As we mentioned above, Bumrungrad International Hospital attracted most of the experienced doctors with accredited medical degree. (MD, DO, ABMS Member Board, ACGME, and the American Board of Medical Specialties) There are 3400 full time staff, 1200 licensed doctors and more than 900 nurses in Bumrungrad International Hospital, Thailand. Why Human Resource Management?
Firstly and the most absolute reason, Bumrungrad International Hospital sells medical services as its product. It is intangible, besides from the 6Ps, (Price, Product, Promotion, Place, Physical evidence, Process), we would have to mention the last but also the most important P, which is “People” Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Let’s make it easier and simple here. We would like to give suggestions to the HRM of Bumrungrad International Hospital in order to gain and maintain its competitive advantages and add value to the shareholders; to add value to the employees, line managers, investors and of course, CUSTOMERS.
Well managed personnel structure, carefully designed training courses, 360 degree assessment along with a motivating retaining strategy. HRM in Bumrungrad International Hospital should be able to help the organization to enhance its brand image, ensure the quality of service, build trust and get loyal customers to increase both brand equity and revenue. We have developed a rough three-step strategy for improving the HRM in Bumrungrad International Hospital for our ultimate goal: GAINING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE & VALUE ADDING
Step 1. About Brand Image Try to image that when you enter a hospital, there are some staff and security guards smoking at the corner of the entrance, when you try to ask for information, the receptionist was talking to her boyfriend on phone, and the maid rushed you out of the bathroom for her cleaning job with a cold face and loud voice. How do you feel about it? Someone might have lost his temper before really seeing the doctors and nurses and once they were pissed off, they would hardly return. Brand image is not something on the website or billboards, it is something the patients see when they visit the hospital, and their instinct persuade them to believe what they see. Bumrungrad International Hospital gives very good uniform to the nurses and doctors, very good training and motivating courses, but they may forgot the ones who customers see the first are the security guards, the maids, and the doorman. We would suggest Bumrungrad International Hospital to integrate its brand image with everyone involved in the organization, this enhances the brand equity and on the other hand, it motivates employees to work for their organization as a part of it.
Step 2. Build Trust Hospitals sell services as their products. But this service is far more than regular ones. It is critical and sensitive. Patients came in expecting recovery. The brand image reduces the customer psychological risks, hopefully. But the quality of the service determines whether the expectations could be achieved. It requires experienced doctors and contributive nurses to work in a collaborative way. Besides from the service quality, to give patients the sense of comfort and trust become crucial in gaining a positive perception. We will elaborate this part later in terms of doctor and nurses training, culture and language learning.
Step 3. Maintain the loyal customers and get new ones. As we all known, repeat customers are much more profitable than new ones. Since the patients were satisfied from the first time, there was trust, they would think of us again when they need a medical treatment. Repeat customers are less sensitive to prices and are more confident in using our services. It takes much less time for both administration and sale. The walk-in patients are more price-sensitive and it normally takes longer for registration, basic physical check until the final treatment. We would suggest Bumrungrad International Hospital to establish or to improve its Customer Relation Management (CRM) system, data mining following with a well trained service team; to maintain the loyal customers in appropriate ways and to look for new ones. Public relation department should be able to help the marketing department in creating a good brand image, more importantly, positive word of mouth. There are two more specific issues we would like to discuss. 1. Employee Retaining and Training
2. Employee Obtaining
1. Employee retaining and training. Doctors and nurses in Bumrungrad International Hospital are two most important pillars. Doctors are normally highly paid and given opportunities to advance their skills. There is a relatively lower turnover rate for doctors. For retaining the doctors in Bumrungrad International Hospital we would suggest the hospital to give more opportunities to the junior, younger, and less experienced doctors to: 1. Study further, or longer-term of training.
2. To give them more chances for operation and more important activities. 3. To establish the exchange program with foreign developed hospitals for those to learn real hands-on experiences and languages. 4. To prepare contracts and law consultants for protecting doctors. 5. To improve the medical equipments for doctors’ better performance.
On the other hand, nurses in Bumrungrad International Hospital are a little different. Nurses are normally less paid than the doctors, and there is always a high turnover rate from this group of people. Once he/she quits from this hospital, they can always fit in another one easily. But, if nurses become free lancers, there is an absolute reduction in responsibility, they would think of jumping again if there is anything they don’t want to tolerate at the present workplace. We would suggest the hospital to give better training opportunities to the nurses, because they are the ones who face customer everyday, they are the routine service deliverer, and they are what the customers really see. 1. Short term overseas field trip.
2. Team building activities or campaign. 3. Increase of salary in terms of improved performances. 4. Give free courses about advanced medical skills in different fields, taught by the doctors within Bumrungrad International Hospital, to streamline two-way communication, enhance relationships, and to give them a sense of belonging (family). Besides from the hospital’s part, benefits always make people happy, why not to share it with the employees.
Training programs as following shall be conducted to both the doctors and nurses. 1. Culture. (UAE, Myanmar, Philippines) 2. Local diseases in referral offices’ country. (UAE, Myanmar, Philippines) 3. Language. (UAE, Myanmar, Philippines)
2. Employee Obtaining We would talk about employee obtaining both 1. domestically and 2. internationally. 1. Domestic. Firstly, it should look for translators and interpreters from Thai universities. Bumrungrad International Hospital gains more than half of its net profit from abroad; they do have the need to ensure this basic communication channel, and to maintain it at a lower cost. Secondly, Bumrungrad International Hospital should cooperate with famous Thai medical institutions or universities, for the specified disease in its specified target market, such as heart attack and cancer for patients from UAE, digestive system problems or Malaria for the patients from Myanmar… This overcomes the weakness of our elder-aged work force; it circulates for freshness and gives innovative power to carry on Bumrungrad International Hospital’s success.
2. International. Firstly, Bumrungrad International Hospital should try to find expatriate doctors or nurses from the targeted market. (UAE, Myanmar, Japan). To give them training and learning programs about the advanced skills in Bumrungrad International Hospital, as well as housing, transportation, and introduction guiding tour to Bangkok, or may be personal interpreter if it is possible. (Note: The amount of expatriate should not be more than 5 from each targeted country for now) Patients from their home country would feel much more confident when speaking their mother language to their own people. It is in the blood. Secondly, Bumrungrad International Hospital should establish exchange programs with UAE, Myanmar, Philippines, those targeted countries as well, there are always something they cannot learn from home, and it is the best to have them really go and live in the targeted country, to deal with local people, to learn social norms and customs, and to learn from local doctors and the local diseases. Exchange program could be given as often as it is available. It increases the information flow and enhances mutual understanding, pay less than using expatriates.