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Performance Improvement in Health Organization

Introduction

Today, the improvement of the organizational performance in a health care organization is crucial for the provision of patients with health care services of the high quality. At the same time, many health care organizations fail to find effective approaches to the improvement of their performance because they often ignore important issues that affect their organizational performance . In this regard, it is worth mentioning such issues as the cultural environment, in which health care organizations operate, the cultural background of employees, the communication within a health care organization, and others. In such a situation, a consistent improvement of the organizational performance of health care organization is possible only on the condition of the clear definition of strategic goals and objectives and elaboration of accurate steps toward the achievement of set organizational goals. In this regard, a health care organization should pay a particular attention to the quality of services provided for clients, the atmosphere and relationships within the organization, the communication within the organization, and the motivation of employees working in the organization that will allow the health care organization to improve consistently its organizational performance and to reach positive outcomes.

Strategic goals and objectives

In actuality, the strategic goals and objectives of a health care organization should take into consideration prospects of its further development and needs and expectations of both employees and clients. In this respect, one of the major goals of a contemporary health care organization is the improvement of the organizational performance, which includes multiple factors but leads to the overall customer satisfaction and the high quality of services being provided for customers.

In such a context, it is possible to define another strategic goal of the health care organization, which is the improvement of the organizational culture. At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the organizational culture affects consistently organizational performance. At the same time, today, organizational culture becomes more and more diverse because the modern society shifts toward multiculturalism. In such a situation, many health care organizations fail to respond adequately to the change in the cultural environment that provokes conflicts within organization and consistent deterioration of the organizational performance.

Furthermore, the health care organization should focus on the improvement of company-customer relations because the client satisfaction and the provision of health care services of the high quality should be the primary concern of the contemporary health care organization. In fact, the main goal of the health care organization is the provision of health care services of the high quality to protect customer health from numerous problems clients may be exposed to. In such a situation, company-customer relationships often play crucial part in the quality of health care services being delivered to patients because patients should be confident in the health care organization.

Finally, the health care organization should focus on the improvement of internal communication because the communication within the organization has a considerable impact on the organizational performance (Ekmekci & Turley 2008). To put it more precisely, health care professionals working within the organization have to work together that means that they need to have effective communication. Otherwise, their performance will be ineffective. Hence, the improvement of internal communication within the organization is one of the main strategic goals of the health care organization.

Steps required for implementing a process for improving organizational performance

Taking into consideration, the aforementioned goals, the health care organization should focus on their achievement. In this regard, it is possible point out that the health care organization should involve health care professionals working in the organization in the development of strategic goals. What is meant here is the fact that managers of the health care organization should involve health care professionals in the elaboration of strategic goals. For instance, managers of the health care organization can interview health care professionals working in the organization or they can conduct questionnaires to find out actual problems of the organization and set goals, which the organization has to achieve (Weber & Weber, 1994). In addition, the health care organization should conduct meetings in the course of which managers and employees can elaborate strategic goals of the organization. In such a way, the health care organization can increase the confidence of employees in their significance for the organization and, what is more important, the health care organization can gain the support of health care professionals because they participate in the elaboration of strategic goal, while their achievement is not only the organizational but also their personal goal for it was they, who participated in the elaboration of strategic goals.

Furthermore, managers of the health care organization should focus on communicating strategic goals and objectives of the organization to employees (Kotter, 2001). In this respect, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that employees working in the health care organizations should understand clearly what organizational goals are and where the organization is moving to. In other words, employees should understand what goals they have to achieve and what goals the organization pursues. Otherwise, their work will be pointless for them. Health care professionals will perceive their work as routine and they will be discouraged and unmotivated to work better. In this regard, managers of the health care organization should focus on the development of positive relations with employees (Cooke, Mills, and Kelley, 2005). What is meant here is the fact that health care professionals should maintain the regular communication with managers, who actually communicate goals, strategies and tools used by the organization to reach the set goals. The effective communication between managers and health care professionals is possible only on the condition of positive interpersonal relations. Otherwise, the risk of conflict between managers and employees is high. In contrast, positive, friendly interpersonal relations between managers and health care professionals help managers to communicate organizational goals accurately and employees will be eager to work on the achievement of the set goals.

