In a healthcare organization, there are issues, like any other organization. The difference is that in this type of organization, peoples’ health or even their lives can be at stake. Therefore, there is little room for error and all issues must be addressed as soon as possible so that the impact can be controlled and minimized. One such issue can be the overcrowding of the emergency department at hospitals. Many hospitals face this problem especially at the time of disasters and calamities. At times of emergencies, injured people can be flowing in.
At times like these, there is always a shortage of space, doctors, supplies and medical attention. Such a problem can have a great negative impact. To analyze the root cause of this problem, following is a ‘five whys’ section aimed at getting to the root of the problem.
Why is the emergency department being overcrowded?
There is not enough space to accommodate the incoming patients. There is mostly a lack of beds, rooms, doctors, medical supplies and treatment. At times of emergencies, the patients coming in are severely injured and need medical attention. With limited resources, these patients do not get enough attention and the delays can cause complications in their medical conditions. Injuries and illnesses can be worsened and lives can be lost because of this lack of space and resources.
Why is there a lack of space and resources in the hospital?
The lack of space can be a design flaw or a problem during the planning phase when the operations scale were being mapped out and discussed. The lack of resources can have the same cause as well i.e. the planned scale of operations was underestimated.
Why was the scale of operations underestimated?
The medical facilities needed in the surrounding environment or locality were underestimated; the planning team did not realize that the locality would need emergency medical facilities on a larger scale.
Why were the emergency medical needs of the locality underestimated?
The survey and requirements analysis done before planning out the operations of the hospital were either done poorly or not at all. This can have several causes too like unskilled researchers and lack of expertise. Failure to look at all social aspects and the lack research backing the healthcare facility plan can be the root causes of the problem. Thus, all projects need to be started off after thorough research and planning so that future issues can be looked after.