Healthcare Project Management: Is It What The Doctor Ordered?

By CIOReview | Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Emergency lights were switched on in the board room of a healthcare organization. Suddenly there was all hustle and bustle. The topic on hand: figuring out how to work cost-effectively while providing new services and meeting new regulations. The organization’s CEO was ecstatic about his organization becoming more project-oriented than before as they had improved their ability to quickly select and implement projects. This would help their company to succeed and cancel or redirect others.

But the main reason for them to worry was new federal reforms which would mean that insurer would no longer be allowed to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. This meant that healthcare industry had to prepare for a more customer-centric marketplace and their means of business would change.

Healthcare industry has undergone rapid transmission in terms of technology, process, and methodology. While technology has developed the operational process of the healthcare industry, a change in process and methodology has made the customer experience even better. A new ‘technology’ that is disrupting healthcare now-a-days is Project Management. Using formal project management techniques hasn’t been the usual for healthcare institutions, but they have realized that development of skills is indeed necessary to stand out in competition. Interpersonal skills, project management skills or technology skills all can be elevated if the human resource is exposed to Project Management. Plus, this technique also makes a solid business case for any organization.

Healthcare and the digital revolution

The shift from buying a product to a brand promise, and shift from owning technology to accessing technology are the main challenges that an organization faces during a transition period. The value of the market has to be analyzed by the vendors as they no longer sell products but experiences, outcomes and insights.

Overtime the healthcare industry has realized that it is the technology they develop which matters, not the devices or algorithms they produce. This has led their path towards a digital revolution. More emphasis is now bestowed upon analytics and insights. These factors have been allowed by the healthcare industry to take over and run the business model. As R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst, founder, and chairman, Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research informs: “Pharma companies are starting realize that personalized medicine will create a new shift in how not only testing, but also consumption patterns, will change. The shift to digital business models presents a new opportunity for those organizations that can see the long game while addressing the brutal short-term shareholder requirements.”

Things to focus upon

Although project can be developed by an individual, project Management is not a sole-effort, a dedicated team has to be employed and involved. To manage a project successfully, healthcare organizations must make a checklist of certain things that needs to be focused upon, and employees who need to be informed.

Patient is the king

The most necessary consideration during the process of project development is a patient’s need. A particular health concern of a patient has to be prevented or improved. Organizations must go with the project management process, while keeping all the key technologies in mind. A patient can be better prescribed with the help of latest technologies

The caduceus’ role

The caduceus has been the symbol for U.S. government medical sector for long, and they have a big role to play in Healthcare Project Management. Healthcare projects such as electronic health record projects are often sponsored and initiated by the government. Also, the government has the responsibility to underline a set of guidelines and regulations necessary for other organizations to follow.

Estimation of revenues

The state of the insurance system is quite intricate which makes it difficult for the healthcare institutions to generate revenue. In addition, donations are many times the sole reason for prompting healthcare projects. This takes the revenue estimation process to a higher level of complexity.

From healthcare to health

There are many questions gushing into the mind of a patient, the moment they hear about a healthcare project concerning their health condition. Patients are concerned about the cost that would be incurred, the services they would get, and most importantly how private would be the data associated with their health condition. A healthcare institution must consider all these points before building a certain Project for a patient.

Quality and Cost

The quality of the services that a patient is provided with, matters a lot. The reputation of a healthcare institution is built upon the feedback, patients give. The healthcare institutions must also device ways to cut down the project cost. Too much cost may make patients think that whether or not they need that kind of service. Care quality and cost containment are the two hallmarks that a healthcare firm must consider.

The last drip

Project management for healthcare institutions is proving to be really what the doctors ordered. The process can be facilitated around the industry without any fundamental changes in their operations. The accomplished institutions and points associated with Project Management can be kept as it is while some would require just a cultural shift in education, roles of providers, relative emphasis of technology, and the patients. It must always be kept in mind that the patients play the key role in case of any project management. It is their health condition that would be dealt with, inside a generated healthcare project. The last drip for a healthcare firm would be to go with the technology flow and devise rules and regulations for carrying out and managing healthcare projects.