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7 Things That Can Help Your Hospital Run Better

Aug 17, 2007
The outbreak of epidemics coupled with the exodus of medical professionals skills make running a hospital a nightmare. The lack of funds to purchase essential equipment only adds to an already bad scenario. Add to this administrations with outdated notions about hospital management and you have an impending disaster.

In a quest to better run their hospitals, many hospital administrators have deployed six sigma process improvements and have started to show such good results that they have converted skeptics to believers. Running hospitals better requires a lot more effort than running a regular business. Here are 7 things that help you to run your hospital better:

1. Critical Illness Care: Facilitate treatment for critical illnesses like cardiac diseases, cancers, brain surgeries etc as these specialized treatments are not possible just anywhere. A good infrastructure, a team of specialized doctors and adequate support staff should be dedicated to these services. The general increase in the successful treatment of these cases should help promote your hospital.

2. Develop A Network Of Physicians: A professional partnership with a network of independent physicians gets you more referrals. Physicians refer their patients to known hospitals when necessary.

3. Good Inventory Of Essentials: Keep every emergency and non emergency essential like oxygen, blood of all groups, medicines and syringes available at all times. Not having to run around looking for essentials not only saves crucial time but also impresses patients and their relatives.

4. 24/7 Service Popularizes Your Hospital: You never know when you need emergency medical attention. A hospital, open 24 hrs and 7 days with all facilities available can save lives as well as gain goodwill. In-house surgeons and on-call surgeons should be able to jump into action in no time.

5. Reduce Process Times: Long process times like accident and ICU admission can prove fatal to patients. Reduction of the amount of paperwork necessary saves critical time. Dedicated, uncluttered pathways leading to operating rooms also saves a lot of time. Trained staff and personnel can handle things better than they always used to do. Computerized documents like case histories should be able to be accessed over a computer network. This saves time, costs and reduces staff fatigue, which can reduce burnout.

6. Separate Administration And Stores From Other Areas: It is crucial that the administration, stores and the front office are far removed from the critical areas where absolute silence is essential for recuperation of patients. A clean and serene environment will have a curative effect on the patients. Provide a separate entry, bypassing the main building, to this area for the use of patients and their loved ones.

7. Simplify Billing And Documentation: It removes the necessity to have additional staff to maintain a mountain of paperwork. Keep only those records required by regulations. Paperwork reduction also reduces the probability of mistakes occurring in billing and other patient documents.

North Carolina Baptist used Six Sigma process improvements to revolutionize cardiac care. By getting heart attack patients from the emergency room to the cardiac catheterization lab faster, they slashed 41 minutes off the hospital's mean time, and as a result saved lives.

The foundation for all these activities must be a rational thinking and questioning of every process and system as to their necessity, in addition to providing the best treatment to patients. As a hospital, if you aren't running lean and mean, everything else will fail miserably.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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