This is the second message in a series I'm writing about our new strategy, Fast Forward. Last week I talked about the first perspective or view point in our strategy – the patient's point of view. Today I'd like to discuss the second, which is to ask ourselves this question:
"From an internal process perspective, what must we do to deliver on our strategy?"
What Do I Mean By Internal Process?
Well, let's use an example. When a patient is invited to attend an outpatient appointment, there is a series of tasks that we must carry out, flawlessly if we can, which will mean the patient comes to the hospital on the right day, to see the right people and have the right tests if necessary. All of these tasks will enable the doctor and the patient to discuss what treatment is appropriate for them.
This is one example of an internal process – organising and delivering an efficient, outpatient appointment system.
There are many more. Another example is the series of tasks we must carry out in a timely way to ensure that a patient who needs to be admitted to hospital can be. This is a very complicated process, involving not only the steps necessary to decide if the patients does need to be admitted, the process of identifying the right bed and organising the admission, and then the physical steps that have to be taken to get that patient to the ward.
We know that sometimes, as a hospital, we find this process hard to deliver as we or the patients would like. There can be delays as we wait for patients who are already in hospital to vacate a bed and go home. There are times when there are long delays.
When looked at from this perspective, what we are asking ourselves is that we pay attention to the responsibility we have to design and re-design the way we work. We must ensure the sequence of tasks we have to carry out is as smooth and as effeicient as we can make them.
Over the next few months we will be taking a close look at our most important processes so that we can test our understanding of them, and then look for ways to improve them.
Patients don't know about these processes or the complexity we have to manage in order that they work as they should. That's our job and it's our responsibility to ensure that patients don't run into processes that don't work as well as possible.
Over the last few years, Al Wakra has developed its model for improvement. Now the time has come for us to start to really apply what we know about improvement and begin to re-design and re-think how we organise and deliver our processes.
Hospitals that commit themselves to doing this are the hospitals which report the highest levels of patient satisfaction. They are among the safest hospitals in the world, because they have designed care processes that do the job just right.
If you work in a clinical area, ask yourself if there are any processes that you use which don't always work as you would like. Let's start a conversation about these processes so that we can learn about what needs to be improved.
If you work in a non-clinical area, this question is just as important. Keeping the hospital functioning properly enables the clinical staff to see patients and provide care and treatment.
Why not send me an email if you can identify a process that you think could be improved? I'd be really interested to hear from you.
For now though I'll close by wishing good health and happiness for you and your family for the week ahead.