Theory- Case Study
With the merging of two hospitals, it is essential for the new unit formed to come up with strategies that will make the provision of services to patients as seamless as possible. As the HR manager, I am in charge of the employees working at the hospital, including medical staff and other supporting staff. All the units in the hospital must collaborate to increase the effectiveness of the hospital operations. Before the merger, the five units from hospitals A and B had different procedures, and now that they have merged, the hospital must come up with a new strategy that streamlines operations. I recommend that the hospital takes a service-oriented approach, and this will affect the technology and design of the hospital, and it will also ensure high interdependence among departments in the hospital.
The hospital should take a service-oriented approach because it is more focused on the provision of services to patients in need of medical attention. The healthcare industry as a whole is categorized under the service industry. The main reason why I have made the selection of service orientation is that the hospital belongs in the healthcare industry, which is service industry in general. The core business of a hospital is treating patients who suffer from different ailments, and this is a service. The doctors and other members of staff offer consultation services to the patients and then recommend the necessary course of treatment. The products offered in the hospital are intangible, and so is consumption. Patients do not have some quantifiable measure on which they can judge the service provided, but they can tell that they feel better and this reflects the quality of care in the hospital. Taking a service-oriented approach will allow the hospital to provide the best care for the patients that visit it. One of the reasons for this is that it will employ people with high levels of skill, which is necessary for a hospital. Service orientation will also concentrate on human contact which is the whole point of a hospital; patients want to be able to explain their problems to a doctor who then interprets the information and finds out more (Khatri 48). Other members of staff, such as nurses and technicians, guide patients on what to do and generally make them comfortable in the process of getting treatment, which can be quite challenging for some people. Service orientation will, therefore, allow the new hospital unit to come up with the most efficient processes to help it achieve its primary goals.
The kind of technology that the hospital should adopt based on service orientation is core technology. The type of technology to be adopted determines the organizational structure and efficiency. The core technology is about transforming the process to provide services to the patients. The primary goal of the hospital is to provide medical services to patients, and the technology adopted will relate to this core mission. Despite the fact that hospitals A and B used to be different, they both had the same mission. After the merger, the processes of the new unit must then be streamlined so that any similar services are merged to avoid inefficiency and multiplication of services.
Some of the factors that define service technology are intangible output which is true in this case, a patient who gets treated feels better, but no one can touch or quantify this. Secondly, production and consumption take place simultaneously. The doctor or other medical staff are the producers in this case, while the patient is the consumer. In the consultation room, for example, a conversation and treatment between doctor and patient show simultaneous production and consumption. The process of providing services to patients in the hospital is both labor and knowledge-intensive. Before a person is qualified to work as a member of the medical staff in a hospital, they have to undergo years of training to make sure that they are well-versed in how to treat patients. Handling patients is a serious matter because the course of treatment determines if they get better or worse. Human interaction and customer service is a core part of service-oriented organizations. Patients have to interact with doctors and other members of staff one on one. While technology has led to various improvements in the provision of healthcare, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff still have the biggest responsibility in dealing with the patients (Martin 39). Rapid response time is required because this might be the determining factor as to whether a patient lives or dies. The patients perceive the quality of treatment, although this is hard to measure.
The structural design of the hospital is quite important. One of the characteristics of a service organization is that it is not necessarily large. The new hospital will be of average size, meaning that management will not be too difficult. The hospital is also divided into departments to make management easier and decentralized. A service organization such as a hospital also requires technical core employees who will be close to the customer. Examples of these professional core employees are nurses, doctors, technicians, and others. The customers of the services organization, who in this case happen to be patients, interact directly with the technical staff. In the new hospital, this will be true because patients usually meet with doctors and nurses who will give a diagnosis and suggest the best course of treatment. The customer and the technical employees have to be close to each other. One on one contact is crucial because it allows the technical staff to judge the state of the patient (Anderson & Warkov 26). When consulting with a patient, the nurse or doctor can be able to make additional judgments and inferences based on what the patient says and also what they don’t say. For example, the doctor may be able to notice symptoms such as tremors, sweating. The patient will then move to other technical employees; for example, if a person has a fractured leg, they may need an MRI which is operated by the relevant technical employees.