To communicate strategic goals of the organization to health care professionals, the organization can focus on the introduction of new information technologies and telecommunication systems to improve the communication within the organization. In fact, the introduction of new information technologies and telecommunication systems can facilitate the communication within the organization consistently (Benfari, 1999). For instance, health care professionals and managers may not need to encounter each other face-to-face, instead, they can use intranet or other means of telecommunication to contact each other and to communicate, regardless of their location to the extent that they may be located not only in different area within the organization but they may be even in different cities. In fact, information technologies and telecommunication system close the distance between health care professionals and between managers and health care professionals that naturally facilitates communication between them.

In addition, information technologies and telecommunication systems can improve consistently the quality of health care services. In this regard, it is possible to recommend the wider implementation of electronic health records, which can facilitate the work of health care professionals and increase the effectiveness and quality of health care services. In actuality, electronic health records provide health care professionals with detailed information on the history of each patient, whereas the introduction of new information technologies and modern telecommunication systems facilitate the access of health care professionals to this information (Nicholson, 2001). On the other hand, ethical and security issues arise because health care professionals should protect the private information of patients from any external intrusion. However, the confidentiality of patients may be at risk, when their electronic records can be easily accessed with the help of contemporary technological devices and telecommunication systems. Therefore, the health care organization is likely to need to enhance its information security to provide patients with the possibility to obtain well-protected and secure electronic health records. In this regard, advantages of electronic health records can hardly be underestimated. In fact, the easy and fast access to the patient’s history may be vitally important for the patient (Zuckerman, 2006). For instance, if a patient suffers from an allergy but he/she needs medication treatment, health care professionals should have the detailed information on the patient’s health record to avoid the risk of the allergic reaction on the medication the patient needs at the moment.

Furthermore, the health care organization should focus on the analysis of the cultural environment, in which the health care organization operates. In actuality, the health care organization should encourage its health care professionals to study the cultural environment, in which the health care organization operates, because health care professionals should know cultural norms and traditions of the community, where they work. In fact, the cultural background of the community and health care professionals may be different. Therefore, what health care professionals take for granted may by offensive for patients and, on the contrary, a normal behavior of a patient may be normal for him/her but not for a health care professional. At the same time, the understanding of the cultural background of patients will help health care professionals to develop positive relations with patients and to maintain effective communication, which is extremely important for the effective treatment of patients.

On the other hand, managers of the health care organization have to study the cultural background of health care professionals to establish positive relations within the organization. In fact, managers may have different cultural background compared to health care professionals (Mook, 1987). Therefore, they will have management style, which may be ineffective in relation to their employees with different cultural background. In such a situation, managers should develop the management style that meets cultural norms and traditions of their employees and that makes the manager-employee relationships and communication particularly effective.

In this regard, training of health care professionals can improve the quality of services and to draw their attention to cultural issues that allows minimizing the risk of offensive behavior from the part of health care professionals in relation to minorities. In fact, training of managers and health care professionals should focus not only on the development of their professional skills and abilities but also on the development of their knowledge of their cultural environment as well as the cultural background of professionals working within the organization. In addition, training can help to develop new, more effective communication and management styles than the organization is currently implementing. Obviously, training contributes to the professional development of health care professionals and managers. Therefore, the health care organization cannot save costs on training its managers and employees. The more trained professionals are the higher is the quality of health care services they deliver to patients.

Finally, the health care organization should stimulate the development of close cooperation between employees and team work. In this respect, the health care organization can create teams, which work together on the regular basis (Kirkman-Liff, 1994). In fact, if necessary, the health care organization can offer its employees training courses, in the course of which they can learn how to work in a team effectively. The health care organization should accumulate the experience of health care professionals and managers of team work and share this experience within the organization (Breneman & Taylor, 1996). In this regard, the use of modern information technologies and telecommunication systems may be very helpful again because they can facilitate knowledge sharing within the organization. Therefore, professionals will just share their experience and develop new skills, abilities and strategies on the ground of positive experience of each other.

