The purpose of healthcare is unarguably to offer quality care to the people visiting the facility,which is undoubtedly the primary role.But, behind the entire healthcare setup are administrative functions that keep it operational and thriving. Ultimately, quality management plays an essential role in healthcare as it would do in any other sector. The only difference is that they have to be utterly vigilant about their service provision/procedures because people’s lives depend on their medical services. Inefficiencies in the administration of a healthcare facility are often the root cause of worsening patient outcomes, higher costs, and compromised quality of healthcare service provision.
Devising a thorough plan and having a set of winning strategies has become necessary for all healthcare facilities without any distinction. So, here is a list of strategies to improve the administrative functions of a healthcare facility.
Table of Contents
Build a qualified administrative team
Management means working and dealing with people, but it also implies getting the work done by others. Thus, it’s imperative to have qualified staff in your healthcare facility. Your administrative team should at least hold a master’s degree in the relevant field with a background of working in hospital administration. Long gone are days when a bachelor’s degree would suffice to achieve excellence in healthcare administration.
So, to develop a qualified team, many hospitals sponsor higher education for their high-performing employees. Besides, training the existing employee base is more viable than hiring and training new workers. A master’sin health administration is an excellent degree for administrative workers,given the essential knowledge and skills it imparts. You can urge your employees to enroll in an online MHA to master the latest tactics, techniques, and strategies a long side working simultaneously. It prepares candidates to take up leadership and administrative roles in a broader spectrum. eLearning is an excellent option for professionals seeking higher education credentials while carrying out their job responsibilities.
Set realistic goals and quantifiable measures
An often-cited reason for failure to manage administrative tasks is the lack of clear and realistic goals to steer the organization forward. Developing long and short-term organizational goals is the key to successfully managing any setup, let alone a medical facility. The objectives should not be limited to making profits but should focus on improving the quality of patient care. Making optimal patient care a priority is the only way to sustain a medical facility in the long run.
The goals should be realistic and achievable. For instance, deciding that the management will double the revenue by next year might be less practical and vague for a new hospital. Instead, the goals should be measurable. Rather than doubling the income, it might be feasible to state that the healthcare facility will have 10% more beds installed to cater to more patients by next year. This goal is more realistic, clear, and achievable for a new facility.
Develop metrics to measure the performance
You can only measure the performance of your facility if you have a list of standards to compare it with from time to time. For instance, the list of metrics to judge your organizational performance may include the average waiting time, patient-to-doctor ratio, average hospital stay, medical equipment utilization, patient satisfaction/feedback, canceled visits, and much more.
With this list of standards, you can measure the organizational performance of your staff and the hospital to identify problems in service delivery.
Make your staff accountable
Accountability is integral to improve the performance of personnel in any department of a hospital. Once the workers know the facility is monitoring their work with a well-placed appraisal system daily, monthly, and weekly,their input is bound to improve.
Daily and weekly accountability can take place by developing teams with team heads who report to their supervisors.This hierarchical relationship can ensure a systematic flow of information and completion of tasks promptly.It will provide workers the autonomy to manage their duties and responsibilities, given the need to ensure accountability and transparency.
Make use of cloud technologies to integrate your data
The use of technology is indispensable in any industry these days. To improve the administrative functions of the hospital, the management team should incorporate the use of cloud technologies to integrate their data. This way, the required data will be readily available to all involved in administering the healthcare facility.
Thus, leveragingthe power of cloud technologies also improves service provision efficiency. It allows streamlining hospital operations, facilitating the convergence of organizational goals, and eliminating discrepancies.
Empower your front line staff
Today no healthcare facility can operate with a centralized system. There are often issues at the lower level that require prompt action without giving enough time to consult the top management in the hierarchy. If the top management wishes to improve the hospital administration, they will have to empower their front line staff. In other words, they need to give in to the management-by-process system.
This strategy will help the lower-level management staff control, tackle, and remain responsible for their actions. However, giving autonomy does not imply leaving them unchecked;supervisors should guide them to deliver their best services. The central tenant to enforce a management-by-process system is the free flow of information and department-level goals to all involved. When staff members are taken on board while making decisions, it improves performance as they feel acknowledged and respected.
Coordinate with patient advocates
A viable way to boost a hospital’s administrative functions and ultimately ensure optimal patient care is by working with people closer to the root of the issues. Indeed, we are referring to patient advocates. The role of patient advocates is to ensure patients are receiving the best care in a hospital. Thus, they are the ones who can determine stated and unstated patient issues and challenges.
Once you know the problem, it becomes easy to move towards eliminating the issues. Therefore, working with patient advocates can help bring changes in the dispensation of the administrative function for the overall betterment of the facility.
The quality of healthcare services in a medical facility highly depends on the fulfillment of administrative roles. The management of a hospital can make or break it as an organizational entity. So, it is essential to ensure the administration has all the right strategies and tactics to achieve its goals.
Improvements in the healthcare administrative functions are integral to the overall service delivery of a medical facility. The performance indicators such as patient wait-time, frequency of recurrent patients, and patient referrals are indicators of the administrative quality of a hospital. It is the responsibility of hospital management to ensure that they have qualified administrative staff, a system to make their workers accountable, and the goals are properly communicated. Only then can they improve the administrative functions of a healthcare facility.