Healthcare Project Management
Development of projects in the healthcare facilities is an important aspect because of the changing trends in technology. Managers have the responsibility of overseeing the kind of projects they implement in the facility and the benefits that the project will have to the organization. Project management in the healthcare helps in the development of skills needed to improve healthcare delivery and also the people management skills that are effective in the success of the project in the facility (Kerzner et al., 2017). This paper outlines the project of installing new computer hardware in the hospital as a measure of replacing the old outdated computer versions in the facility that do not support the new Microsoft programmes. The project will focus on replacing the computer monitors and the other peripherals in all departments.
The new technology provides the healthcare sector with options of organizing data into one unit so that it can be stored and retrieved anytime. As the facility transforms into the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), it is important that a new computer system is installed in the departments. The old system is slow, requires maintenance all the time and sometimes breaks down. This leaves the organization with no other option than installing a new hardware system into the facility. The main objective of the project is to improve the quality of care of patients through better methods of data collection and storage. The goal of the project is to achieve a better system that incorporates all aspects of data collection and storage by the end of the project. The project aims at decreasing the workload of health workers by providing a digital system for storing and retrieving records.
Installation of a new computer system into a healthcare facility requires many things. The management should be vigilant in planning the time of installation and the stakeholders involved. According to Eskerod and Vaagaasar (2014), for the project to be a success there must be a good team to coordinate activities. Enough capital should be available to purchase the hardware and also to facilitate installation. The hospital needs to plan the installation areas and any infrastructure needed to support the new system. The criteria for success of the project is that the old system is outdated and does not offer quality work as reported by the users and the need for a new EHR system to make storage and communication easier in the hospital.
Acceptance Criteria: The acceptance a criterion is purely based on the evident need for a new technological computer system to cope with the growing number of services needed in the facility. The current computer system is because it does not support heavy workloads. The introduction of the electronic health records in the facility has necessitated the installation of new systems for the effectiveness of service delivery. Complaints from the nurses, doctors and the health record team on the failure of the current computer system justify the need for the new computer hardware system in the facility. According to Kruse et al. (2017), the quality of services provided within healthcare facilities can be raised with the implementation of new information technology strategies that can curb challenges in the health sector.
Assumptions, Risks, and Constraints: The management of the facility assumes that the old system is outdated and the problem can be solved with the installation of a new hardware system. Computer technology has improved over time, and due to the introduction of new software, the old computer systems are not able to function properly. The organization believes the installation of the new hardware system will be able to support more features of the Microsoft cooperation. The second assumption is that the new computer system will work efficiently as in other institutions. Research in the United States healthcare facilities depicts that many hospitals are using new systems to improve the quality of care (Eskerod and Vaagaasar , 2014). Since the introduction of the electronic health records in 2009, facilities have enhanced care provision through new technology hardware and software devices.
The installation of the new system poses some risks to the organization. Installation and maintenance of the new system mean extra costs will be incurred. The new system requires additional staff like technicians to install and oversee the activities of the organization. The organization is predisposed to functioning problems in case the system breaks down. The information of the patients is in jeopardy since the hacking has become a common phenomenon with the new technological systems. The problems likely to face the new project include financial constraints and maintenance of the new hardware because it will be handled by many healthcare personnel.
Project Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
|To address quality issues affecting the facility and approval of the new project.
Together with the management team, the CEO will set policies, rules and regulations on the use of the new technology.
|Organizing the activities involved in project management cycle. Allocating funds for the project in consultation with the management team and formulation of the budget.
|Approval of the hardware system and testing of the new technology.
Will coordinate the installation of the hardware system in the hospital.
|Organization of staff for education on the new system and monitoring performance of the system.
|Nurses, Physicians, Lab technicians, technical teams and pharmacists.
|The staff will use the new system to enter patient data during admission, inpatient care and discharge.
|Human resource manager
|Coordinate with the management to ensure safety of the product and solve any legal claims that might arise during the process.
|CEO of the supplying company
|Coordinate with the hospital CEO to ensure success of the project and solve any issues that may arise between the two parties.
Communication is a key factor in the success of the project. Communication will be done primarily through meetings. The manager of the hospital is responsible for organizing meetings for discussion of the progress. Weekly reports will be available to each stakeholder on the state of the project to ensure every party is updated. Communication through phone calls is the easiest way to pass information, especially during an emergency. The method will be used on a regular basis until the project is completed. The departmental managers have the responsibility of briefing the staff on the progress of the project and any other recommendations from the management team.
Estimating Techniques: Project estimation is difficult because of the timelines and in most cases, managers know the exact time when the project is complete. Expert judgment technique was used in developing the Gantt chart estimates. The method involves speaking with experts to understand what is needed to be done (Snyder, 2014). Experts working on the project were consulted, and they approved the seven-week period of accomplishing the project.
Analogous estimation is a method that uses a comparison from the past to predict the time frame for the current or future events (Snyder, 2014). The management provided the previous plan for installation of the current hardware system. It was observed that the old system took 11 weeks to complete. The seven-week time frame provided assumes that fewer activities will be carried out during the installation of the new system.
