The paper explores methods that can be used to improve service delivery in a surgical ward facility through business process re-engineering. In order to understand the best strategies for improving efficiency in surgical wards, a case study was developed as part of the research approach, methodology and design. The study also considered factors that may minimise patient convenience in surgical ward (Khodambashi, 2013).
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The latter is often caused by unscheduled operations. However, scheduled operations may also lead to patients’ inconvenience especially if carried out in a less proper manner. From the findings, it is possible to identify a number of areas that need improvement in selected wards.
For instance, the number of sessions required to operate patients demanded a major improvement. This was replicated across several wards. The operation rooms also lacked adequate preparation before patients could be given attention. Surgical instruments for operations were yet another area that required additional attention. The best management choices for surgical wards were established through the discrete event simulation.
At the stage of gathering information, Delphi methodology was employed. It is interesting to note that this was a unique method not available in other sources of literature. This proved the originality of the research study. One of the profound strengths of the methodology adopted in the study was that it offered frameworks to develop standards that could be used in major clinical settings.
Recommendations and conclusions
Apart from the methods used to undertake the above study, there are still a number of recommendations that can be adopted to improve patient care delivery services in sensitive facilities such as surgical wards. Delivery models for patient care should be diversified as much as possible so that the needs of different patients are addressed substantially.
The workforce management practices in healthcare organisations should be examined critically so that the needs of patients are understood. For example, cost reduction measures in surgical wards should be a major consideration for healthcare institutions. If the cost of operation is not affordable for patients, satisfaction in care delivery can hardly be attained.
Surgical operations demand a lot of financial spending for both patients and healthcare institutions. Other challenges faced by healthcare institutions include increased patient demand, staff shortages, and increased financial pressure. This explains why providers often find it cumbersome to navigate viable operating models and re-engineering optimal processes.
These challenges are mainly faced by large healthcare systems that are eager to centralise their systems and consolidate or merge their processes. Hence, it is highly advisable for healthcare providers to develop workforce insight. Even in cases where there are inadequate operational standards for surgical wards, improved processes and workflows can indeed alleviate inevitable weaknesses. The most important labour management functions should be restructured in order to construct a sustainable framework.
Workforce management is a crucial undertaking for healthcare organisations that perform sensitive services such as surgical operations. Benchmark comparisons and gap analysis are two major methods that can be employed alongside the Delphi methodology to boost practices, guidelines and processes.
Several industries across the board utilise information technology in their daily practice. A case in point is medical knowledge analysis that assists in decision-making. Hence, substantial information science based on process control can be suitably applied in medical applications.
Technology-based systems that rely on information technology can be used to achieve set goals, reduce medical errors, enhance decision support systems, undertake report writing and create systematic entries (Bevilacqua, Ciarapica & Giacchetta, 2011)
From the Delphi research study on business process re-engineering, the system objectives were identified using the “As-Is” analysis. The latter was necessary in the process of setting up a proper analytical approach. The health sector can significantly benefit from the “As-Is” analytical tool. However, some scholars argue that the incremental approach is more reliable and effective than the “As-Is” analysis because it takes care of the capacity needs and ability of individual healthcare organisations.
Poor process modelling has led to high rate of failure in software products used in healthcare settings. The traditional process modelling methods face a major shortcoming in regards to a direct model feature that can be used to verify certain facts. When automatic analysis simulation is used, it eliminates the verification challenge posed by the conventional methods. The same method has been proposed and supported by scholars.
Moreover, verification and execution processes have also been made more successful by researchers through semantics assigned to personal computers. An interactive approach was once suggested by researchers. The unofficial model and regulations were reduced and then validated. Regardless of the interpretation used, both the correct and incorrect constructs are obtained. Hence, the Delphi process was used to overcome the operational challenges associated with the traditional models (Champy & Greenspun, 2010).
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Perhaps, it is vital to inquire and explore the importance of re-engineering in healthcare. As already discussed in the essay, healthcare organisations can hardly separate themselves from the ideals of information technology. Modern applications in healthcare (such as surgical operations) require articulate use of medical engineering in order to meet the needs of both caregivers and patients.
Bevilacqua, M., Ciarapica, F. & Giacchetta, E.G (2011). Business process re‐engineering in healthcare management: a case study. Business Process Management Journal 17 (1), 42 – 66.
Champy, J. & Greenspun, H. (2010). Reengineering Health Care: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.
Khodambashi, S. (2013). Business Process Re-Engineering Application in Healthcare in a relation to Health Information Systems. Procedia Technology 9 (1), 949 – 957.