Why is this Resource Important to an Organization?
Healthcare organizations are complex structures whose peak performance is measured in quality of patient care. Each new day requires the effective integration and coordination of professional, support and administrative staffs, sophisticated clinical and information technology, critical processes and inventories, and facility resources. Changes within the organization, such as growth, innovation, patient demographics and financial fluctuation, continually impact the environment and place strain on information management, decision making and quality management processes. Only with specialized direction and oversight of the systems and processes in place can healthcare organizations confidently optimize resource and capacity utilization and ensure system(s) and process effectiveness.
The Business Value of Management Engineering and Process Improvement
- Promotes and facilitates the cost-effective and high quality operations of clinical and business processes and the effective use of information technology.
- Increases the probability of an organization achieving its cost containment and quality of service improvement goals.
Assistance from ME-PI professionals helps individual stakeholders and executive management to:
- Facilitate change.
- Apply project management principles and practices to achieve project schedules and budgets, and rectify problems relating to process, facility, and program.
- Educate staff on operations management principles, continuous process tools and techniques, processes and procedures related to change, etc.
- Provide integrational information technology (IT) support by helping to define and interpret user requirements for workflow, data, ergonomic issues, staffing and equipment.
- Influence, where applicable, the number of service lines for patients and the schedules of affected staff by ensuring quality and consistency of processes.
ME-PI Roles and Relationships
A critical factor in hospital-based process improvement is the introduction and proper alignment of ME-PI professionals within the organization. Goals are more likely to be achieved if the ME-PI function is placed high enough in the organization to access planners, decision makers and the critical operating information they use. For full effectiveness, the position requires:
- Full visibility throughout all functions and levels.
- Authorization to directly observe or work with any or all levels of the organization.
- Access or response to executive-level decision makers.
- Direct reporting lines to, and support of, executive management.
- High-level recognition of PI activities to drive and facilitate interdisciplinary teams.
- CEO alignment for support of the organization's vision.
- COO alignment for support of operational optimization.
- CIO alignment to meet the challenges involved in collecting, utilizing and maintaining information the lifeblood of the organization.