In addition to this, the employees have to be highly skilled, and to do this they usually have years of training in specialized institutions before getting a job as part of the medical staff at the hospital. Finally, employees must posse’s necessary knowledge, awareness, and interpersonal skills. For those members of staff who work directly with patients, they must have the required social skills to handle different types of people. Sometimes treating patients is not just about the symptoms they describe; the member of staff must also be able to interpret and bring up the unsaid issues in a way that makes the patient comfortable. At times, patients may also be hiding relevant information that makes treatment difficult, and the staff has to find a way to extract this information from them.
Some of the main characteristics of the design of the hospital will be formalization, centralization, communication, and coordination, as well as high level of skills among the employees. Because the hospital was previously made up of two units, there is a need for formalization in the new unit. The different departments must work together to provide the best care for patients. Some of the departments in the previous units will have to be merged to avoid the multiplicity of roles and improve efficiency (Martin, 61). When this has been done, the newly formed hospital will need to outline its core mission and goals and have all the employees read through these. One of the core objectives of the hospital; is to provide quality care at affordable costs for all patients, and members of staff need to know how they contribute to this. Centralization will affect the management of the hospital and hierarchy. The previous units of the hospital each come with their different styles and management teams, and to ensure seamless operations, these must be centralized. For example, the HR departments of the two will come together because the new hospital is a new company on its own. There needs to be centrality of administration so that all employees know who they answer to. This will also enhance coordination and communication. The different departments must work together in the most effective and productive manner possible.
The hospital should have a high level of interdependence because the process of providing medical care to patients happens across different departments and levels in the hospital. In coordinating interdependence, the hospital must have basic rules and laws in place, and the employees must be aware of these. There should also be planning, such as scheduling regular meetings, for example once or twice every week. In addition to this, there have to be some areas of mutual adjustment such as unscheduled meetings where employees make time to address any urgent issues that cannot wait.
A high level of interdependence is necessary in a hospital setting because caring for patients involves the collaboration of different people (Ginter et al 36). When a patient walks into the hospital, they meet with triage nurses who then send them to a general practitioner. Here, the patient explains their problems, and if necessary, the patient is referred to a specialist. In case the patient needs additional tests such as blood and urine, or MRI, CAT, and other scans, they are sent to the relevant departments who then provide the results of the diagnostic tests. From there, the patient can be sent to the pharmacy to collect prescribed medications. Within one hospital visit, the patient ends up interacting with various departments in the hospital. For the process to be as seamless as possible, there must be high levels of interdependence. Ho single department can work on its own, and in case of a breakdown in the interdependence chain, patient care is compromised. The positives associated with this system of high interdependence is that it promotes the quality of care that patients get in the hospital because the different departments work together to find the cause of illness and the best course of treatment. High level of interdependence can also present a challenge when one department faces a problem, and the whole chain breaks down.
In conclusion, with the merging of the two hospital units, there needs to be a comprehensive strategy that includes orientation, technology, design, and interdependence. The hospital takes a service-orientated approach because its core mission is the provision of healthcare services to patients. Based on this orientation, the hospital then applies core technology, which relates to the mission of the hospital. Some of the structural design elements include highly skilled employees, direct interaction, technical core employees, and decentralized decision making where staff report to department heads. A high level of interdependence in the hospital setting will improve the quality of care because different departments have different core functions that together promote the provision of services to customers.
Anderson, Theodore R., and Seymour Warkov. “Organizational size and functional complexity: A study of administration in hospitals.” American Sociological Review (2001): 23-28.
Ginter, Peter M., W. Jack Duncan, and Linda E. Swayne. The strategic management of health care organizations. John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
Khatri, Naresh. “Building HR capability in health care organizations.” Health Care Management Review 31.1 (2006): 45-54.
Martin, Brian C. Strategic Planning in Healthcare: An Introduction for Health Professionals. Springer Publishing Company, 2018.