The Policy Office offers a few in-person sessions of Policy 101 per year. When there are sessions scheduled, we'll post the dates and locations here. Registration is done via LMS.
Contact us to request a Teams session of Policy 101. We require at least 10 participants to deliver a class.
OP3 is the home of all policies for Nova Scotia Health and the IWK Health Centre.
All policies that are currently in development are posted on our internal Policy Development Dashboard. You can find contact information for each, as well as the current status in the development process.
The Policy Office is launching a policy publication schedule. Policies will be published every second Tuesday, with the exception of holidays, beginning April 20, 2021.
Exceptions to this schedule will be made in circumstances where documents require urgent posting to accommodate changes that may immediately impact patient or staff safety or an external requirement (alignment with legislation, for example).
Once a Nova Scotia Health policy is effective, it is the applicable policy for all services, programs, and facilities. Find all Nova Scotia Health policies that have been approved to date on the Nova Scotia Health policy site on OP3.
Until Nova Scotia Health policies are developed, policies from former district health authorities (DHAs) still apply. Select the appropriate policy site for your location. If in doubt about which policy site to use or which former DHA policies apply in your area, contact us.
There are a number of policy instruments available to us at Nova Scotia Health, and each can be useful in different circumstances. Consider the policy instruments described here when thinking about your needs. If in doubt about which tool fits for your context, talk to the Policy Office.
Policy is the rule or the promise we are making as an organization. It is made up of clear, formal, and authoritative statements that:
Protocol is a precise sequence of activities that define a specific management plan. It can include decision points, and is sometimes formatted as an algorithm or flowchart. It is usually based on practice guidelines or organizational consensus.
Procedure is a set of steps or instructions that describes how to complete a task, enact a policy, or follow a standard. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a type of procedure often used for technical professions.
Guidelines are a series of recommendations based on the best available evidence. They are not binding, and are not required to be followed.
Other supporting documents can include things like manuals, forms, checklists, flowcharts, and algorithms.
Local work instructions are documents that provide specific instruction on how to comply with policy or follow procedure for specific roles, or at specific locations.
The different policy instruments available to us at Nova Scotia Health exist in a hierarchy with each other:
Consider this hierarchy when thinking about which type of policy instrument or guidance document you need to support your work.
You might also consider the frequency of the task in relation to the level of risk associated with it when considering what type of policy instrument is the best fit. Risk could mean the risk of harm to a patient, to a population, to equipment or property, to the environment, etc. depending on your context.
Consider the relationship between frequency and risk when thinking about what policy instruments might be appropriate, and talk to us in the Policy Office for help: