Update on policy governance reform at Michigan Medicine

September 3, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

Policy governance reform is a much-needed initiative whose objective is to help Michigan Medicine better serve employees, patients and families. The effort began several years ago in response to employee frustration regarding access to policies, procedures and guidelines (PP&Gs), as well as confusion regarding overly complex approval pathways delaying implementation of PP&Gs.

Since then, two workgroups performed a deep dive into Michigan Medicine’s policy governance landscape, and out of their work came two major recommendations:

  • The formation of an Interprofessional Policy Committee (IPPC) to oversee the formation of a new policy governance framework for the development, approval and review of clinical PP&Gs, and
  • The adoption of PolicyStat as the health system’s repository for all PP&Gs. The IPPC is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of experts in clinical care, clinical operations, legal, regulatory, patient experience and medical informatics. PolicyStat is a web-based policy management application designed as a “one-stop shop” to provide the workforce with the information they need when they need it. It is accessible with your Level-2 password from any device that can connect to the Internet.

The IPPC is now hard at work building a framework for policy governance. The committee had their first meeting in July 2020 and received continued endorsement from executive leadership to carry out this important work.

“We are very excited to get started on the framework. COVID-19 pushed things out a few months, but we are still moving forward. The group is very engaged and committed to this critical work,” said Peg Hill-Callahan, clinical policy manager at Michigan Medicine.

In addition to building a framework for policy governance, an important early task will be adjudicating the current universe of PP&Gs once everyone is done adding their PP&Gs into PolicyStat. Once they have completed designing the new policy governance framework, the IPPC will review multi-disciplinary PP&Gs that have system-wide impact as well as serving their colleagues as consultative partners in policy development and management.

What does the committee hope to gain through this work?

In our current state, we are facing many challenges, which will require all of us to do more with less, but just as reliably. Now, more than ever, we need to do this work as it will directly help. It has been designed to:

  • Reduce administrative burden at all levels
  • Reduce regulatory and accreditation risk
  • Streamline approval pathways leading to increased productivity/savings in effort by reducing overall time spent in committees discussing, debating and approving PP&Gs
  • Improve consistency in clinical practice across our enterprise, with corresponding improvements in:
    • Patient experience
    • Productivity/value created through our work processes
    • Quality and patient safety, leading to reduction in safety related events
  • Improve staff and faculty engagement and satisfaction – everyone comes to work intending to do the best job they can in caring for patients and their families. No one wants to feel like they don’t have the resources and information at hand to do their best.

This transition is also in alignment with Michigan Medicine’s journey to high reliability.

“Know why and comply” is one of the core principles and the policy governance overhaul (including adoption of PolicyStat) lays the foundation. By having robust, transparent and efficient development and approval pathways, as well as one centralized location for all policies, procedures and guidelines, we will enhance and strengthen our safety culture where employees are the first line of defense against mishaps and errors.

How can you help?

Enter your policies into PolicyStat.

IPPC cannot begin to sort through and adjudicate all of the PP&Gs until they are all in PolicyStat. Take a moment to delegate a member of your team to work on this project. If you have questions about how to make the transition, please email the PolicyStat team at: MichiganMedicinePolicyStat@med.umich.edu. To get started, review the information on this website, and take the survey: http://www.med.umich.edu/i/policies/umh/transition.html.

After you complete the survey, the PolicyStat team will contact you to discuss next step.

“There are still a lot of policies that overlap and conflict,” said Cathie Joynt, project lead for the PolicyStat implementation. “We really need people to take the time and add their PP&Gs to the platform so that we can organize them. The time really is now.”

To learn more about the policy governance initiative and the IPPC, visit the website: http://www.med.umich.edu/i/policies/umh/framework.html. You can also contact the team via email: clinicalpolicyhelp@umich.edu.

Learn even more about policy governance reform on The Wrap podcast. Listen via YouTube at the top of the page or media player below. Please note, the media player is not compatible with Internet Explorer, so open another browser or find it on your personal device to take a listen.