This report outlines the service delivery process at Al Salam Hospital in Mohandseen focusing on the out-patient clinic along with our evaluation of the service there. We visited the hospital several times and also played the role of patients there. We made reservations and were examined by several doctors (e. g. internal medicine doctor, ear nose and throat, chest and ophthalmology,…etc). We also interviewed one of the doctors (cardiology) for the purpose of gaining more information. We made a survey and interviewed some patients to see their evaluation of the service and how it meets their perception.
Based on our visits and the interview we made we were able to gain enough information to evaluate the offered service and prepare our report. This report was prepared by Ban Faisal, Mariam Riad, Nancy Mustafa and Mohamed Magdi Al Kady. Process Description at Al Salam Hospital: Al Salam Hospital has 2 buildings, the first one is located on the main street, is the hospital itself, for surgeries, patient hospitalization and it has the blood testing lab and x-rays. The second building which is located on a side street near to the main building is the out-patient clinics.
The first step for being examined in one of the hospital’s Out-Patient Clinics, is to select the desired doctor, according to the specialty and available times. The patient can acquire the needed information through the hospital’s website (http://alsalamhospital. org/reservation. asp), through the telephone or through personal inquiry at the hospital. Reservation Details: The patient should then make a reservation. The reservation can be made either through the telephone or by going directly to the clinics’ reception.
This depends on the doctor, some doctors allow reservation through the telephone and others only allow reservation to be done directly at the out-patient clinic along with payment. If the patient is making his reservation at the clinic, then he can make it on the same day as the desired time or a few days in advance depending on the availability of appointments. There are several payment categories; the patients who pay normally, the ones who have an insurance that gives them a discount (partial or full) and there are members of unions who usually get a partial discount that varies according to the union.
Reservation Process The patients head to the reservation area that is set near the main entrance. There are two windows located one for the normal patients and one for the insured ones. The receptionist begins by asking the patient if this is his/her first visit to the hospital, if it is, the receptionist asks for the patient’s information and a file is created for the patient on the hospital’s computer system. The patient tells the receptionist which doctor and when they want to reserve an appointment.
The receptionist then checks on the computer reservation system if there are any available appointments t the desired time and if not he tell the patient the first available appointment. If the desired appointment is available then in the case of the normal patient, the patient pays and gets a receipt. The patient is given a floor number (where the examination room is on) and is asked to head there and is advised to give the receipt to the nurse who is sitting at a desk on this floor. The nurse then takes the receipt and enters the information in a ledger (the day’s list of patients) she has to organize patients and then gives the patient his number (on a first come first served basis).
She checks the patient’s ID and goes to the archive to find the patient’s medical record. If this was his first visit, she gets a new blank medical form. The medical records are given to the doctor later. If the patient has an insurance or will get a discount the above process is the same the difference is that at the time of payment, the patient presents his/her insurance card (or union membership card) to the receptionist who then checks if he has a contract and with which insurance company and the amount of discount he will get.
The payment is settled according to the discount rate and the receptionist finishes the reservation process and gives the patient three sets of papers to sign along with the normal receipt. The papers are for the insurance company or union (One for the hospital, one for the company and one for the patient). The receptionist keeps one of the signed forms and advises the patients to go to the doctor as previously mentioned. If the doctor cancels his appointments for the day the hospital then calls the patients informing them of this change and gives them another appointment.
If the patient has made his appointment in an earlier day, before his appointment he’ll first head to the nurse on the clinic’s floor to give her his papers and take his number. At the time of the appointment, all patients wait in the waiting area for his/her name to be called by the nurse at the desk that already gave him his number on the day’s list of patients. When the doctor arrives the nurse provides him with the list of patients by their order. She also gives him the medical records of all the patients. After the patient’s name is called he goes into the doctor’s office to be examined and describe his/her complaint.
The doctor checks the patient’s medical record, if there is any, to get a clearer background about his health. After the examination, the doctor can then give the patient a prescription or orders a few tests to be made, and if needed advises the patient to schedule a follow up consult to check on the progress of the treatment or to check the results of the test. The doctor writes everything down in the medical record (the complaint, diagnosis and recommended treatment), the form is given to the nurse to return to the archive at the end of the day.
