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Assignment Task 1 – Case Study

The first question revolves around improving performance at the organization. The case study on Rapid City Regional Hospital serves as a basis for this report but making references to other relevant information provides valuable hints on how to advance performance at the workplace. The analysis helps to understand that organizational characteristics play fundamental roles in determining performance, which requires team members to pay considerable attention to particular characteristics that would foster the outcome. The assignment reveals that it is possible to embrace various techniques that would help to improve performance when seeking to advance from a particular phase to another. The report also emphasizes the need to follow KPIs that show whether the group is in the right path or whether more need to happen to put the healthcare organization in track. The assessment helps to show that improving organizational performance requires a multidimensional approach as well as the contribution of all stakeholders.

How Characteristics of a Healthcare Organization and System Influence Performance

The case study provides much information that help to understand the great role the characteristics of a healthcare organization and system play in influencing performance. Whereas an organization refers to a group of people with a definite relationship and structure in which they serve together to attain the goals of that firm, its characteristics refer to the general approach and perception towards work and all other operations impacting on the firm. Hence, the characteristics of an organization and the organization are intertwined and difficult to separate the two. In other words, an organization would perform based on its characteristics.

Prior to proceeding any further with the analysis, it is imperative to be conversant with the key characteristics of organization. Chester Barnard’s concept on elements of organization serves as the framework in this instance. According to Bernard, an organization comes into existence when there are people able to communicate with each other, who are committed to contribute towards particular actions, and who are focused on accomplishing a common purpose. The characteristics of an organization are therefore, effective communication, willingness to serve, and common purpose. These features, Barnard contents, are adequate and necessary requirements for the formation and maintenance of an organization.  In addition to these features, proposed qualifiers to explain the way in which the firm executes the goals for which it was constituted. All organizations exist for a goal, generally the realization of some specified objective beyond the capability of an individual human, but which may be achieved through a joint action. While simply having an objective may be a compelling reason for the formation of an organization, this is not adequate for the firm to achieve long-term sustainability. Therefore, in order to facilitate and justify its continued existence, a firm must not only have a goal, but also a reasonable plan of achieving it. The continuance and sustainability of an organization, as Barnard frames it, depends largely on its capacity to perform its purpose.

It is possible to explain why Hand-washing obedience improved from 57% to 91%, resulting in a 21% drop in healthcare associated infections (HAI) and dollar savings of $291,450 now that the meaning of characteristics of an organization and system is clear. One of the characteristics that contribute towards the drop in infection is the existence of people who are able to communicate with each other. The people seem to be committed to serve and have a common purpose in the way they develop solutions to overcome non-compliance to the formulated multidimensional hand-hygiene program to enhance hand-hygiene adherence in accordance with provided guidelines. The team has a common objective of reducing the time it takes to adhere to the hand-hygiene program, to address issues associated with cracked hands from frequent washing and use of soap, as well as to counter the non-supportive culture. The common aspiration led the team to formulate solutions such as improving access to alcohol hand rubs and hospital-approved lotion, offering education and encouragement, forming an infection regulation hotline, and holding physicians accountable for ensuring adherence to the hand-hygiene program. However, lack of communication and a common purpose would derail the attempts to improve adherence to requirements that would help reduce HAI. The team can further improve adherence by working to maintain the organizational characteristics that foster the realization of the targeted objectives.

Methods to Improve Performance

Firms should identify the most suitable way for improving performance because this is a key approach through which the firm can overcome its current stalemate and become more competitive. Performance improvement in this instance refers to a systematic approach of finding out the original causes of a performance blunder in a firm and implementing remedies to mitigate the issue, while ensuring that the remedies are suited to the existing problem. Team leaders need to focus on the most suitable way for improving performance because of the many merits that come with the approach. Improving performance is a fundamental approach that helps to improve morale. Since everyone values to be told that they are doing a wonderful job, performance reviews offer the most suitable environment to formalize and give praise. However, it is imperative to acknowledge that reviews should not only serve the purpose of setting goals and objectives for the future. Instead, it should also offer a setting for team leaders to identify well performing and poor performing members. The other reason why improving performance is appropriate is that it helps to achieve or improve employee retention. Evidence suggests that workstations that increasingly work to improve performance perform well in retaining their employees, a practice that impacts on the overall organizational performance. Hence, the many benefits that come with improving performance should be the guiding pillar when contemplating or seeking improving performance.

