Working in healthcare there is always room for improvements. Sometimes there are situations where a company may not be able to hire additional staff to meet their needs, so they enlist the help of managers to develop a plan to improve customer satisfaction while improving the efficiency of their current staff. In order to increase the efficiency of the current staff, the company must address the ideas of creating departmental teams that can help lead to increased customer satisfaction. There are five steps to the planning process that must be adhered to in order to create an effective plan.
People tend to think of teams, and they think of a competition. In the healthcare environment, teams are groups of individuals who are assigned to complete a certain task. Each of the teams is responsible for different aspects that in turn helps the next team accomplish their goals. “The five steps to planning involve first the preparation. Since the goal of this particular project is to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction, it must start with the employees.” (B.S. Chakravarthy and Y. Doz, 1992). For this part of the planning process, the development of teams would be essential to the success of the project. Again, each team is assigned different collection tasks. This means that they would be responsible for collecting data in order to decipher exactly where the improvement is needed the most. Next, the employees that are chosen for the teams would come up with a mission statement. It means that the employees would sum up what they are trying to accomplish.
They would develop a statement that would sum up what they need to accomplish. Next, the team would access all the problems that are occurring, such as long hold times before someone answers the customer questions or it could be that one employee is taking too long on phone calls and thus is not being effective nor efficient leading to decreased customer satisfaction. Next the team would develop goals. What is the group trying to accomplish? Customer satisfaction and improvement on efficiency would be the primary goal of the teams. The teams would then collect data to analyze amongst all the groups. Once all the data has been analyzed then the teams would help create a plan to implement. