This paper provides a brief but comprehensive analysis of SEHA- Abu Dhabi Health Services Company by looking at various critical elements including its competitive advantage, e-commerce policy, and relationships between the organizations and its suppliers and customers.
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A review of the recently implemented IT infrastructure portrays SEHA as a globally competent healthcare provider, but its juvenility leaves room for a few recommendations to attain international status and other objectives.
SEHA – Abu Dhabi Health Services Company is a public health provider based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, UAE. It ranks number one in the provision of integrated healthcare services and has “12 hospitals (2644 beds), 62 ambulatory clinics, and 2 blood banks” (SEHA, 2012).
In March this year, the UAE government signed an agreement with SEHA that shall facilitate in the creation of 14 new hospitals. Additionally, SEHA oversees the training and postgraduate education of physicians (interns or fellows) and subject to the aforementioned agreement; it is awaiting accreditation of its educational institution in November this year.
Organizational structure: 3 levels of management
Board of directors
- Internal audit office
- Managing directors office
Chief executive officer (CEO)
- CEO Office
- Strategy Performance and Management
|Finance Division||Information Technology (IT) Division||Clinical Affairs Division||Operation Management Division||Facility Construction Division||Corporate Services & support Division|
- SEHA looks forward to establishing itself as the Abu Dhabi market leader in the provision of integrated high quality health care services
- It has every intention of laying a solid foundation for Research & Development and education within its own ranks, i.e. internally
- Packaging SEHA as the ideal workplace and winning employee favor and loyalty
- It intends to attract both local and international investors as well as strategic partners with whom it can expand its effect globally
- Ensuring patient safety and earning patient trust in its healthcare services
- Establish and reposition ambulatory care services- mobile or decentralized clinics off base that can cater for a wider population
- To ensure that its healthcare services are provided effectively and efficiently, it envisages the active management of financial operations
- Active implementation of Emiritization initiatives with the goal of increasing the number of well-trained emirates engaged by and working under SEHA (SEHA, 2012)
Competitive Advantages and Porter’s Five Competitive Forces
Concentration ratio as one of the measurement criterion of industry concentration indications provided by census shows the top four firms that dominate a particular market. Healthcare is rather competitive especially due to the attempt at standardization by national (public) and private insurers (Porter, 1998).
However, in the past decade, SEHA has ranked number one in the Abu Dhabi polls as the largest integrated public health care provider, with 12 hospitals, 62 clinics, and 2 blood banks; however, the private sector is quickly catching up.
Presently, the private sector has captured 45 per cent of the healthcare provision sector and the pay advanced to doctors is more attractive (Ferrier, 2012). SEHA is constantly suffering a shortage of physicians who naturally prefer higher pay.
Threat of substitutes
In the healthcare system, this threat is insignificant unless viewed under the lens of generic drugs. As such, SEHA is safe, as it does not specialize in pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that since it is a public health provider, the services it renders are relatively cheaper than its private sector counterparts are, and thus it has an advantage.
The healthcare buyers are weak in that they are largely fragmented and none has concentrated power. Therefore, it is difficult for them to create a monopoly (Porter, 1998). However, due to the available competition from the private sector, SEHA is constantly upgrading its services to achieve patient satisfaction.
This area is a real problem for SEHA because the suppliers have a credible forward integration threat that they can push to get buyers like SEHA to divulge some of their profits in the form of raw materials like pharmaceuticals as well as labor. P
hysicians’ salaries have increased over the last few years and continue to do so as a shortage of specialists continues to plague the UAE. The causes of this shortage include a preference of the private sector, shortage of non-Emeritus physicians, and the duration of accreditation after the acceptance of an offer-up to six months.
Threat of new entrants and entry barriers
The healthcare industry is a free market and such there is always the possibility of new entrants. In the UAE, this possibility is even more pronounced as the government is encouraging Emiratis to enter the industry and reduce the dependence on other nations’ specialists (Hamid, 2012).
Consequently, the salaries are higher than in other professions such as in oil production (Ismail, 2012). However, SEHA is partly protected from the ramifications of the existing industries in such a scenario because the government regulates services.