Budget Management Strategies: Maintaining the budgetary limit in a project becomes difficult, and many organizations end up overspending because of financial mismanagement. According to Kerzner et al., (2017), one of the best ways of maintaining limits in project management is keeping everyone informed and accountable. The manager should ensure that all the team members or the management board are aware of the budgetary allocations. An informed team becomes empowered and feels like they own the project. Through financial disclosure, accountability up to the last cent is possible as the members track the expenditure of the project.
Keeping the stakeholders informed of the budgetary use is challenging because it leads to unnecessary debates during the project. Some members become stubborn when the budget goes astray leading to frequent discussions on the same issue. Secondly, the method is prone to blame when a budget overrun is noticed. Blames eventually slows down the project and much time is spent than anticipated.
Establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) is a strategy used to monitor project budgets throughout the process. The method involves the formulation of certain aspects depending on the project that will enable the financial team to track the expenditure after completion of each step (Kerzner et al., 2017). KPIs are used to ascertain how much has been spent on a project and the extent to which the actual budget differs from the initial plan. The common KPIs used in project management include actual cost, cost variance, earned value and the planned value. The analysis of the amount used is done after completion of every part of the project to ascertain the gap that needs to be filled.
The method of establishing KPIs in project management is challenging because it requires expertise and is effective when used in major organizational projects. The method also requires a serious manager that will evaluate every aspect of the KPI every time. In the hospital setup, managers are always preoccupied with several tasks thus the method may be less applicable.
A common strategy that is used in both local and organizational budgetary monitoring is the Revisit, review, and re-forecast strategy. A budget left to run without review is likely to fail because it gets out of hand. The re-visit period of the budget should take less time so that corrections are made faster. It becomes easy to correct a 10% budget overrun than a 50% overrun (Kerzner et al., 2017). The people working in the project should be assessed and evaluated to see if they contribute to budget overruns. As discussed earlier, the scope of the project provides a guide on the priority activities and sometimes budgetary allocations are spent on less important activities leading to a budget overrun.
The revisit, review and re-forecast strategy form the best method of monitoring budgets during project management. However, the process is time-consuming. It requires the manager or the financial committee to sit after every part of the project to observe how the budget was used. The method is also prone to over expenditure because whenever the budget runs short, the management is likely to add more funds to accomplish the next task.
Risk Management Plan: Risk management is a process that is complex because it requires systematic and repetitive scrutiny of activities during project development. The basic methods of managing risks in a project include identification of the risk, risk assessment, reduction of the risk and monitoring (Harvey and Kitson, 2015). The first method of managing risks is through monitoring the expenditure throughout the process. Monitoring will reduce the cost of the project by ensuring that the budgetary allocations for the project are used well. The management can also set aside other extra funds to manage uncertainties in the project.
Accountability and security will ensure that the new system is kept safe minimizing the risk of breakdown. Security can be enhanced through the use of passwords in the computer system so that only the qualified personnel access data in the hospital. According to Harvey and Kitson, (2015), technological systems are often prone to insecurity, and the best measures are taken early in organizations to protect the patient’s information. A manual data backup system can be used to secure information so that when the computer system fails, the normal services in the facility will be enhanced.
Strategies for managing quality and Sustainability: Quality assessment is an organization is a managerial function that involves keeping the services in the facility as better as possible for the benefit of the customers. The installation of the new hardware will involve quality management so that the organization remains at its best. The first strategy to maintain quality is through a regular scrutiny of operations in the organization (Snyder, 2014). The new system will be used to store the data of patients and as a means of communication within the organization. Through regular checkups of the project progress, the system will be made strong thus avoiding any future problems.
Tracking mistakes throughout the project will ensure that quality is maintained. Mistakes such as purchase errors, installation errors and poor allocation of funds are likely to decrease the quality of the project. Regular meetings with the stakeholders will ensure the project is monitored well to minimize mistakes that will eventually affect the quality of the project. Quality of the project will also be managed by working within the time frame. Delay of purchase or infrastructural construction delays decrease the quality of services in projects thus timely organization will ensure the project is a success.
Tools for Managing Quality: Quality management tools are applicable in three ways during the project cycle. They can be used to collect project data, understand the project process and solve problems that might arise during the implementation phase of the project (Kerzner et al., 2017). The first tool that will be used is the check sheet. Check sheets are used to compile and record data from observations. I like the tool because it is easy to use and activities are not easily forgotten. The manager lists the activities or the objectives that they want to monitor and then mark when they have finished.
Flow charts are used during project management to understand the process through identification of activities. They are used to identify subsequent events in a process and to monitor the flow of events during the implementation of the project (Kerzner et al., 2017). I like flowcharts because they identify hidden elements that can be important to the project. The flow charts also provide a guide to the activities that need priority in the project which benefits the process and aids in the management of the project budget.
Kruse, C. S., Mileski, M., Vijaykumar, A. G., Viswanathan, S. V., Suskandla, U., & Chidambaram, Y. (2017). Impact of Electronic Health Records on Long-Term Care Facilities: Systematic Review. JMIR medical informatics, 5(3).
Snyder, C. S. (2014). A guide to the project management body of knowledge: PMBOK (®) guide. Project Management Institute: Newtown Square, PA, USA.
Harvey, G., & Kitson, A. (2015). Implementing evidence-based practice in healthcare: a facilitation guide. Routledge.
Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Eskerod, P., & Vaagaasar, A. L. (2014). Stakeholder management strategies and practices during a project course. Project Management Journal, 45(5), 71-85.