Hence, team leaders together with organizational members should consider some of the most suitable techniques for improving performance. One of the most suitable way for improving performance is to utilize human resources because the human resources department of any firm serves a significant purpose in achieving organizational effectiveness. Human resource personnel play crucial functions in fostering organizational effectiveness by assisting with the formation of new business plans. Therefore, it is imperative to engage human resources in the designing and implementation of the transformations within the firma to enhance organizational functions. They give views and perspectives that leaders may disregard yet they provide unique views that team leaders may disregard as well as serve an active purpose in identifying the suitable workers for various positions within the organization. Another possible way to improve performance is using technology at the various areas of operations. Technological forms serve an important function in the effectiveness and efficiency of a firm. Consequently, a firm that seeks to advance its performance should make use of technological devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets to improve organizational efficiency. How a company chooses to improve its performance solely depends on the choices team leaders and members make in relation to existing challenges or concerns.

Some of these approaches would work best in improving performance at Rapid City Regional Hospital, which requires the team to pay special attention to this area. The members at the hospital should engage human resource personnel in all key areas of the improvement process to achieve the targeted aspirations. Engaging the workforce as much as possible provides more hint on whether enacting the suggested remedies would help to achieve sustainability while trying to implement the solutions. Moreover, engaging the workforce presents a suitable chance to share ideas and come up with choices that would improve areas where the firm does not perform well. For instance, the human resources would help to ensure that all physicians are accountable for whatever happens at the institution, and that the alcohol hand rubs and approved lotion are accessible at the right point. More fundamentally, the health facility can improve performance by making use of technology to promote adherence to the enacted remedies. For instance, the group can install automatic hand sanitization points where people do not have to undergo much hustle to wash their hands. Placing CCTVs around the firm will also help to improve adherence to hand hygiene practices because people would feel like they are being monitored and would want to observe the stipulated guidelines for observing hygiene.

Key Performance Indices (KPIs)

Institutions should rely on Key Performance Indices (KPIs), which are the set of quantifiable indications used to assess a firm’s overall performance over a specified period. KPIs specifically assist a firm to determine its operational, financial, and strategic goals, particularly when compared and contrasted to those of other firms within the same industry. Consequently, all organizations need to identify and understand the KPIs that show whether the group is headed towards the right path, or whether more needs to happen to salvage the situation. It is imperative to pay considerable attention to KPIs because they help to quickly comprehend intricate issues and can be utilized to formulate goals and objectives to assess their implementation. Moreover, paying considerable attention to KPIs present a suitable opportunity to enhance efficiency in communication as well as offer a suitable basis for decision-making. Hence, health organizations should relent in creating guiding KPIs taking into account that they are easy to create and follow.

Various KPIs would help Rapid City Regional Hospital and other health facilities to influence patient outcome and growth at the organization. First, the team should consider the level of employee engagement because this plays a fundamental role in determining whether the group is headed towards the right path, and whether it is likely to achieve the targeted aspirations. Engaging everyone is important because it helps to make decisions that every member feels is appropriate for improving performance. The engagement would also help to minimize opposition once the team arrives at a particular decision. In this case, team engagement would suggest that the entire group is happy with the implemented remedies, and that every member is committed to ensure implemented strategies work to address the issues. Another KPI that would help to show that a health organization is headed towards the right path and is likely to achieve its objectives is the quality of outcome or services. High quality performance or outcome indicates that the group is headed towards the right direction and should put more effort to attain all requirements.

In the case of Rapid City Regional Hospital, the facility would achieve quality function by ensuring that the hand rubs and lotions are suitable and of the appropriate quality to maintain hygiene. In addition to quality, the results or outcome is a key KPI that helps to understand whether the group is headed towards the right path or whether more need to happen to salvage the situation. For example, increased adherence to the hand hygiene program would suggest that the hospital is in the right direction and an increase in effort would help to achieve all requirements. Finally, health facilities should consider the feedback they receive from their services as a KPI that helps to determine the course of action. Positive feedback would suggest that stakeholders are impressed with service delivery or any other adopted practices, which in this case is the attempt to improve adherence to the hand-hygiene program. For example, members would give positive feedback praising the team for implementing more effective approaches for encouraging adherence to the program. However, the team would know that it must work harder and improve the situation if stakeholders give negative sentiments about adopted practices or any other activity within the organization. Hence, KPIs provide valuable hints on whether a health facility is headed towards the right direction or whether more need to happen to record better outcome.


