HCA 675 Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry Versus Health Care Industry

HCA 675 Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry Versus Health Care Industry

HCA 675 Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry Versus Health Care Industry

The healthcare industry is has faced several challenges making it a subject to quality improvement. Medical practitioners are advocating for change and some of them have proposed to standardize healthcare. Many of them have reasoned that since standardization has worked well for other sectors such as manufacturing industries, therefore, the same should happen in the healthcare sector (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). However, others have argued that the health sector is unique and far much different from others such as the manufacturing and marketing industries. In a manufacturing company (like a car company), standardization is dictated by the quality of sales and an increase in demand for a commodity. However, the healthcare system is more complicated, for instance, for a standardized concept to work since it must be unquestionably accepted by healthcare stakeholders and patients all over the world (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). This paper provides an in-depth discussion of quality improvement to provide evidence that the standardized system (as done in manufacturing) can be applied in the healthcare sector.

Position

The world is facing economic crossroads which could be witnessed even in the healthcare industry. Medical practitioners and scientists are thinking about ways to deliver better and adequate care at low costs (Kurth & Morton, 2013). The present author’s position is that the principles applied in the manufacturing industry can apply well in the healthcare system. Apparently, these standardized principles used in manufacturing can promote quality care by removing unnecessary work for care providers to enable them to have enough time with their patients. Also, standardized care improves the cost by ensuring that care providers adhere to the best medical practices (Suhonen et al., 2019). Therefore, these principles are not as harmful to individualized care as speculated by its opposers. To promote standardized care, healthcare management and providers must work in collaboration to ensure patients receive quality care. Therefore, the type of standardized process of quality improvement found in the manufacturing industry can work in the healthcare system to improve patients’ outcomes

Principles of Productivity in Manufacturing and How They May Apply to Health Care

To begin with, the concept of quality improvement used in the manufacturing industry involving a standardized system can perfectly work in the healthcare system to solve challenges faced by patients and medical staff. Toyota is one of the most used examples when discussing the manufacturing industry (Osono, Shimizu, & Takeuchi, 2008). The lean concept used by Toyota makes it one of the most successful companies in the world.

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One key principle of the system is to eliminate any activity that does not add value to an organization’s end product.

HCA 675 Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry Versus Health Care Industry
HCA 675 Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry Versus Health Care Industry

This aspect can be applied to the healthcare system. For instance, any activity in a hospital that does not provide excellent patient care can be avoided. In an emergency room visit activities that add value include registering the patient, having a nurse triage the patient, and making diagnosis by a doctor (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). Activities such as staying longer in the waiting room or a patient room does not add value. One of the efforts of standardized care is establishing an average length of stay for patients. However, these principles may eliminate some activities that might be linked to patient outcomes but not part of the hospital process (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). For instance, these standardized principles do not support the fact that a doctor may need to provide certain advice to a patient out of experience though not included in the care plan

Another principle used by Toyota that could work in a hospital environment is referred to as a just-in-time inventory strategy. It aims at reducing inventory and associated carrying costs. According to Upshaw-Owens (2019), overstocking and understocking are both dangerous to a hospital. Overstocking is associated with the cost of storing extra supplies and costs due to supplies that expire before use. Many hospitals have not put in place measures that minimize expenses. Standardizing processes and steps can help minimize total costs as well as reduce variations in healthcare. A healthcare facility can estimate the number of patients who visits a facility or the amount of resources used within a given period to prevent overstocking. However, proper monitoring is expected because more patients may visit than expected.

Additionally, manufacturing companies such as Toyota have embraced technology to improve the process. The use of technology in any industry improves the process and eliminates wastes. This quality improvement process should be strengthened in the healthcare sector. Like in the manufacturing sector, all healthcare institutions must embrace technology (Markovitz, 2016). This is one area healthcare has shown significant improvement with the introduction and implementation of electronic health records, radiation machines, intensive care unit among others. Technology reduces manual labor involved in various hospital processes hence improving efficiency. Hospitals that embrace technology register reduced emergency room waiting times by replacing their paper medical records with electronic health records. Embracing technology is another concept of the manufacturing industry and standardized care that has worked well for many healthcare facilities or organizations (Markovitz, 2016). The electronic health record also enhances communication within the organization and also perfumes many other things that improve patients care.

