SWOT Analysis of Patient Services in a Hospital

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SWOT ANALYSIS

  1. PATIENT AFFAIRS OFFICE/ CUSTOMER SERVICES:

Patient affairs office provides service to patients. Its job is to assist customers regarding anything they need to make sure that they are satisfied with the service they are provided. The staff of customer services in a hospital should be polite and friendly to the patients and must be provided adequate training as customer service depicts the culture of any organization/hospital.

Strengths:

In my time working at the hospital, I found that the patient’s affair office had a few employees who had very good communication skills. Due to which they were able to talk to patients and solve their problems and concerns effectively. They dealt with patients of different moods and were able to help them in one way or another.

All the employees in customer services had the capability and temperament of working in a team to solve various problems of patients. They were able to communicate well with other employees of the same department as well as of other departments which enabled in building an environment that was healthy.

Weaknesses:

Although some employees in customer services had good communication skills, but I also saw those employees who were not able to deal with customers and whenever a patient made complaint, they had to look at their colleagues for answers. Due to this, patients had to wait which increased their bad experience of any type with the hospital.

There was also a lack of decision making in the patient affairs office. Whenever a situation was raised where patients asked for favors or discounts, customer services representatives had to keep them on hold to ask other senior employees which again kept patients waiting.

A lack of following up on the problem was another weakness that I found. When a representative solved a patient’s problem, he/she never attempts to get feedback from the patient.

Opportunities:

Hospital must provide adequate training to the employees of patient affairs office to enhance their communication skills and for polishing all the other required skills for this job. They can even hire new employees who fulfill their requirement.

Threats:

Many new hospitals are built now which are giving tough competition to attract more patients by asking patients for feedback from time to time and are actually using that feedback for improving themselves.

The best patient affair representative is getting job offers from various other hospitals which is a major threat as he is very skilled and is able to tackle with customers easily without disappointing them.

Conclusion: Hospital has various strengths in the patients affair office, all it needs is to hire good trainers for the representatives over there and polish their skills to deal with customers in a better way which will reduce the weakness of the hospital. At the same time, they need to capitalize on the opportunity available and remove the threats they are facing. Hospital must take feedback from patients from time to time and bring required improvements and also they need to provide their employees in the customer services good incentives and reward to retain them with the hospital.

  1. EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT:

It is a department in the hospital who provides treatments and facilities to patients who are in critical condition or who require immediate assistance. The nature of emergency department is so unplanned that it must be prepared at all times along with specialized doctors in all fields to deal with injuries ranging from basic ones to severe ones. Emergency departments operate 24 hours in a day.

Strengths:

The hospital had all type of machines and equipments available for dealing with patients in the emergency department.

Weaknesses:

There was often a shortage of staff in the emergency after 12 a.m. which caused problems for patients. There is also a problem of slow service.

Another weakness is that sometimes the emergency room is not clean and smells bad. Apart from this, although the hospital has all the required equipments available but most of them are outdated and are not kept in an order. Due to which it often happened that at the time of emergency, it was difficult to find the required machine.

Opportunities:

Hospital can do partnership with the best medical school as after that students will assist the hospital and will be available for patients 24 hours specially at times when other staff is not available, which will be beneficial for both patient and student.

There are grants of government available for the hospital, it can take them and utilize them for the benefit of the emergency room by improving the condition of it. grants will help in solving financial problems and will enable the hospital to buy and keep latest machines to better assist patients in case of emergency.

Threats:

Hospital is losing doctors because of retirement due to which there is a shortage of doctors in the emergency department. This has caused various problems and thus hospital is losing patients especially in the emergency department to other hospitals with excellent emergency departments.

Conclusion: Hospital must reduce its weaknesses as other hospitals are taking advantage of that by providing patients with better service in the emergency department. It must hire more staff in the emergency department for keeping it clean or if it cannot hire then it must raise the salary of existing staff so they perform their duties efficiently.

It must also capitalize on the opportunity available to it by doing partnership with medical school and also by accepting the grants by government, which will help the hospital in investing more in the emergency department. It must also place advertisements for doctors to reduce the problem of less doctors in the hospital as this way there will doctors available in the emergency department as well.

  1. Complaints Office

Is an office which deals with complains of patients and is responsible for getting their feedback. They are responsible for keeping patients in the hospital satisfied by solving their problems and thus not giving them a chance to complain. The duties of this office are critical as form time to time they have to deal with customers with bad moods; they have to tolerate them at their worst which requires a lot of patience.

Its necessary for the complaints office to have solution for all the patients or else they will just lose patients. They also need to report complains of patients to senior managers to keep them updated on the condition of the hospital. This way senior manager will be able to take actions that are beyond the complaints office to keep their patients satisfied with the service they are getting.

Strengths:

The employees in the complaints office are available to patients at all times and solve their queries as much as they can.

The complaints office of the hospital has an excellent system of recording all complains of patients on a computer which is available for all the staff of hospital to view. This keeps everyone informed about the issues that should be solved.