Assignment one reveals that a health organization must pay considerable attention to factors that would help to attain the desired performance level. The study reveals that key organizational characteristics such as communication, commitment to serve, and common objective play fundamental roles in determining whether the organization improves performance or not.  The analysis reveals that Rapid City Regional Hospital is in a better position to improve its performance because team members have formulated remedies to deal with the identified issues. The assignment indicates that it is possible to improve performance by embracing particular approaches, including engaging members and using technology. The paper also shows the need to consider KPIs when running a health organization because they provide valuable hint on whether the group is headed towards the right path or not. The KPIs help a health facility to know whether enacted measures are adequate enough or whether more need to happen to salvage the situation.

Assignment Task 2 – Case Scenario

Tools for Improving Quality

Quality improvement is a fundamental requirement in every organization that aspires to improve its performance. In healthcare, quality improvement refers to the structure that health institutions utilize to systematically enhance the approach care is issued to patients. It is necessary to identify and settle on the most suitable quality improvement tools taking into account that processes have features that can be measured, assessed, advanced, and regulated. The primary goal of quality improvement is to standardize processes and structures to minimize variation, attain predictable outcomes, and enhance outcomes for patients and healthcare structures and systems. Consequently, being able to select and use the most suitable tools for improving quality presents a suitable chance to achieve the targeted goals.

One of the most suitable tools in this instance is the DMAIC model, which is part of the Six Sigma framework, utilized to enhance the quality of outcomes that the organizational processes generate. The acronym DMAIC stands for defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling. Using the model requires implementers to focus on five key areas – the defining phase, the measuring phase, the analyzing phase, the improvement phase, and finally the control phase. The first phase, define, requires the team to define the issues or problems that need to be addressed and the impact the issue has for the business or organization. The definition can happen effectively by selecting the project and identifying its scope. The team should then proceed to the second phase – measure, where it should determine and analyze level of performance while determine the goals that need to be achieved. The third phase is analyzing where the team determines the process inputs or parameters that have the most impact on the critical process outputs. The fourth phase is improving where the principal objective is to create a fully operational process improvement which is verified by the team and ready to be applied in an actual work environment. The final step is the control phase where the team implements the chosen remedies and make sure they are incorporated in the organizational processes. Hence, the not-for-profit healthcare system identified in this scenario is in the right path towards improving its clinical quality observed in adherence to inpatient heart failure discharge instruction because it applied the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to find potential failures and the critical factors facilitating the problem.

Another suitable approach for improving quality in operations management, and which may be of significant importance in this case is Pareto analysis, which is a formal approach useful where various possible courses of action are striving to attract attention. Specifically, the tool measures the benefits achieved by focusing on a particular action, then chooses various effective actions that give the best results. The approach helps to improve quality by helping a firm to identify the most common defects, complaints or any other issue that can be categorized or taken into consideration based on its impact on organizational operations. The principle assumes that the nature of the outcome or output significantly relies on the input invested in a particular process. Hence, being able to identify the complaints and defects presents a suitable chance to enact effective remedies that would help to address the problem in the most effective manner. Moreover, the knowledge that the quality of outcome depends on how much the group invests would encourage members in a healthcare facility to pay considerable attention to this area. An analysis of the scenario suggests that the not-for-profit healthcare system applied the Pareto analysis, an approach that could be attributed to the formation of the techniques that strengthen adherence to heart failure discharge instruction.

The third tool that health facilities can use to improve quality is the cause and effect diagram, which is also known as the Ishikawa diagram or the fish bone diagram. The tool helps to understand the connection between the various variables coming into play. The undesirable result is represented as effect, and related origins are causing or potentially resulting in the targeted effect. Being able to know all the contributing factors and their connection to the results to know where to identify data, collect and analyze it presents a suitable chance to find areas that require improvement and be able to take relevant actions towards improving quality and general practices. Thus, health facilities should pay considerable attention to this approach.

Use of Lean Management Tools

Quality improvement is a fundamental aspect of any organization and it is imperative for team members to focus on suitable tools that would help to achieve the targeted goals. This section highlights the significance of using lean management tools to improve the discharge policy at the hospital. The study recommends JIT and process bottleneck analysis as some of the most suitable techniques for improving the policy discharge at the not-for-profit institution. Moreover the section highlights some of the key issues that deter smooth discharge in many hospitals. The information in this section may help to improve how health facilities plan their discharge policies and practices. The final section highlights the significance of lean operations and six sigma in improving healthcare operations. Overall, the illustration emphasizes the need to focus on improving quality.

