Critical Success Factors For A New Hospital
By Dr. Lisha Ruparel
Planning for a new hospital? Well, it’s definitely not a cakewalk for it to be a successful venture. However, there’s a good chance of it, if you keep a few essential parameters in mind. Dr. Lisha Ruparel shed light on some of these important factors.
There’s a famous saying that goes: success comes to those who take risks. As a healthcare consultant, I couldn’t agree less especially when it’s a capital-intensive venture like a hospital. Swanky hospital buildings or the latest state-of-the-art technology does not necessarily equate to big returns. Multiple factors at various stages of planning need to be accounted for to make a hospital run smoothly and efficiently. Each and every department has to function in tandem with one another. Rigorous planning and subsequent implementation are the success mantra when it comes to a hospital. Sevenhills Hospital in Mumbai the requisites of a successful hospital which did not materialize at the time of running the facility. The Sevenhills hospital failed to capitalize on its advantages and had to be sold due to mounting losses. Let us look into some of the key factors to be implemented before starting a hospital.
What factors are vital but often not adequately given importance before the opening of a hospital?
Draft a mission, vision and logo for the hospital
Each organization should prepare a vision and mission statement at the onset. A focused vision statement helps in projecting the principles of decision-makers, and vision points out to the path chosen.
Don’t be impatient. Ensure infrastructure completion before inaugurating. For example, mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements of the building should be completed; the necessary equipment should be installed. A suitable Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) should be purchased. The HMIS should be adaptable to future trends like minimum use of paper, adequate data storage, electronic access for remote devices, future IT ready system and digital screens.
A detailed plan of manpower required for the hospital should be tabled. Hiring the right manpower is one of the most important aspects as they form the backbone of the hospital.
A Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/ Medical Director should be the first one to be hired, ideally before hiring any other manpower and before any critical decisions are taken. The CEO/ Medical Director should be involved in the all the major decisions like purchase of the equipment and hiring of the other manpower. Against the manpower, the necessary education, skillset and experience should be listed.
The manpower of the hospital is to be selected with utmost importance. The selection should be carried out considering parameters like experience, required skill set and the ability to communicate easily with the patients.
Processes for the hospital
Develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) as per services offered and role of each staff. SOPs are unique to each hospital. The very purpose of a SOP is to carry out operations in a correct and consistent manner, thus serves as a guiding tool for the staff. Furthermore, they are crucial for obtaining accreditation like NABH and JCI.
Tariff for services offered
The hospital services should be listed as per the specialties and a team headed by the CEO/Managing Director should finalize it as per the hospital’s vision.
Preparing forms and formats
Forms and formats which are mandatory by law and are required by departments need to be prepared and printed beforehand as well.
The necessary training as per the department and required skill set should be provided to the manpower to operate equipment and the HMIS. Further, department-wise training should be provided for SOPs. Adequate training for all procedures is required to handle adverse and unforeseen situations.
Branding and communication
Branding of a new hospital is a very important aspect which is often neglected. Branding and clear communication enables the hospital to convey to the patients the services offered. Seminars, conferences and a tour of the facilities with the stakeholder are extremely educative in purpose.
Prepare a detailed checklist
A detailed checklist should be prepared for all departments. The checklist should cover infrastructure, manpower and processes
Dry run of the hospital
Ms. Avni Shah, Consultant at Hosmac India Private Limited says that, “A dry run helps in establishing patient flow, clearing out any bottlenecks and also in anticipating problems which can be solved before the opening.” Many hospitals try solving the issue once the hospital is running, which may lead to a negative patient experience.
Most of the times the above parameters are neglected and result in a chaotic hospital, an unpleasant experience for both patients and the staff which can be avoided by paying attention to detail. Thereby abiding by some principles helps in the smooth and seamless functioning of a new hospital.