Toyota and other manufacturing companies put more value on their employees. They differ from healthcare organizations by putting the authority of improving an organization into the hands of employees (Osono, Shimizu, & Takeuchi, 2008). Employees directly interact with the product and may make better improvements than the management. In a hospital setting, care providers are directly involved with patients. This principle can work when care providers are included in decision making process and other programs rather than the administrator alone. There is no a significant problem associated with this principle because care providers understand the process better than the management.

Another good principle used in manufacturing companies that would work in healthcare is to focus on systematic improvement. The organizations should be able to focus on the identification of the root cause of the problem and the adjusting process to stop the same problems from happening in the future. A continuous improvement philosophy is very vital in making the process work better (Kurth & Morton, 2013). It makes the process faster and produce high-quality products and services out of inputs. Creating and fostering an environment of continuous improvement makes the employees develop the skills required for the process. Healthcare companies need to begin their improvement and problem solving by first tackling small issues before the bigger ones. Based on the examples provided above, it is apparent that the concept of quality improvement used in the manufacturing industry can be used in the healthcare system.

Literature has also supported the implementation of standardized processes in the healthcare system. According to Upshaw-Owens (2019), standardized care shows how healthcare organizations can use evidence-based medicine systematically to ensure patients receive quality care. Standardized process is an integral part of safe, effective, and affordable care. Benefits associated with standardized care include consistent outcomes, labor savings, and improved quality of care, reduced waste, reduced cost, and better determination. Suhonen, Stolt, and Papastavrou (2019) also supports a standardized care system by stating that clinical standard helps reduce unnecessary variations that exist in healthcare delivery to improve the process.

Perceptions of standardized care vary with one’s role within the care system. For instance, while administrators perceive standardization as a way to attain efficiency in healthcare, caregivers see it in the opposite manner (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). Many health care providers see standardized care as an administrative mandate that might go against the patient’s wishes. Therefore, debate is going on to determine the fate of the standardized care process. Standardized care and individualized care do not have to be mutually exclusive.

The benefits of these principles are obvious in the discussion; however, there are some problems associated with them. They may eliminate some activities that might be linked to patient outcomes but not part of the hospital process (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). For instance, these standardized principles do not support the fact that a doctor may feel to provide certain advice to a patient out of experience though not included in the care plan. Another problem is that these principles may demean patient preference. In order to minimize cost and waste, patient’s voices might be undermined (Upshaw-Owens, 2019). For instance, the doctor adheres to a particular procedure in an attempt to reduce waste and cost.

Conclusion

The healthcare industry is has faced several challenges making it a subject to quality improvement. Quality improvement that resembles those found in the manufacturing industry can be applied in healthcare. Standardized care has several advantages to the healthcare process and the quality of patient care. Some aspects of standardized process, as seen in the manufacturing industry, have worked well in healthcare.

 

 

References

Kurth & Morton. (2013). Introducing Quality Improvement: Pediatric Anesthesia, 23 (2013) 569–570. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=87972855&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Markovitz, D. (2016). The Fit Organization: How to Create a Continuous-Improvement Culture. St George St, Toronto: Rotman Management. https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=112762343&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Osono, E., Shimizu, N., & Takeuchi, H. (2008). Extreme Toyota: Radical contradictions that drive success at the world’s best manufacturer. John Wiley & Sons.

Suhonen, R., Stolt, M., & Papastavrou, E. (2019). Individualized Care. Berlin, Germany: Springer International Publishing.

Upshaw-Owens, M. (2019). Standardization: A concept analysis. Medsurg Nursing28(2), 132-134. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12629