The health care market has undergone dramatic changes in the last decade. Consequently, these changes have had a big impact on the operation and the subsequent success and failure of many clinics and hospitals. With increase in competition and increased alternatives, individual and corporate consumers have become the sole selectors of medical care. Consequently, in order to deal with the changes in the industry, clinics have adjusted in a couple of ways. The factors that can be monitored in the success of clinics are as follows.
Factors/ Variables that might affect the success of the clinic
Management: While management in the health care industry cannot be stated as either linear or simple, it is no doubt that the success of any clinic is dependant on the operations of the top management. In order for the clinic to function effectively, the top management has to effectively coordinate the functions and operations of the various departments (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2006). At the same time, the management has to coordinate its staff in order to direct all the energy towards one direction; towards the achievement of the clinic goal.
Needs and affordability of the community: The clinic will be located in an area of somewhat older, run down homes that seem to be undergoing slow but steady gentrification. In the start up stage, the clinic must effectively evaluate the needs of the community. The services that the hospital provides must be in line with the needs of the community. In addition, the financial capacity of the community will dictate the charges of the clinic and consequently this will determine the success or failure of the clinic.
Organization structure and ad-hoc quality-related committees: The organization structure that the clinic uses will largely affect how the skills are employed (Midwest Business Group Health, 2002). While the structure may vary greatly from team structure to matrix structure, the structure will affect the communication channels either positively or negatively. A good organization structure will lead to open and clear communication which will determine the success of the clinic.
Prudent financial management: Many a time’s people view clinics and healthcare in general, in terms of the non profit organizations. On the contrary, clinics are businesses (IOM, 20002). Though they deal with human health, which is priceless, the financial management of the clinic has to be operated effectively. Ineffective financial management will lead to poor services and unnecessary shortages.
Integration of information systems: This is crucial to the delivery of quality care that is modern and profitable to the community and to the patients. An integrated information system will enhance the quick access and availability of media records. Patients, doctors, nurses, lab technicians and researchers need to effectively cooperate through the integrated system in exchanging information.
Patient relations: In monitoring the success of the hospital, one crucial factor to consider is the level of patient-staff relationship. A relationship based on trust is important in ensuring success. The patient confidentiality must be guaranteed. A consumer survey should be constantly conducted in order to measure the level of patient relation. A relation based on hostility, ignorance and apathy needs to be checked since it’s a clear indication that the hospital is headed towards the wrong direction.
Supportive policies and culture: Clinics that perform highly have distinguished cultures and a high level of commitment in ensuring the delivery of high quality services. In monitoring the progress, it is important to evaluate commitment through factors such as: individualistic commitment of the CEO, Board of Trustees, a strong mission statement, constant performance indicators as well as accountability.
Attract and maintain the right people: the success of the clinic can be checked through the ability to retain skilled employees. In the initial stage, the clinic had employed three physicians and has a maximum capacity of ten doctors. With time, this figure should be expected to rise. On the contrary, frequent cases of employees leaving the organization indicate a problem in the clinic.
Provide the right tools: The clinic must be always staffed with the right equipment for the effective delivery of services. Proper medication should be availed to the patient. On the other hand, a constant inventory needs to be conducted to ensure that the hospital has all the necessary tools for quality services.
Health Cases attended to: The effectiveness of the clinic can be measured through the number of cases that were successfully attended. In conclusion, each of the factors above provides an independent variable that can be used to gauge the success of the clinic.