Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Healthcare: Development and Implementation

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Healthcare: Development and Implementation

Organizational processes are never one-size-fits-all. They’re not the ultimate solution to all of your problems, nor are they a guaranteed way to boost your efficiency. With that in mind, they are an integral part of your operation. Standard operating procedures ensure that your organization has structure, and they also make sure that you have the right people working in the right department. As a business tool, they can help you evaluate your current efforts so you can decide how best to move forward. As long as everyone within your organization follows the procedures in place, you will be able to encourage them to make the right choice. After all, the ultimate goal is to grow your business by providing a high standard of patient care.

How to Develop a Standard Operating Procedure

If you want to develop a standard procedure, you need to make sure that you have a written document. This will need to be signed off by management and templated. Your SOP will need to be titled and numbered for documentation purposes, and added to document control. For day-to-day healthcare compliance, it will need to be reviewed regularly and finally, archived. 

Your SOP will comprise of two parts. You have document control, and you have greater procedure details. This will go in-depth and it will go over everything that’s important to the facility while aiding operational efficiency in healthcare settings. 

Your SOP should include:

  • Author
  • Date of Efficiency
  • SOP Title
  • Healthcare Logo
  • Document Control Information
  • SOP Number
  • Company Name
  • Business Address 
  • Website 
  • Review Date

Ideally, you will have to review your SOP every two years or so to ensure current compliance. Within the healthcare business, it is usually the medical director who will go over the SOP and update them as required.

Ensuring Quality and Consistent Care

Consistency is the key to running a medical business successfully. To maintain consistency, you need to make sure that every process is in check. One great way for you to ensure that would be for you to adopt an SOP. A detailed SOP manual will give you the instructions and data that are mandatory in terms of your general process. 

How A Standard Operating Procedure Aids Compliance

Standard operating procedures aid compliance in more ways than one. SOPs allow organizations to gain a better understanding of their process while giving them the chance to identify areas that need improvement. Reasons to include an SOP include helping you to stick to one defined schedule. You can also identify where your employees need training while guaranteeing that your compliance standards are met. By adopting an SOP, you can also certify that the procedure is not going to negatively impact the working environment. This also ensures the safety of your team while avoiding failure through not having a documented process.

Formats of Standard Operating Procedures

Healthcare SOPs come in numerous formats. Implementing healthcare procedures is crucial to the welfare of your business, but with that in mind, you also need to make sure that you are adopting the right format. 


When developing SOPs in healthcare, you can use a flowchart. This helps you to navigate unpredictable or various outcomes.

Simple Steps

This is often written as a bullet or a numbered list. It’s a short, easy-to-follow brief.

Hierarchical Steps

Hierarchical steps are another good way to meet quality care standards. You will have a list of primary steps, followed by a series of steps that go more in-depth.

When you have settled on a format, the author must then decide if the operational procedure is going to be available online or if it is going to be in the format of a hand-written copy. Either way, one important thing to do would be for you to make sure that everyone can access it, at any time.


So, documenting standard operating procedures is so important. If you don’t take the time to make sure that your procedures are up to date, then this will impact your entire organization. You may even find it more difficult to maintain your operational efficiency, which could have an impact on the standard of care that you are able to provide. If you have yet to adopt a standard operating procedure, or if you haven’t updated yours in over two years, then now is the time for you to take action. You might not be compliant with the latest regulations, and this can have dire consequences for your business.