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Operational Management in Outpatient Specialist Clinics and Polyclinics

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 3

2. Discussion. 3

3. Conclusion. 9

4. References. 10

1. Introduction

Medical facilities including hospitals, polyclinics and other service providers have become one of the most critical parts of everyday life. People have to visit these places to being treated for their diseases. Therefore, managing multiple people needs a systematic and efficient policy, which may help the patients and their family people to feel comfortable there. This assignment has focused on various issues those have been identified by the Operational Manager while serving as an operation manager in General Matonga Hospital (GMH). The Operational Manager has identified three significant issues those need immediate solutions. Insufficient staff for completing the enrolment of the patients especially for those who are visiting the hospital for the first time plays a prominent role towards the aspect. Other than that, the number of general practitioners is also limited there, and it occur the issue related to delay in meeting the doctors and a weak follow up in the Outpatient Speciality Clinics. The appointments of several patients have been missed. Even, the communication system between inpatient ward and the clinics has become too weak. Therefore, the Operational Manager would recommend the solutions for mitigating these issues in this report.

2. Discussion

After gone through the above issues, it can be said that the Operational Manager needs to develop different strategies for each of the problems and it should be established together. The Operational Managerin the hospital has insufficient time in hand to mitigate these issues. Most importantly, Yih (2016) has opined that healthcare is b ........

including hospitals, polyclinics and other service providers have become one of the most critical parts of everyday life. People have to visit these places to being treated for their diseases. Therefore, managing multiple people needs a systematic and efficient policy, which may help the patients and their family people to feel comfortable there. This assignment has focused on various issues those have been identified by the Operational Manager while serving as an operation manager in General Matonga Hospital (GMH). The Operational Manager has identified three significant issues those need immediate solutions. Insufficient staff for completing the enrolment of the patients especially for those who are visiting the hospital for the first time plays a prominent role towards the aspect. Other than that, the number of general practitioners is also limited there, and it occur the issue related to delay in meeting the doctors and a weak follow up in the Outpatient Speciality Clinics. The appointments of several patients have been missed. Even, the communication system between inpatient ward and the clinics has become too weak. Therefore, the Operational Manager would recommend the solutions for mitigating these issues in this report.

2. Discussion

After gone through the above issues, it can be said that the Operational Manager needs to develop different strategies for each of the problems and it should be established together. The Operational Managerin the hospital has insufficient time in hand to mitigate these issues. Most importantly, Yih (2016) has opined that healthcare is being considered as an emerging sector. Therefore, it cannot be possible to stop its activities temporarily. Accordingly, the Operational Manager needs to resolve the issues together while the operations of the hospital would be continuing.

Apparently, the first problem is that the hospital needs some more practitioners. For that, they can appoint new general practitioners as well. Wager, Lee & Glaser (2017) have commented towards the nationwide problem that several hospitals are suffering from limited general practitioners. However, whatever the fact is but the patients and their family members need to experience for that. It is not appreciable at any cost. As to find out the solution, the Operational Manager has decided to hire some general practitioners for the hospital those would be dedicatedly appointed to handle the outdoor patients. Other than that, it is also needed to ensure that the details of the patients would be appropriately documented and follow up would be mandatory. The outdoor staff should ensure that no further communication gap has occurred.

Other than that, the new scheduling of patient appointmentwould be implemented. Denton (2013) has stated that the open access to the traditional appointment scheduling is needed. The fundamental conception of open access indicates to the practices that need to be death with the day-to-day variability, and they have very limited no-shows. On the other hand, in case of the traditional appointment system, the patients usually book their appointments quite in advanced. The day-to-day variability would also be there along with the high chance of no-show. That is why Liu et al.(2010) has suggested a heuristic policy for the dynamic scheduling of the appointments of patients. It may help the organization to maintain and handle all the schedules of patients in a proper track. Most importantly, it would reduce the chance of miscommunication as well.

The Operational Manager has planned to implement the systems theory in the hospital. KalendzhyanSalnikov&Gumilevskaya (2016) have opined that four-level health care system model can be adopted to mitigate the problems in the healthcare sector. This four levels of the model have to include care team, individual patient, the organization itself and economic as well as political environment. Thus, it covers all the segments of a healthcare unit. The Operational Manager has planned to implement this theory in the given healthcare organization as it may help to bring the overall framework under a systematic structure. It is highly required for GMH.

