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Gloucestershire Hospitals: Operations Management Case Study


Location, Layouts, and Process Types

The healthcare trust Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS [GHNHS] (2015) is a national healthcare group that operates in Gloucestershire, UK, limiting its location options. However, the layout of GHNHS (2015) facilities can be modified to a greater extent. As stated by Bamford and Forrester (2010), healthcare companies are likely to use mixed layouts that depend on the specifics of a unit. The majority of departments, for example, can be regarded as processes, and they have the corresponding layouts where the transformation of resources is a priority. However, operating rooms have to be laid out as fixed since their patients need to remain stationary. Similarly, since GHNHS (2015) consists of general hospitals, it can have different types of processes. Thus, operating rooms can be regarded as job systems, which corresponds to them having fixed layouts (Bamford & Forrester 2010). However, laboratories are typically designed as flow systems.

Product and Process Design, Supply Chain, and Quality

GHNHS (2015, pp. 14) offers multiple healthcare services, and it pays close attention to their quality by continually reviewing and improving related processes. GHNHS (2015, p. 20) is also interested in establishing control over the quality of its supplies, which it does by developing relationships with a limited number of trustworthy suppliers. The supply chain design is crucial to a company’s success (Hasani, Zegordi & Nikbakhsh 2012), which can explain this caution. Apart from that, GHNHS (2015, p. 26) works to improve the cost efficiency of its buying habits.

In its operations plan, GHNHS (2015, p. 17) specifically discusses workforce supply, which it regards as its most important resource. The capacity management, which can be defined as the management of the production ability (Bamford & Forrester 2010), is also closely connected to the workforce of GHNHS (2015) since the trust searches to improve its productivity by ensuring the attraction, retention, and extensive training of specialists.

Business Improvements, Competitiveness, and Sustainability

The aim of process design is to achieve the maximum efficiency of processes as perceived by the management of the company (Bamford & Forrester 2010). In the rapidly developing field of healthcare, processes tend to require redesign or reengineering (Musa & Othman 2016), which aim to radically change the process in a meaningful way that improves the company’s performance (Bamford & Forrester 2010). Without these improvements, a healthcare business is bound to fail in its attempts to provide high-quality healthcare. Naturally, the competition for GHNHS (2015) is not very acute due to its governmental status, but hospitals are expected to compete with themselves to continually improve care (Matthias & Brown 2016).

Moreover, the healthcare sector is strongly pressed to become more effective, efficient and less costly, which can also be achieved through process reengineering (Musa & Othman 2016). Therefore, effective business improvements are vital rather than just valuable for GHNHS (2015), which the trust understands. For instance, GHNHS (2015, p. 17) pays close attention to its workforce management and has a program that is meant to search for redesign opportunities in the field of administration. Also, the trust has a Smartcare program that is aimed at the facilitation of the implementation and improvement of electronic health records and other smart care applications into the processes of GHNHS (2015, pp. 13-14). To sum up, GHNHS (2015) understands the importance of process design and redesign and employs them to improve its sustainability and competitiveness.

Reference List

Bamford, D & Forrester, P 2010, Essential guide to operations management: concepts and case notes, 1st ed, Wiley, London.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS 2015, Operational plan 2016/17, Web.

Hasani, A, Zegordi, S & Nikbakhsh, E 2012, ‘Robust closed-loop supply chain network design for perishable goods in agile manufacturing under uncertainty’, International Journal of Production Research, vol. 50, no. 16, pp. 4649-4669.

Matthias, O & Brown, S 2016, ‘Implementing operations strategy through Lean processes within health care’, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 36, no. 11, pp. 1435-1457.

Musa, M & Othman, M 2016, ‘Business Process Reengineering in Healthcare: Literature Review on the Methodologies and Approaches’, Review of European Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 20.

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