Weaknesses:

The employees at the complaints office lack patience and they often are unable to solve their issues. Sometimes when a patient makes a complaint they listen to them but never takes any action which increases the level of dissatisfaction of patients with the hospital.

Opportunities:

Hospital can hire a specialist for giving training to its employees as to how to deal with patients with bad moods.

They can even hire employees who are specialists in human behavior so they know the required solution depending on the mood of patients.

Threats:

Other hospitals have more specialized complaints offices due to which they dint give a chance to their patients of complains. So patients prefer other hospitals compared to this which is significantly affecting the growth.

Competition is a major threat that the hospital is facing in almost all its departments.

Conclusion: Hospital needs to hire good employees and experts of human resources in the complaints office to deal with patients more effectively. They also need to polish the skills of existing employees in the complaints office.

Hospital needs to overcome its weaknesses in the complaints office as it is in direct contact with patients at all times and is responsible for solving their problems. Although employees here have got free right to make any necessary decision depending on the situation but since most of them lack patience, they are unable to talk to customers politely.

  1. Referrals Office

Referrals basically help keeping doctors track of the care that their patients are getting ti make sure that provided care is right for that particular patient. Request for a referral is usually made by the primary clinician when he/she comes to the conclusion that services that a patient requires are not available at the hospital. So referrals office processes these appointments with specialists for the clinicians.

The responsibilities of a referral office are to service the appointment with specialists and to keep the clinician updated about the dates and time of appointment.

Strengths:

The referrals office at the hospital is highly trained and has contacts with many specialists in various fields which enable them to be of service to patients of ant type of problems ranging from small to big ones.

Weaknesses:

The number of people in the referrals office is less compared to require as there are sometimes delay in making appointments to the specialists which annoys patients as no one likes to wait.

Secondly, the appointments that patients get are late and they often have to wait for a month or two to visit the specialist which is not acceptable in situations or cases that require immediate attention.

Opportunities:

There are various referrals programs available to improve the existing referrals in the hospital so it can take one of them to reduce the inefficiencies. The steps for making a referral program include:

  • First, make a timeline for the program of referral and record the changes it bring to the referrals office to be better aware of the benefits of the program and also to make sure that it’s actually working.
  • Second, keep getting feedback of referrals from the patient to make a list of specialists who actually helped the patients to recommend such specialists further. Also. This will help referrals office in knowing that with which specialist they need to build a better relation.
  • Offer your gratitude to specialists that you are referring to your patients so that they are satisfied with the hospital and are willing to accept future patients.

Threats:

The threats faced by the referrals office include the referrals office of other hospitals who try giving better service to the specialists that they refer to their patients on behalf of clinicians. Some of these hospitals are old and some are new which are giving intense competition to this hospital.

Conclusion: the referrals office should use its strength to get the best specialists appointment for their patients to make sure that they get the best service. They must try to reduce their weakness by hiring more employees in the referrals office and also by trying to get the appointment as quickly as possible especially in cases where the illness is severe.

they must capitalize on the opportunity available to them by introducing a referrals program to better train themselves for this job which will help in retaining patients as they will be satisfied by the service provided to them by the referrals office. They must try to come up with strategies and ways of dealing with the competition that they are facing from other hospitals.

  1. Ward Administrative Ward:

it is the ward that is responsible for administrating the wards in the hospital. Every hospital has various wards and thus the responsibilities of a ward administrative are huge. Employees in the ward administrative units need to coordinate and mange the wards and they also need to supervise it from time to time to make sure that they are up to the mark.

Other responsibilities of a ward administrative ward includes establishing policies and plans to be followed, making sure that the best service is being provided, maintaining the infrastructure to make sure that all the facilities are provided to the public and getting feedback from patients to bring improvement if there is a lacking.

Strengths:

Employees at the ward administrative office of the hospital are providing a good service to the hospital. The wards of the hospital are neat and clean at all times and almost everyone is trained and knows his/her duties.

Weaknesses:

The employees at the ward administrative ward never come up with plans or ideas for providing even better service than they are providing now.

Although they are providing a good service but they lack a need of making policies which everyone could follow. And also the infrastructure available at the hospital is old and need to be replaced.

The wards of the hospital are old fashioned and they need to have some work done.

Opportunities:

Hospital can hire a good architect for solving the issue with the wards and giving it a design that is attractive for patients. The infrastructure of a hospital matters a lot and an attractive hospital attracts more patients.

Threats:

The threat is same as for other departments, competition. Many new hospitals have been formed with attractive designs and extraordinary architect that attracts the patients. Although the purpose of a hospital is to solve the problems of patients but building and other infrastructure also matters.

Conclusion: the ward administrative ward is fulfilling its duties effectively but there are a few lackings here that need to be focused. Firstly, they need to make sure that all wards have latest infrastructure and are presentable to the patients because as discussed earlier, it matter a lot for patients to go in hospitals that provide good services in all ways.


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