What Is a Patient Care Policy? (+ How to Write One)

October 31, 2022 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: Practice Management

If you’ve never heard of a patient care policy before, then you might ask yourself if your medical practice needs another piece of business writing. The answer is yes, it’s a good rule of thumb for your practice to have such a policy.

Now you might be wondering how to write one (and how in the world did we read your mind?!) We’ll dive into the practical tips for writing a patient care policy in this article and leave the mind-reading explanation up to you.

Let’s get started!

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What Is a Patient Care Policy?

In general, a patient care policy includes a variety of policies and components that relate to how your practice cares for patients. To better understand what a patient care policy is, let’s define patient care.

This phrase broadly entails the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of physical and mental well-being via healthcare services. Pretty much sums up the goal of your medical practice, right?

There are numerous ways that a patient care policy can be written and take effect in a medical practice; such a medical policy is likely to differ from one practice or specialty to the next. The benefit to this is that you can customize it to best suit your specific practice! 

How to write a patient care policy

Components of This Medical Practice Policy

Your medical practice’s patient care policy will likely include policies pertaining to the following components:

Administrative Policies

This piece of writing would break down your practice’s administrative workflows, such as how you handle the patient from a paperwork perspective and other operational elements. Examples include no show patient policies, patient-payer policies, and more!

Care Policies

Care policies might get more in-depth since they should cover how you actually deliver quality care to your patients, how your practice would handle different patient emergencies, methods for evaluation and treatment, etc.

Communication Policies

Does your medical practice communicate with patients via email, automated voicemail, social media, texting, or some other form? This is what you’d outline in this policy–how the patient can expect to be contacted by your staff, with what frequency, and more, plus their rights to opt out if they so choose.

Privacy Policies

Anything to do with privacy in the context of your medical practice probably brings HIPAA regulations to the top of your mind. Such standards and laws that deal with patient privacy are essential to include in this component of your practice’s patient care policy! Outline how you protect patient privacy and when your medical practice will be sharing sensitive information–such as in the event of working with insurance companies or other trusted providers.

Why Your Practice Needs a Patient Care Policy

Your medical practice’s patient care policy, like any kind of healthcare writing, is vital to ensuring consistency across your operations. Establishing standardized protocols helps minimize any kind of miscommunications or errors across your practice because your staff can reference this comprehensive document.

Plus, implementing a patient care policy affirms compliance with important standards and laws, such as HIPAA, and can be leveraged as an essential piece of writing when onboarding new staff members.

How to Write a Patient Care Policy

With so many possible elements to include in your practice’s patient care policy, it might seem intimidating to put one together; start with these tips:

Save Time by Doing Research

Writing a patient care policy shouldn’t take weeks or months of you and your staff stressing about it; remember, you’re not the first ever medical practice to write one!

Start by doing research into what practices similar to yours include and look at industry best practices. This will help you navigate the language and facets that are particular to your practice.

Personalize This Policy for Your Practice

While doing research into how other practices have approached writing a patient care policy, take note of where you can personalize this writing to fit your practice and specialty. Excluding such details and particularities doesn’t help inform new staff members, nor does it codify the processes that your practice leverages.

What makes your medical practice stand out? Do you strive to serve the veterans in your community? Multiple specialties under one roof? Factors like this will help you tailor your patient care policy to your practice and ensure that you consider its multitudes.

Let NCG Medical Handle the Medical Billing Burden

Writing important documents and policies for your medical practice isn’t necessarily a walk in the park but dealing with a mountain of medical billing claims and rejected submissions doesn’t help.

That’s where NCG Medical is the ace up your sleeve–let our friendly experts handle the medical billing burden so you can focus on what matters most: delivering quality care to your patients!

We’ve got decades of experience and specialty-specific experts to help immediately boost your healthcare revenue cycle and put more time back in your day. Your success is our success, and we’re eager to alleviate your workload.

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