Operation Management

1. Why is it important for Arnold Palmer to get a patient’s assessment of health care quality? Does the patient have the expertise to judge the health care he/she receives? Arnold Palmer Hospital primarily focuses on providing quality health care to their patients; seeking feedback from patients helps the hospital in knowing customer’s expectations which is important in improving their services. If customer expectations are not met, the hospital should be thinking about the ways to improve their process/services.

Furthermore, a patient’s assessment enables them to improve performance and achieve better results. It also helps in providing the staff with the information they need to improve performance which would lead to better patient satisfaction. Keeping patients and their family satisfied is essential for the hospital’s success and growth. Poor customer service may result in negative word-of-mouth that the hospital wants to avoid. Patients today can judge better regarding their health care quality than anyone else. When patients are given quality service experience and provided with the detailed information on their health problems and the corresponding medical diagnosis and treatments they will be in a position to judge the health care he/she receives.

2. How would you build a culture of quality in an organization, such as Arnold Palmer Hospital? Arnold Palmer Hospital’s primary goal is to provide quality health care to their patients. To achieve this goal they have to ensure that patients get the best customer service in their hospital.

The following dimensions of quality should be applied to all the aspects of the services: Reliability: Creating a culture that radically reduces system failure and effectively respond when failures do occur is the goal of high reliability. The concept of reliability has to be used to make patient care better. It is used to achieve patient safety, quality, and efficiency goals. Responsiveness: Staff should be encouraged to be responsive to the patient needs, willingness and readiness to perform services. Respond and resolve quickly the patient needs or complaints.

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Care or Courtesy: The medical staff should be caring and courteous towards every patient. They should respect patients and their family and be considerate, polite and friendly. Understanding or Empathy: All the patients should be made to feel special and valued. The staff should be empathic and understanding towards every patient.

3. What techniques does Arnold Palmer Hospital practice in its drive for quality and continuous improvement? Pareto charts and flowcharts are used to give the hospital personnel a quick visual overview of what’s happening in-house versus internal goals and external national norms.

Pareto charts identify the few critical items as opposed to the many less important ones. Flowcharts graphically describe a process or system. Also, benchmarking is critical for understanding where opportunities exist for improvement. Further, administrators have recognized that quality is not just the responsibility of the senior management at Arnold Palmer Hospital; new employees are given extensive orientation on quality, customer satisfaction, and their role in continuous improvement.

This culture of employee empowerment gives the staff the freedom and authority to quickly respond when needs are to be addressed. In fact, employees are empowered to give gifts up to $200 to patients who complain about any hospital service, such as food, courtesy, responsiveness or cleanliness. One need was recognized to have a 24 hour call bed-side service to increase the hospital’s responsiveness to patient’s health care and other needs

4. Develop a fish-bone diagram illustrating the quality variables for a patient who just gave birth at Arnold Palmer Hospital (or any other hospital).

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