Free example dissertation on Healthcare:
One of the most important industries overall is the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry affects every living person in America in one-way or another. Most people don’t realize how important this industry is until it affects their own lives. That is why it is so critical that the services offered by organizations in this industry are at the highest quality, are free of errors and ensure that patients will not face any detrimental consequences.
For this reason, healthcare organizations are under intense pressure to contain costs while improving access and service for the growing and ailing population. The primary values of our healthcare system – equality of access, affordability, and quality patient care – are in risk due to severe money supply restraint, competition, and logistical issues. Methods, and ideas in operations management is a must for organizations in the health care sector, they are needed to streamline practices while maintaining strong profit margins. Leaders need to know how to fundamentally restructure their organizations and effectively balance costs, quality, and a patients’ access to excellent care.
Operations management in any business is trying to find the way to get work done that is most effective and is of benefit to all concerned. Often this means a business must become process oriented and bypass any human aspect.
This is because in a process dependent business, everything is viewed as a system and every problem is a systemic problem. For example, problems are thought to occur because of a lack of a way to do it, and not because of human inadequacy. This places the focus for companies on finding a way that works in order to solve a problem. There are three main questions that managers usually ask themselves and other workers in the process of designing an effective operations, they are: What frustrations do you see the patients having? What frustrations do you see the hospital staff having? What frustrations do you see the management having? Once the answers to these questions have been found, managers can then create a way that eliminates all frustration. This occurs by putting in a process or system that can satisfy patients, hospital staff and management. Once frustrations have been eliminated the hospital becomes a more productive environment.
To truly have the best functioning system a well planned out operations management is needed. In order for one to be successful in this, they will need to have a clear direction for the organization, as well as an understanding of the patients’ expectations of the healthcare provided. Management must also know what is expected of them along with what constraints will be placed on them, which would lead to them to realize how much “risks” they would be able to take in their position. Other important factors in creating successful operations programs include knowing the restrictions placed on spending, the importance of each aspect of the healthcare organization, and what is needed to make each one go well.
Total Quality Management (TQM) plays a big role in promising these results. Total. Quality Management seems to be a confusing term for the layman. It is a principle for continuous refinement of an organization-wide quality system. Success of the system depends on the total commitment of the people to quality from top to bottom within the organization. TQM implementation is based on teamwork and the philosophy of continuous improvement. Statistics need to be used extensively to analyze and reduce the variation in the process.
Six areas make up the total focus of TQM. The first area is measuring the quantitative results of various surveys and studies and basing future decisions strictly on these outcomes. This information could come from something as simple as a suggestion box, but these cards must tell the business more than what was good and bad, but why things are good or bad. The second area to be focused on is empowering the employees, by allowing them to be involved in the team effort. This makes the employees feel responsible for their actions and more interested in fixing the problems. This is where many healthcare organizations fall short, since most make it the manager’s responsibility to fix the problems that the employees create. If management treats employees in a respectable manner, the employee will turn around and treat the patients with care and respect as well.
Avoiding errors is the third area that needs to be focused on. The main focus of a Total Quality Management program is to eliminate errors before they can occur. Systems cause about 80% of all errors, so if the system is error free, then the employee has a lesser chance of making mistakes. Next comes the integration of management into the process. Total Quality Management implies that management must be 100% in favor of the program, or else the employees will not respond properly. Employees will follow the lead of the management team. Last is to do what the customer want, or in other words truly believe that “The customer is always right.”
Along with TQM, JIT, which focuses not only on quality but also on the competitiveness of a company, is also important to healthcare operations. JIT occurs through careful planning of an operations’ inventory, so that as little waste as possible takes place. The intention of just-in-time production is to produce only what is needed, when it is needed. Flexibility is the key to eliminating any waste, like excess or obsolete inventory and redundant procedures. This is useful in healthcare systems, which require a constant inventory of medicine and other medical aids that are often very expensive. Benefits are achieved through reduction of waste and productive management of human resources, and provide low cost, high quality, high flexibility, and quick delivery of services.
Operations management is important for any successful business, especially one that is healthcare related. Through the use of TQM and JIT hospitals and other health organizations can better provide safe and reliable services to their patients and communities.
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