One of the essential 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 sector is until it affects their own lives. That is why it is so critical that the services offered by organizations in this industry are of 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 at risk due to severe money supply restraint, competition, and logistical issues. Methods and ideas in operations management is a must for organizations in the healthcare sector. They are needed to streamline practices while maintaining healthy profit margins. Leaders need to know how to fundamentally restructure their institutions and efficiently 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 company must become process oriented and bypass any human aspect.
It is because in a process dependent business, everything is viewed as a system and every problem is a systemic problem. For example, issues are thought to occur because of a lack of a way to do it, and not because of human inadequacy. It places the focus for companies on finding a way that works to solve a problem. There are three central questions that managers usually ask themselves and other workers in the process of designing active operations. They are: What frustrations do you see the patients having? What failures do you know the hospital staff is having? What frustrations do you understand the management have? Once the answers to these questions to be found, managers can then create a way that eliminates all disappointment. It occurs by putting in a processor system that can satisfy patients, hospital staff, and management. Once frustrations have been removed the hospital becomes a more productive environment.
To honestly have the best functioning system a well planned out operations management is needed. 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 provider.
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 prominent 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. The 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 evil, 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. It makes the employees feel responsible for their actions and more interested in fixing the problems. It is where many healthcare organizations fall short since most make it the manager’s responsibility to fix the issues that the employees create. If management respectably treats employees, 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 the mistakes before they can occur. Systems cause about 80% of all errors, so if the operation 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 appropriately. Employees will follow the lead of the management team. Last is to do what the customer wants, or in other words, genuinely 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 crucial to healthcare operations. JIT occurs through careful planning of an operations’ inventory so that as little waste as possible takes place. Just-in-time production intends to produce only what is needed when it is required. Flexibility is the key to eliminating any waste, like excess or obsolete inventory and unnecessary procedures. It is useful in healthcare systems, which require a constant stock 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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