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Resource Spotlight: Tools and Knowledge to Help You Create a New Policy

by Lana MacEachern on 2019-09-30T14:36:37-03:00 in Policy & Practice | Comments

Developing a new policy is a big undertaking that involves many steps, from getting initial approval, to researching and gathering evidence, to writing and revising. NSHA Library Services and the NSHA Policy Office have lots of tools and resources to help you through the various stages of the process.  

1. Start here

These Policy Office resources will explain the process and provide you with the documents you’ll need to get started:

2. Consult regulations and reports for applicable legislation

3. Find evidence

You’ll need to research the relevant literature and practice standards. This is a good time to ask Library Services for assistance. For example, we can help you locate and access the clinical practice guidelines for a nursing procedure, or instructions in a core nursing textbook. If you can’t easily access the information you need—such as a print book in a hospital library in another part of the province—we’ll get it for you.

You may want to let our team of searchers do the searching for you by using our popular Literature Search service.

The resources below can also help you find evidence to support your policy:

4. Draft the policy

Policies should be written using clear, easy-to-understand language. Aim for a Grade 6 reading level and avoid confusing jargon. These resources will help you write your policy in plain language:

Should ‘Nova Scotia Health Authority’ be spelled out or written as an acronym? Is it ‘health care’ or ‘healthcare’? What information goes in each section of the policy document? What font should you use? These two style guides will answer those questions and more:

Manage information, citations and copyright

If your policy refers to information from other published sources, those sources must be properly cited. The NSHA Policy Office uses the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th ed. for in-text citations and references within policies. You must also make sure you have permission to reproduce any forms or images that appear in your policy.

These resources will help you organize and format your references, and guide you in complying with copyright laws:

Learn more about health policy development

Questions? Contact Library Services and the Policy Office for assistance with developing your policy. 

Lana MacEachern

Library Technician
Aberdeen Regional Hospital, Northern Zone


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