Image result for four level system model in health care

Figure 1: Four-level health care system model

(Source: Fortenberry&McGoldrick, 2016)

As stated by Roberts et al. (2016), it is better to start with the individual patient while discussing the four-levelled system model. The requirements, as well as preferences, would get the priority in a patient-centred healthcare unit. The current changes in the healthcare structure have included a customer-driven system of health care. Guo et al. (2017) have argued that the role of today's patients has been changed. They have become recipients that are more active nowadays. Therefore, the hospital authority should be more focused to provide the best services to them. The poor communication system of given organization is creating the issue as a miscommunication has occurred continuously between the inpatients and the clinic. It would hamper the business in future. Therefore, the hospital management immediately should ensure prioritizing the necessities of the patients. 

Cummings, Ellis & Turner (2017) have commented that the care team has been mentioned as in the second level of the model. It includes all the physicians as well as other care providers. The care providers indicate to all the health professionals as well as the family members of the patients too. The care team is known as the framework of the clinical microsystem. Weaver et al. (2016) have added that maximum responsibility to carry on the system in a proper term has been given on it. The role of each of the physicians has been changed as in similar to the changing of current needs of the patients. Therefore, the healthcare units as if GMH needs to be more focused as well as conscious about the services or treatments they are providing to their patients. 

The third level of this model has indicated towards the organization itself. They are playing an essential role in this aspect as they are providing the resources, infrastructure and other supports to the team. Baum et al. (2016) have commented that the organization includes the decision-making system, operating system, information system as well as processes. Also, this method may also encompass the clinical, human resource, administrative and financial system. It helps to coordinate all the necessary activities that can stimulate the activities of several care teams along with the supporting units. 

According to Ferlie, Montgomery & Pedersen (2016), it would help to handle the allocation as well as a flow of financial, material and human resources. For example, while implementing this system in GMH, the communicational problem may be reduced. Even, proper allocation of human resources may mitigate the issue of the limited general physician. On the other hand, patients would be documented and followed up appropriately as the numbers of staff would also be increased. Denton (2013) has commented that the primary care providers (PCPs) work as a bridge to link up in between the health systems and the patients. PCPs are those who provide the primary treatments to the patients. However, their salaries are lower than the specialists are. The Operational Manager has planned to motivate the PCPs in GMH by showing the proper respect to their role. That is why they would be offered an exclusive yearly vacation, which would be dedicated to them only.

Willis, Reynolds &Keleher (2016) have declared that the final level of the model has indicated to the political as well as environmental factors of the organization. It is better to say that these factors involve the overall payment regime, other financial and regulatory system of the healthcare unit. Several factors are there those can influence the economic environment as well as the political considerations of a health care unit like GMH. For example, in Australia, the public health organizations should provide free healthcare to the Australians. On the other hand, Gardiner et al. (2016) have included that the private hospitals are proliferating in this country. Therefore, the organizations like GMH may face high competition in the market. Hence, the system of the organization has been influenced by the political factor. 

It is expected that implementation of system thinking may mitigate the current issues of the organization. Yih (2016) has declared that system thinking can help to resolve the significant problems of the body; otherwise, they may involve some complicated interaction within the organization. System thinking helps the organization like GMH by identifying as well as focusing on the positive factors of the organization. Wager, Lee & Glaser (2017) have suggested that proper application of system theory indicates the inter-relationship digraph (IRD), which is being considered as a visual tool that permits the plotting of complexities in casual relations. IRD is helpful to use the 'team knowledge' as well as to build up the consensus on the priorities.

Kalendzhyan, Salnikov&Gumilevskaya (2016) have contributed that The IRD system generates three results. They are drivers, outcomes and the system viewers. The divers seem to be the fundamental elements drive other factors in the system. Therefore, the management would be the drivers in case of GMH. Outcomes refer to the details those can be used for measuring the success. The GMH can be considered its patients and the reputation in the market as the elements of outcomes. Besides, Fortenberry&McGoldrick (2016) have stated that the systems viewers seem to indicate the relationship between the components. In case of GMH, the system viewers can be considered as the relationship between the patients and the clinic. 

