Facilitating Change in Healthcare
Key factors driving change in healthcare
This section covers the main drivers of change in the healthcare sector. The goal of the section is to enumerate the different drivers of change and identify how they could affect the organization. The factors will contribute to the change management initiative that is to be mentioned later in the statement.
Focus on quality
Patients and their families are increasingly looking at healthcare services in terms of quality. Quality will depend on the user. However, there is some basic aspect that has to be attained as far as quality is concerned. Quality is an attribute of the service (Spath, 2009). Any social and healthcare services provider will have to consider quality as an attribute of the service itself. The focus on quality can be assessed based on order qualifiers and winners (Beuran et al., 2014). Order qualifiers are the basic aspects that have to be attained in an organization. The order winners are the aspects of a service provider that make the user choose the provider as opposed to the competitor. The quality focus in any healthcare organization ought to be on attainment of the basic requirements for them to be qualified for consideration and the winners. Additional perks will ensure that the service provision is ranked high among the patient choices and priorities.
In the recent past, there has been a focus on change management in healthcare organizations with the main aim being the reduction of cost. It is important to note that some of the changes in an organization will be dependent on the cost aspect. However, there is also a trade-off as far as quality is concerned. More customers are focused on the cost aspect while hoping for some level of quality in terms of the service delivery. Therefore, when considering the cost of effecting change, it is important to ensure that the quality of the services delivered is not compromised. Finding the best trade-off in the change effecting has been the main focus. This will affect future engagements in the client’s target changes.
Any change engagement ought to be informed by the customers’ needs. Some of the customers will be looking for the best service provider. The best service provider is the one who is capable of meeting their needs. Hence being able to meet the needs of the customers is ideal in that it defines the referral rates to the healthcare organisation as well as the liability limitation. Change in the healthcare sector will be more aligned to the customer satisfaction. It is important to consider the satisfiers in the healthcare organisations. In the event that there is low customer satisfaction, there will be an increased in the number of patients who voluntarily decline healthcare services provided by the organization. Satisfiers in the healthcare organisations will have to be considered in order for the healthcare engagement to be effective. Focus on the satisfiers is ideal in that there is a high probability of improving on them in a continuous manner (McFadden, Stock,and Gowen, 2015). Some of the common dissatisfies that are heightened in research include the long wait, customer, and family interaction with the staff as well as the costs of the medication. Finding the best way of improving the dissatisfiers will increase the possibility of the patients retiring to the facility and reduce the possibility of declination of care by the patients.
Need for continuous improvement
This is a key factor in change management. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations have to consider the possibility of improving the overall healthcare on a continuous basis. Continuous improvement is a major factor in change management in that organisations have to be based on the understanding that there is always room for improvement. Being at the top of the industry may not indicate the attainment of a ceiling. There is always a possibility of pushing the limits and changing it with time. Continuous improvement is holistic in nature.
The section covers major points that will be sued in the meeting with the SMG officers in the organization. The content is based on the previously identified key factors effective in impacting change in the healthcare sector.
Focus on quality
The focus on quality has been an effective tool in effecting change in any organization. Major healthcare organizations are based on quality measures such as patient outcomes, chances of readmission, the fall reduction, overall treatment of the families and liability limitation. Being an effective healthcare organization have to be hinged on the ability to meet the expectation of both the patients and their families.
There are some challenges related to quality. Focusing on quality management as a part of larger change management initiative may pose some limitations to the organization. Quality improvement is often linked to hiking costs. Patients may not be in agreement with an overall increase in their costs of health care. Secondly, the quality parameters differ. These different parameters may be the order winners. Hence, it is difficult for an organization to be effective in meeting all order winners as far as quality management is concerned.
The cost of healthcare will impact the change management. As far as cost is concerned, the organization has to consider the possibility of the overall cost reduction initiative impacting the quality. The tradeoff approach can result in a negative image of the organization. The costs can also be reduced to some extent (Wellman, Jeffries and Hagan, 2016). This means that the organization may be focused on change touching on cost, but if it exceeds a certain limit in the cost reduction imitative, it will end up losing the gains made in other factors.
Customer satisfaction is a construct of both cost quality, speed,and dependability of healthcare provision (Al-Abri and Al-Balushi, 2014). It is difficult for any organization to meet all satisfiers for an organization. The ideal organization will be able to do so. However, there are many variables at work as far as customer satisfaction is concerned.
Continuous improvement is an integral part of change management. However, it is a strategic aspect. The senior management has to be ready to commit the funds for continuous improvement based on the feedback from actual workers in the different departments. Competing interests often relegate continuous improvement to the background such that change is only effected too late as opposed to being created in an anticipatory manner.
Change management is informed by various factors. As far as change management is concerned, there are four factors that ought to be considered (Bohmer, 2016). These factors are speed, dependability, quality as well as cost. All of these factors ought to be improved in a simultaneous manner since the focus on one tends to affect the other negatively. In as much as the conventional way thinking as far as change management has been leaning more towards the improvement of all factors in the same time, there has been a lot of trade-off in the healthcare provision.
Healthcare organizations have been focusing more on quality as a measure of improvement or change in their operations. The focus on quality is ideal in that quality can be the determinant of the ranking of the hospital in the end. However, quality is expensive to effect. Focusing on the overall improvement on quality could be ideal in that an organization will be capable of meeting the needs of the patients.
Pure focus on quality may result in high level of dissatisfaction. This is due to the aspect that quality is largely subjective. What can be termed as a quality initiative in one patient engagement incidence may not be considered the same. Therefore, the organization will have to focus on the order qualifies. These are the minimum requirements that a hospital ought to provide. The order winners can prove to be challenging. Most of the order qualifiers are dependent on the patients (Langabeer and Helton, 2015). It is almost impossible to meet the need of all patients at the same time. With this factor in mind, an ideal organization will be focusing more on the training of the care providers such that they can adjust their care provision focus to suit the needs of the patients (Jaber, 2016). However, even with this focus, the patients may end up dissatisfied since there is a myriad of satisfiers under this categorization.
The cost aspect is also a major challenge as far as healthcare change is concerned. Some of the changes in an organization will cost the company more to effect. These changes could be ideal, but the budgetary constraints could limit the effecting of such changes. In most cases, a focus on change can result in the overburdening of the patients. This will affect the preference of the healthcare organization. In the end, the best approach will be a balancing act.
Customer satisfaction is largely vague. The customers can be satisfied by different things. However the main satisfiers which are the patient outcomes can be attained (Boyce, Browne and Greenhalgh, J., 2014). However, the additional or peripheral services can determine if the customers are satisfied. All of the peripheral services are often too much to attain. In the end, the ideal way to attain these satisfiers is expensive and customized. Customized care could be appealing to the patients, but it does not necessarily result in the best operating plan for the organization. Hence, a tradeoff will have to be made at the end.
Continuous improvement is the ideal way of ensuring that there is effective change management in the organization. However, some of the organizations tend to focus more factors in addition to the continuous improvement. This is a strategic focus for any organization. It also has to be factored into the organizational culture (Borkowski, 2015). In the event that there is no focus on continuous improvement, the organization will have to consider it. This calls for dedication from the top management and a change of the overall organizational culture.
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