The hospital may use the various lean management tools that would help to improve the hospital discharge policy. An example of a procedure that may be of significance is the just-in-time (JIT) approach, which requires operators to receive or order for particular materials only when they are needed. The technique would help to advance the hospital discharge policy because the facility will not have to use resources that are not needed at the time of discharge. For instance, the team will provide relevant reading materials to patients that help them to transit from the hospital to the home environment when it is the right time for the patient to be discharged. Another appropriate tool is process bottleneck analysis, which makes it possible to identify processes and steps where flow is tampered. The tool would improve the discharge policy because it presents a chance to know the primary cause of the challenges, and mitigate the issues that have been identified. Hence, using the technique would help to know what impede the discharge and enact relevant remedies.

More fundamentally, it is imperative to pay considerable attention to the various factors that impede smooth and appropriate discharges in any healthcare facility. One of the reasons that could derail discharge procedures is improper function and coordination among the management team. The fault at this stage could make it difficult to formulate appropriate work plans and make it hard to identify areas that would make the process more effective. Another reason why some hospitals experience delays is that they lack enough and proper discharge planning, which deny them the chance to follow definite steps or procedures while handling the process. Consequently, inconveniencies emerge that disrupt the whole process. Another challenge that hamper discharge in some health facilities is transfer of care complications taking into account that not everyone leaving a health facility is in a good position to care for themselves. For example, whereas some people find it hard to follow instructions, others may lack the needed support to care for themselves. However, it is possible to embrace certain measures as it happens with the not-for-profit healthcare that adopted practices that would help patients to adhere to discharge instruction. For instance, the group standardized the discharge processes across all nursing units as well as standardized the most efficient and effective form of discharge instructions. The other approaches the healthcare facility used to achieve adherence, include enhancing knowledge level of heart failure among the target group and simplifying the heart failure discharge instructions. Consequently, health facilities should not relent when various issues affect the discharge process. Instead, team members should take effective intervention measures to improve the patients’ overall health.

Using Lean and Six Sigma to Improve Healthcare Operations

Lean and Six Sigma can be of significant importance in improving healthcare operations if users implement them in the most appropriate ways while considering their differences. Lean operations entails adhering to particular guidelines to flow value to the buyer or client while reducing or eradicating all forms of loss. All the value streams within the lean operating system need to be optimized on individual basis from all ends to achieve the most suitable results. Nonetheless, effective application of the approach requires team leaders and all members to pay considerable attention to the four lean principles that give valuable guidelines regarding the use of the approach. The first is to have respect for all organizational members and all those who relate with the firm in one way or the other. However, concerns exist that this principle is largely violated across many workstations. The respect is imperative because it plays fundamental functions in minimizing workplace stress, problems and conflicts. Moreover, respect at the workplace helps to advance communication between members, enhance teamwork. The other aspect of lean operations that workers in healthcare operations need to consider is the need to use materials of the right quality and quantity at the appropriate time. Using materials appropriately helps to get the work done at the right time. The third factor to consider when using lean and which could boost performance is the need to add value. The team should pay considerable attention to adding value and reducing wastes as much as possible, with waste in this instance referring to anything unwanted and non-value adding act referring to actions that do not have benefit or value to clients. Focusing on value addition is important because it provides clients with an incentive to relate with the firm at different capacities as well as to seek treatment, thus enhancing the hospital’s bottom line and revenue. Finally, lean production emphasizes training employees and equipping them with relevant skills. The training is important in helping workers gain valuable tips on how to make their activities much better.

Applying the six sigma approach is equally an effective method to improve healthcare operations. The statistical and data-driven practice improves operations because the firm gets an opportunity to review and limit defects or mistakes. The approach stresses cycle-time advancements while minimizing operational defects to acceptable levels. However, a health facility should be conversant with the various six sigma tools that help to achieve the targeted objectives. For instance, it is important to know how Pareto analysis and the DMAIC model identified earlier function. Being able to recognize defects early enough presents a better chance to enact mitigating measures and improve organizational operations. Nonetheless, it is imperative to acknowledge that the approach requires total commitment across all team members to achieve the best results.

The description offers information that may help to improve quality in operations. The analysis also shows the significance of using lean management tools in improving the hospital discharge policy. Moreover, the section emphasizes the need to enact measures that help to improve discharge practices by identifying impending factors and implementing effective intervention measures. Finally, the report provides valuable information concerning how to improve healthcare operations using lean and six sigma. The lean approach works best and increases the likelihood for achieving impressive results when operators have respect for people, use material wisely, improve value and train workers. On the other hand, six sigma tools help to improve operations because it is easier to identify areas that do not work as anticipated and make necessary adjustments.

