Urban Care Hospital is a small acute-care hospital specializing routine to specialized comprehensive medical and surgical treatment. The resources of the practice include intensive care units, as well as inpatient and outpatient operating units. Mostly, the facility serves the local community as well as a considerable population from within the State. Until recently, the operations within the facility have been running smoothly. However, the hospital has in recent times experienced continuous complaints from patients indicating that the practice has problems with customer service and there was no ease of access to information and practice’s services. The problems have been confirmed through observations from staff and patient interactions, performance data, and the consumer assessment data. After confirming that the clinic has a problem with the level of their customer service, the management sought to come up with a quality improvement initiative in a bid to improve the status of customer service within the practice. Ideally, the initiative focused on five things, which include the purpose of the program, the target population, the benefits of the program, cost or budget justification, and the basis of program evaluation.
Purpose of the Program
In recent years, health care organizations have become more competitive and more focused on patient loyalty. Essentially, as Glaser & Traynor (2014) notes, patient loyalty is usually depicted as the way a patient feels about the services and the level of care they receive at the clinic. More importantly, medical organizations must remain in-tune with the perceptions and needs of patients, while providing efficient and effective customer services to their patients. As mentioned above, the facility has been having problems with the customer service and access to practice’s services and information for the patients. The quality improvement initiative seeks to address the grievances from patients and to improve the level of the customer service within the practice. Similarly, the initiative intends to address the demeaning level of quality of patient care and to boost the operations within the clinic for it to remain competitive.
Ideally, poor level of customer service is likely to discourage patients from seeking the services of the facility, thus leading to underperformance. It is also important to understand that patients are more liable to interact with the junior staff when they first arrive at the hospital. However, that does not mean that the other team members in higher-ranking levels are not affected. In this context, the target population for the quality improvement initiative will focus on the hospital staff, offer them training, and help them build their skills on customer service. The training will concentrate on instilling the right protocols in the hospital staff in order to improve the level of interaction with the patient to ensure consumer satisfaction.
Benefits of the Quality Improvement Initiative
Before undertaking any quality improvement initiative, the first step is to evaluate its significance and potential benefits that are expected. In this case, it is projected that the program will have several benefits for improved operations at the facility. Firstly, by implementing the initiative, the centre hopes that there will be an improvement on the interactions between the hospital staff and patients. Doctors will experience fewer complaints from patients, and the practice manager will have lesser complaints and problems with the team. Another benefit that may be experienced among the office staff is a change of their attitude towards the treatment of patients as well as effective communication with patients. In essence, focusing on customer service and staff communication will yield feedback that is more positive from patients.
Cost or Budget Justification
Customer service tactics can have a direct impact on the operations of the facility. It is also essential for the employees to gain the necessary skills to provide clients with the best experience when they are within the facility. In this case, due to the high pricing and cost of customer services training programs the facility will consider an E-learning customer services training program. The online customer service training will also be favorable due to the nature of work at the facility since the training can be carried out whenever the schedule of the employees allows it. In light of this, the facility will enroll the employees for online training where there will be live instructors and schedules learning programs. It is estimated that the cost of the training will cost around $80 per employee for the entire program. The number of employees estimated to be enrolled in the program is approximately 30. Thus, the total cost of the training program will be approximate $2,400.
Basis for Program Evaluation
Before implementation of any program or intervention, it is critical to determine whether it will work, in order to be able to refine the delivery of the program and to provide evidence for continuing support (Royse, Thyer, & Padgett, 2010). Evaluation not only provides feedback on the effectiveness of the initiative but also helps to establish the appropriateness of the program to the target population. When planning the assessment process, it is important to consider the most appropriate method to use to measure the success of the program. In this context, the initiative will embrace two evaluation procedures, outcome and impact assessment. By using the impact assessment method, the facility will be able to establish if the program has brought about any change in the status of the establishment. In particular, the impact assessment will examine if after training the hospital staff on customer service, whether there has been any change within the practice on the level of customer service administered. The evaluation will also take place at the end of the initiative, as the focus will be on the outcome. The second assessment will be outcome assessment, which will be used to measure if the program is successful. Just like the impact-based evaluation, the idea is to establish whether patients are more satisfied with the level of customer service at the facility. The program will be termed successful if the number of complaints go down or cease altogether.
Glaser, R., & Traynor, R. M. (2014). Strategic practice management: Business and procedural considerations. San Diego: Plural Pub.
Royse, D. D., Thyer, B. A., & Padgett, D. (2010). Program evaluation: An introduction. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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