The approach best suited to improve organizational performance

In actuality, the health care organization can apply different approaches to improve its organizational performance. In this respect, the introduction of the total quality management to increase the quality of services delivered to customers as well as internal relationships within the company may be particularly effective (Stalker, et al., 2009). In fact, the total quality management implies that the organization will focus on the quality of services provided for clients as well as on the quality of relations within the organization. The quality will be prior in all aspects of the organizational and employees’ performance. Therefore, the quality of services will increase consistently, whereas the company-customer relations as well as relations within the organization will improve too and they will become more effective.

In addition, the company should use the knowledge sharing management, which helps the organization to share knowledge between its professionals. In fact, this approach is particularly effective in terms of the fast sharing of knowledge within the organization. Professionals working in the organization can share their knowledge and experience in the course of their regular work as well as during training courses, which the health care organization should organize for its employees and managers.

Furthermore, the health care organization should use the customer-centered approach, which makes the client the primary concern of the health care organization and its professionals. As a result, the customer-centered approach will increase the quality of services delivered to customers and, therefore, the customer satisfaction.

The development of a team work approach can help the health care organization to improve relationships within the organization and to increase the effectiveness of employees’ performance (Hart, 2004). The team work involves the close cooperation between professionals and their mutual support and knowledge sharing.

The type of performance indicators/measures selected

At the same time, to introduce the aforementioned recommendations and changes to improve the organizational performance, the health care organization need to assess accurately effects of the changes it introduces. In this regard, the assessment of the customer satisfaction should be one of the major indicators that reveal the effectiveness of changes and organizational performance. The growth of the customer satisfaction can be checked through interviews and questionnaires conducted among patients.

The effectiveness of employees’ performance is also an important indicator. In this regard, the health care organization should assess the effectiveness of each employee on the ground of the quality of his/her work and services he/she provides for patients (Gitlow, 1997). In this regard, the analysis of the effectiveness of patient’s treatment, through the detailed analysis of the outcomes of patients’ treatment, cases of wrong diagnosing, return of patients with similar health problems, which they have been treated recently, and other measures may be particularly helpful.

The analysis of the public health in the area, where the health organization is located, including the analysis of statistics of illnesses and major health problems, the local population suffers from as well as the analysis of major causes of death in the area. In fact, the public health is the indicator that helps to reveal whether the health care organization conducts right policies or not and whether its organizational performance is effective or not. If the public health is good, then the organizational performance is effective.

Strategies for motivating and engaging stakeholders in ongoing performance improvement

The health care organization should use not only material motivation of employees but also non-material motivation of employees. The material motivation should involve bonuses and regular wages’ raises to keep employees to work better. However, material bonuses alone cannot be sufficient motivators. In addition, the health care organization should use non-material motivators, such as involvement of employees in the elaboration of strategic goals or implementation of changes in the organization, loyalty programs for its employees and other tools.

At the same time, the health care organization should pay attention to informing the public about the importance of regular examination of their health condition and recommendations concerning the prevention of the most widely-spread health problems. In such a way, the health care organization can prevent the development of numerous health problems in the community that will increase the effectiveness of the organizational performance. In this regard, the provision of the public with recommendations on healthy lifestyle may be particularly helpful. If people know what they need to stay healthy, they will do their best to maintain their health.

Conclusion

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the health care organization should pay a particular attention to the provision of health care services of the high quality that is impossible without the effective organizational performance. In this regard, the health care organization should focus on the improvement of the communication within the organization, on the improvement of company-client relations, on the improvement of the quality of health care services being delivered to patients and, thus, on the improvement of its organizational performance. The health care organization should develop team work within the organization, introduce total quality and knowledge sharing management, along with new information technologies and telecommunication systems, such as electronic health records, which can improve the organizational performance consistently. Finally, the organization should learn the cultural environment and meet needs and wants of its employees and clients.

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