The number of consults may vary depending on the ability of the doctor to pin point the patient’s illness and the treatments effectiveness. The doctor also has a document where he keeps information about all the patients that he has seen on that day. If tests are required then the hospital offers the lab as a complimentary service to the out-patient clinic. There are two labs one in the outpatient clinic building and one in the hospitals main building. The first step to get the tests done is for the patient to take the papers with the prescribed tests to be registered in the hospitals computer system which is located on the ground floor.
The patient will then get a paper which s/he will then take to the nurses sitting at a window located immediately next to the lab, they will take the paper and then tell the patient to go into the lab to be tested. The patient will then be told when his results will be ready to be picked up. The patient can reserve for a consult the same way s/he reserve for a regular examination. Go to Appendices 1 & 2 for more illustration about the service delivery process at the out-patient clinics.
Evaluation and Analysis of Al Salam Hospital’s Service: Service concept and characteristics: Service Concept The hospital should be able to offer all things a patient can need: out-patient clinics for examinations, emergency rooms, intensive care units, x-rays and labs, .. etc The employees should feel that they are saving lives not just having a normal job. The community should treat the hospital as a crucial facility that they need to help and do what they can to help it operate. The treatment should be as efficient and professional as possible and make the patients feel safe and secure so that they would receive their regular treatments there and recommend it to their families and friends.
The design of the hospital takes into consideration the devices needed, emergency rooms, moving large objects as beds in corridors and elevators. The interior design is suited to a hospital and allocation of rooms and floors takes into account the psychology of patients (i. e. departments with a high death rate like intensive care units and cancer patients should be located away from newly born babies and incubators). The hospital is marketed based on the names of the doctors working there and how successful they are in treatment.
Target Market Segment: AL Salam Hospital is a private hospital focusing on average and above average-income families. This market is not usually price-sensitive when it comes to healthcare services. This community needs a professional hygienic hospital which they trust to be able to go to for regular examinations, consultations, tests and emergencies The most important segment is of those of the older generation because they usually get sick more. However, it is important that the hospital builds it ties of trust with the customers throughout their whole life.
Distinctive Characteristics of the Service at Al-Salam: Simultaneity: It is the fact that services are created and consumed at the same time at the hospital, the patient enters the room, the doctor examines the patient (the customer) and the patient receives this service simultaneously. For example if a patient comes to the hospital and is diagnosed as having a very low blood pressure the doctor will hook the patient to a salt solution IV which will raise the patient’s blood pressure.
Perishability: The service is perishable which means it cannot be stored. If the patient doesn’t come at the reserved time, a lost opportunity has occurred at that time. An hour without patients during a doctor’s shift can be considered as a lost opportunity and the money that the hospital was supposed to make at that time will never be compensated. Faced with variable demand and time-perishable capacity to provide the service, the managers of the hospital used the following techniques: * smoothed demand by using reservations or appointments Allowed patients to wait. * Accepted more patients than the time capacity. Intangibility: Services are ideas and concepts, not products. The patient experiences the service that the doctor offers; he doesn’t touch it or see it. The intangible nature of services presents a problem for customers. When buying a product, the customer is able to see it, feel it, and test its performance before purchase. But for a service, things are different.
The doctor tried to overcome this intangibility feature through making the intangible tangible; trying to stop the pain that the customer feels. He did this through examination and then medication. Another way through which the hospital overcame this intangibility feature was the reliance on reputation and word-of-mouth. Al Salam hospital is very well-known by its good reputation and its customers who are really satisfied with the service delivery system.
This two features encourages people to guarantee that when they go to this hospital, they will be satisfied even though it’s not a product that they can really see and touch. Heterogeneity: The combination of the intangible nature of services and the customer as a participant in the service delivery system results in a variation of the service being offered from one customer to customer next at the same doctor, let’s take a dentist for instance, each customer might have a different kind of pain and thus, needs a unique method of treatment.
On a larger scale each customer needs a certain doctor based on his/her illness. Al Salam hospital offers a variety of doctors with different specializations. Also, there is a cafeteria for patients; that provides a variety of food and drinks to satisfy as much patients as possible. There is cooked food, biscuits, cheese, sandwiches…etc. And as for the drinks there were many kinds of them such as: juice, tea, coffee…etc.
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