Assignment Task 3 – Mini Project

Introducing the Organization

Chelsea District Health Center was constructed with the primary motive of improving access to primary care in under-served communities. The hospital received the support of Mayor LaGuardia who channeled funding to the project while emphasizing that basic healthcare is fundamental for everyone. Recently, the facility got a facelift after the City of New York commissioned a professional architect to transform the facility after decades of use that caused it to deteriorate. The group has made significant strides in advancing quality provision and continues to show the significance of facilitating how communities access health care. The facility offers a wide range of services. The facility houses a wide range of departments and clinics encompassing chest and TB clinic, general health, venereal disease clinic, dental clinic, and immunization facility.

The group has an organizational structure that facilitates how it conducts its operations. The organizational structure is a system that explains how particular actions are regulated and governed in order to attain the goals of the firm. The health facility settles on an organizational structure that facilitates work flows. The adopted technique enables groups to serve together within their individual responsibilities to handle tasks effectively. Hence, the leading administrators at the facility are the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Medical Officer, and the Chief Nursing Officer. The group also has a number of employees who serve as subordinates serving in various positions and capacities.

The facility adheres to a work culture that facilitates its operations. The facility emphasizes on respect and fairness for everyone regardless of their position at the facility. The health center also puts much emphasis on achieving diversity at the workplace by employing staff members from diverse backgrounds and hiring employees with different features. Moreover, the facility emphasizes the need for teamwork and encourages constructive communication and transparency in all dealings.

Change Management

Organizations rely on change management practices to allow them adopt needed changes. Change management refers to a systematic technique to dealing with transformation or change of an organization’s aspirations, processes, and technologies. The primary goal of change management is to execute strategies for facilitating change, regulating change, and assisting people. An organization while working to achieve change need to settle on an appropriate framework that would facilitate the process. An effective way to achieve change in an organization is to use the Lewin’s theory that requires implementers to pay attention to three critical phases, including unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. The unfreezing phase requires sensitization of all team members about the significance embracing change and why it is necessary to embrace alternative options. The changing phase is where actual transformation takes place, and the final step is refreezing, which entails applying measures that help to embrace change.

The identified health facility has strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that impact on its operations. One of the evident strengths is that the group has made significant strides in improving its use of technology. The group acknowledges that technology helps to improve operational efficiency and to minimize costs by replacing costly human labor. However, the facility is yet to improve its marketing practices in a bid to attract more buyers. Lack of effective marketing techniques hampers the firm from selling its services to more people. The apparent opportunity is the continued advancement in technology that presents a chance to embrace new services and practices. Finally, the threat that impacts significantly on the facility is changing government policies, some of which may not favor the group’s operations.

Hence, the most evident change that needs to happen at the facility to improve its operations is to adopt effective marketing techniques that improve how the group markets its services and reaches out to people from diverse communities and backgrounds. Relying on Lewin’s change model presents a better chance to manage the change process because the team will move systematically from one phase to the other. Nevertheless, the team must understand how the framework works to achieve the best out of it; otherwise the group may take longer than necessary to achieve the final product. It is also imperative to consider some of the potential constraints that could derail how the hospital strives to improve its marketing techniques and enact effective mitigation measures. A possible challenge that could derail the process is lack of support from team members or failure by some staff members to embrace change. The most suitable way to address the resistance is to show members why the group has to transform while stressing on the benefits of improved marketing techniques. For example, the team should understand that improved marketing practices present an opportunity identify the target market as well as competitors. Moreover, embracing a superior marketing plan would allow the organization to identify and maintain its unique selling point as well as to set strategies that appeal to buyers. Hence, the group cannot afford to disregard the weakness and should act swiftly by applying an appropriate change model.

Monitoring and Controlling Change

The group as part of monitoring and controlling the change will rely on key performance indicators that show whether the group is headed towards the right path, or whether more needs to happen to salvage the situation. Consequently, the group will consider whether an adoption of new marketing practices will foster performance, and whether the facility appeals to clients from other parts outside New York. In addition, the facility will monitor the level of improvement in the way it understands its clients as well as how it knows the strengths of its rivals. Improved awareness in these areas would mean that the group has made tremendous steps in advancing its marketing practices. The most suitable technique for implementing the change in this instance would be to allow transformational leaders to oversee the process, while engaging the views of junior members.

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