Thursday, April 8, 2010

Active Versus Proactive Operations

All of us hospital administrators have to face customer/patient complaints almost on a daily basis.

In best of our abilities the operational planning is done to ensure that the customer leaves the premises satisfied, however that’s a wishful thinking.

I am yet to design a plan which delivers 100% customer satisfaction.

However I have already moved on to the aspect of 'proactive' operational planning as opposed to the 'active' coordination which we do normally to ensure the time oriented end result.


To cite an example:


1. Discharge Process:

Almost every hospital has a similar discharge process:

Doctors write the discharge note, which follows a series of events (which if patient comes to know of he would probably no feel dissatisfied).

After the discharge note is written, the discharge summary is prepared, unused medicines are returned, additional prescriptions are indented, missing reports are collated, billing service postings are validated and so on.


Any bottleneck above would be 'actively' corrected by persuasion & interdepartmental coordination.


However as almost every discharge request would accumulate for the day in a concentrated manner, the resources deployed always seem to be deficient in numbers as well as efficiency.


Our recent approach (I am sure other likeminded people may have already embarked on the same) has been (or striving to be) 'proactive' as follows:


'Predict' the discharges for the next day.

Ensure all necessary reports/return of medicines/indent of new medicines are made in advance.

Billing is almost ready.

Discharge summary is already prepared, except minor changes if may be required.

All necessary interdepartmental coordination & 'persuasion' now can happen any time of the day or middle of the night as and when the human resources available and not bogged down by 'peak' volume demands.


This would lead to a 'quick' discharge of the patient the next day.

Yes, there would be exceptions, change of orders, change of decision by doctor even patient, but a majority would be covered in the predictive proactive preparation and better customer satisfaction.


Dr Akash S Rajpal,
AGM Operations,
Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.
NABH Accredited Hospital.
ISO 9001:2000 Certified (DAR & NABCB accredited)
"IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award" Winning Hospital.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Ishneet KaurMay 3, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    I totally abide by you. as most of the treatment plans have SOPs. With the previous experience we can predict the date of discharge. During the course of treatment we can update this date which can be circulated to all co-ordinating departments eg- F&B, Billing, radiology etc.this will save a lot of time and the departments would have already completed the majority of work. eg- it takes much more time to prepare the total bill of a patient for 1 day rather than 10 days of his stay.