Essential Healthcare Policies You Should Know (and Practice!)

As a nursing professional, there are many essential healthcare policies that you must follow and practice regularly. By being aware of your healthcare employer’s specific policies, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to provide safe, effective, and ethical care to your patients while also complying with legal and regulatory requirements. According to the World Health Organization, health policy establishes roles and expectations for different groups (such as doctors, nurses, and administrators) and builds consensus among various participants in a health system. Here’s a breakdown of policies all nurses must follow:


1)  Patient care policies.

With patients always being a top priority, nurses should consistently follow all patient policies established within their organizations. It’s important to note that patient policies can vary at each organization, depending on the facility’s services. For example, a clinic that provides ER services will have a policy regarding how providers should handle patients in specific emergencies. By proactively educating yourself about patient protocols, you can feel confident in delivering the safest and most effective care within your medical unit.


2) Workplace health and safety policies.

Understanding workplace health and safety policies is essential for keeping your coworkers and patients free from harm. Many policies cover employees’ health and safety measures, including guidelines on personal protective equipment (PPE); exposure to hazardous substances, and any known physical hazards within your facility. Because healthcare facilities must adhere to the highest health and safety standards, it’s important to follow your employer’s policies and work to create a clean and danger-free environment.


3) Administrative and HR policies.

From patient record-keeping to HIPPA compliance, there are many administrative and HR policies that providers are expected to follow. These policies typically include guidelines about patient privacy and how a facility is required to function in terms of adequate staffing, shift changes, and health insurance and reimbursement. Additionally, nurses must be educated about health administration policies, such as visitation and bed capacity.


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