IT infrastructure and Database
SEHA adopted an Oracle Enterprises Resources Planning (ERP) portal a couple of years back to digitize its operations and enhance its accessibility and effectiveness.
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Through the Evolutionary Systems (Evosys), an Oracle supplier, the 8-month project was completed in record time, which gave way to a paperless system (SEHA, 2012). Presently, all the affiliate facilities (12 hospitals, 62 ambulatory clinics, and 2 blood banks) are accessible on one database run at the headquarters in the Injazat Data Center.
Supply chain management
The portal is very elemental in fostering the relationship between SEHA and its suppliers. It includes a tab through which tenders are broadcast and accepted by the organization, which is economically viable as it represents a vertical system of transactions that is executed directly between SEHA and the suppliers.
In effect, it cuts out the intermediaries and this move reduces the costs of procurement as well as increasing the efficiency of supply.
Customer relationship management
SEHA has provided a simplistic customer care portal that allows customer feedback from patients, their families, suppliers, and the resident community to offer complaints or suggestions. It has also put in place a customer care office to deal with all this feedback and report to the source on the outcomes of their contributions.
Additionally, it has set up a walk in office at Das Tower, 14th Floor, Sultan Bin Zayed Street (32nd St) Corniche, Khalidiya, open from 7am to 11pm Sunday through Thursday (SEHA, 2012). Alternatively, there is a physical address available at the website for those that would prefer to write via post office. SEHA understands how invaluable customer satisfaction is for the prosperity of the organization.
E commerce in general
With the new portal in place, SEHA has definitively embraced the digital era. The IT Department is presently working on availing pharmaceuticals for online purchase and delivery upon issuance of a subscription. Moreover, one can also get a diagnosis online and additional medical advice at a fee (SEHA, 2012).
The psychiatric department is already established online and counseling sessions are available online for long-distance patients. However, since this phase is just the budding stage of the technological revolution at SEHA, matters of cybercrime are yet to be dealt with and resolved when they come up.
Due to the sensitive nature of doctor-patient confidentiality, registration for online services is restricted to manual forms at the nearest ambulatory clinics.
SEHA information system is in dire need of protection from the threat of cyber crime. As hackers and other online predators continue to prowl the web-sphere seeking vulnerable targets, SEHA is an invaluable system because it represents a new category of victims, viz. those with an Arab background.
Therefore, due to UAE’s affiliation with oil and terrorist allegations, many users are in jeopardy of losing valuable information and even identity theft that may have grievous repercussions. It follows that SEHA would be wise to shield itself from such intrusions by taking proactive measures.
Secondly, SEHA seeks to enter the international market in its expansion endeavors. However, presently, it is customized to satisfy an Arabic populace and it will have to diversify its services further in order to fit into the global canvas it seeks to occupy.
For instance, the working days are presently limited to Thursdays through Sundays leaving out Friday and Saturday. Arguably, most of its patients are Islamic; however, it would be necessary to diversify in order to cater for the needs of non-Muslim patients.
SEHA is a fast-growing integrated healthcare provider with a great potential for improvement especially due to the government backing it receives from congress. Over the past decade, it has successfully achieved most of the objectives it set out to accomplish from the onset, but it is yet to achieve international status.
Additionally, it should set up proactive measures to protect the sensitive data bequeathed under its custody by patients and other individuals and this should inform part of its customer relationship management initiatives.
Ferrier, S. (2012). Doctors’ salaries to jump as competition heats up. The National United Arab Emirates, Retrieved from <https://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/fourteen-new-healthcare-facilities-approved-in-abu-dhabi-1.398918#full>
Hamid, J. (2012). Abu Dhabi: The Question of Health Developments. Journal of Integrated Healthcare , 16, 345-6.
Ismail, M. (2012). Fourteen new healthcare facilities approved in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Health Review , 23, 298-99.
Porter, M. (1998). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
SEHA. (2012). Welcome to SEHA – Abu Dhabi Health Services. Web.