents at the same time, this can be achieved with metadata replacement functionality on most policy management software. For example, a corporate name change might require all 1000 of your policies to be updated, and with this feature you can do that instantly.
Simply put, attestations are proof of something, and when it comes to policy management software, it serves as proof that an employee has read, agreed to, and accepted a policy. For example, a new employee might be asked to agree to the data protection policy, and when they click agree, you can record that.
6. Robust Search Capabilities:
Perhaps the most used feature in any policy management software is the search functionality. However, this feature can also be the most frustrating if it does not allow users to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Having robust search functionality is therefore key to having both you and your users happy with the system.
7. Collaborative Workflows:
Establishing policies typically involve many different people with a lot of back and forth on what needs to be added, removed, changed, or tweaked. Enabling policy creators to easily work collaboratively to edit and change documents is therefore a must for creation of, or updates to, policies. A good policy software should help with this.
Notifications and reminders are a very important consideration when choosing a software. If an attestation is overdue a reminder should be sent. The same can be said if a policy is up for review, or tasks need to be completed, or compliance requirements met. A strong notification system takes the guesswork out of your paperwork.
If you are not measuring it, you can not improve it. Easy to use and robust reporting features let you keep track of how often policies are changing, percentages of employees who have read and accepted policies, how many policies have been created, who are the most active users, and tons of other metrics that can help you optimize your processes. For administrators, reporting is a very useful and insightful feature.
Although this feature is not needed by all organizations, testing is an extremely important feature for orgs that want to make sure that a policy is not only agreed to and accepted, but also that it is well understood by the employees. For example, a sexual harassment policy might not be as effective if it is just a box checked on a form, compared to one that is paired with a short quiz to ensure comprehension. Similar testing is also done for SOC2 compliance (data safety) and even hygiene procedures. If you need more engagement with your procedures that simply a tick on a form, this feature might be a must.
If you have more questions regarding choosing the right software, feel free to contact us.