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Figure 2: CMD model

(Source: Roberts et al. 2016)

The given case study has shown that there is a communicational problem between the in-house patients of the organization as well as the clinic. Therefore, Guo et al. (2017) have suggested about CLD that is the Casual Loop Diagram can work to reduce the problem related to miscommunication. It encourages the feedback to be gathered to resolve the communication issue. Therefore, GMH can introduce a feedback form, whichshould be filled up with the patients and his or her family members. In that sort, the patient parties can include their opinions accurately whether it was satisfactory or not. It may help GMH to collect the views of the patients and based on which they could enable to mitigate their recent issues.

In other words, the introduction of feedback collection process may reflect the importance of the patient parties to the management of the healthcare unit. It would feel them as a part of the system, and the administration is eager to take suggestions from them to provide a better service in future. On the other hand, Cummings, Ellis & Turner (2017) have pointed out that the hospital authority should ensure that the feedback has regularly been followed. The management in the given organization should ensure that the responsible staffs are collecting the feedback every day and the administration should try to implement and change their service infrastructure as much possible to meet the demands of the customers.

3. Conclusion

The overall study has been generated based on the current situation in GMH. The care providers and the patients are suffering from a communicational gap which would hamper the business in future. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the management to identify some ways by which the problem can be resolved. It should be remembered that it is a highly competitive market. Multiple healthcare units are there. Even, a health care professional is connected to several private organizations as well. Therefore, the patients and their family members have multiple options to choose the appropriate and well-reputed healthcare organization for them. Thus, they have high chance to be switched anytime if not getting the satisfactory services.

Therefore, the service providers or the healthcare organizations should take the initiatives by which they could enable to make a strong position in the healthcare sector. In this report, the Operational Manager has provided some recommendations against each of the issues. The Operational Manager has asked for implementation of some theories those would systematically resolve the problems. Special emphasises have been provided to the collection of feedback as it is a magical way to communicate to the service takers directly. It would help GMH to deliver the services as per the requirements as well as an expectation of the customers.

4. References

Baum, F., Freeman, T., Sanders, D., Labonté, R., Lawless, A., &Javanparast, S. (2016). Comprehensive primary health care under neo-liberalism in Australia. Social Science & Medicine168, 43-52.

Cummings, E., Ellis, L., & Turner, P. (2017).The past, the present, and the future: examining the role of the “Social” in transforming personal healthcare management of chronic disease.In Health Literacy: Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (pp. 287-304).IGI Global.

Denton, B. T. (2013). Handbook of healthcare operations management.New York: Springer.

Ferlie, E., Montgomery, K., & Pedersen, A. R. (Eds.).(2016). The Oxford handbook of health care management.Oxford University Press.

FortenberryJr, J. L., &McGoldrick, P. J. (2016).Internal marketing: A pathway for healthcare facilities to improve the patient experience. International Journal of Healthcare Management9(1), 28-33.

Gardiner, P. A., Kent, A. L., Rodriguez, V., Wojcieszek, A. M., Ellwood, D., Gordon, A., ...& Gardener, G. J. (2016). Evaluation of an international educational programme for health care professionals on best practice in the management of a perinatal death: IMproving Perinatal mortality Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE). BMC pregnancy and childbirth16(1), 376.

Guo, R., Berkshire, S. D., Fulton, L. V., &Hermanson, P. M. (2017).Predicting intention to use evidence-based management among US healthcare administrators: Application of the theory of planned behaviour and structural equation modelling. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 1-8.

Kalendzhyan, S. O., Salnikov, A. A., &Gumilevskaya, O. V. (2016).Organization of the Efficient System of Corporate Healthcare Management in Russian Industrial Companies. Economic Policy5, 118-139.

Liu N, Ziya S, Kulkarni V, (2010) Dynamic scheduling of outpatient appointments under patients no-shows and cancellations.MSOM, 12, 347-364.

Roberts, J. P., Fisher, T. R., Trowbridge, M. J., & Bent, C. (2016, March). A design thinking framework for healthcare management and innovation. In Healthcare (Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 11-14).Elsevier.

Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2017). Health care information systems: a practical approach for health care management.John Wiley & Sons.

Weaver, C. A., Ball, M. J., Kim, G. R., & Kiel, J. M. (2016).Healthcare information management systems. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Willis, E., Reynolds, L., &Keleher, H. (Eds.). (2016). Understanding the Australian health care system. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Yih, Y. (Ed.). (2016). Handbook of healthcare delivery systems.CRC Press.