As a healthcare professional who intends to start a new hospital, I am interested in the topic of operations management (OM), even though I had a rather rudimentary understanding of the concept before this course. Throughout it, I have viewed a couple of perspectives on OM and its elements, which provided me with insights about the topic and related professions. I can conclude that OM is indeed critical for sustainability, including organizational and environmental ones (Elg & Hultman 2011; Kara, Ibbotson & Kayis 2014), and competition (Chiarini & Vagnoni 2014), which seems to be a consistent result of the continuous struggle for productivity, quality, speed, and efficiency that OM offers (Bamford & Forrester 2010).
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OM expands in practice and theory, which incorporates multiple models, best practices, and techniques, including, for example, lean production, total quality control, or world-class manufacturing (Chiarini & Vagnoni 2014). OM also appears to be a very extensive topic, which makes it possible to further investigate it, especially in the field that is relevant to my profession: healthcare. Nowadays, it is clear that OM can be applied to multiple areas of the field.
For example, the Handbook of healthcare operations management contains twenty recent articles that provide an overview of the possible applications of OM to healthcare challenges, including inpatient and outpatient services and supply chain management as well as public health and humanitarian logistics (Denton, 2013). Some of these topics are discussed in the course’s readings, including supply and service development (Elg & Hultman 2011; Kara, Ibbotson & Kayis 2014), but for my professional growth, it may be more beneficial to explore the healthcare perspective, which is why I intend to study the handbook.
OM is useful for healthcare due to its key elements and aims, which have been evolving over the past decades. Dobrzykowski et al. (2014, pp. 514-515) suggest that the modern understanding of OM as a customization-oriented process that requires the collaboration of multiple actors, who strategically contribute to value creation, fits the health care context very well. The authors also discuss the issues of funding, quality, and performance, all of which promote the interest in healthcare OM that is expected to resolve these problems.
Their expectations can be proven by the literature of this course, which shows that ensuring quality, as well as planning and controlling, are essential components of OM (Bamford & Forrester 2010). Due to the focus on these elements, Om had been shown to promote sustainability, efficiency (Elg & Hultman 2011; Kara, Ibbotson & Kayis 2014), and quality (Bamford & Forrester 2010; Chiarini & Vagnoni 2014).
The research of healthcare OM is expanding. Dobrzykowski et al. (2014) carry out a literature analysis of relevant papers and show that the study of OM in healthcare has become a trend since 1995 with the key themes of strategic service OM and the topics of planning and controlling the services.
According to Bamford and Forrester (2010), these issues are indeed most important for OM. Due to being a literature review, the paper by Dobrzykowski et al. (2014) offers a collection of works on OM in healthcare that includes both recent and historically significant ones. I plan to read at least a portion of the mentioned literature to gain a better understanding of the development of the view on OM in healthcare, and I will pay particular attention to recent information since it can be of direct use for my future professional development.
Concerning my personal and professional development, I proceed to take advantage of my opportunities by studying the materials of the course and extra information. This action also helps me to gradually demolish the weakness of insufficient knowledge. Finally, the participation in the course allows me to practice key skills like time management and research, which is always beneficial for me as a person and a professional. To sum up, I proceed to use my opportunities and strengths to ensure my resistance against threats and weaknesses, which should help me to achieve my personal and professional goals.
Bamford, DR & Forrester, PL 2010, Essential guide to operations management: concepts and case notes, Wiley, London.
Chiarini, A & Vagnoni, E 2014, ‘World-class manufacturing by Fiat. Comparison with Toyota Production System from a Strategic Management, Management Accounting, Operations Management and Performance Measurement dimension’, International Journal of Production Research, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 590-606.
Denton, B (ed.) 2013, Handbook of healthcare operations management, Springer, New York.
Dobrzykowski, D, Saboori, V, Hong, P & Kim, S 2014, ‘A structured analysis of operations and supply chain management research in healthcare (1982–2011)’, International Journal of Production Economics, vol. 147, pp. 514-530.
Elg, U & Hultman, J 2011, ‘Retailers’ management of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their supplier relationships – does practice follow best practice?’, The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 445-460.
Kara, S, Ibbotson, S & Kayis, B 2014, ‘Sustainable product development in practice: an international survey’, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 848-872.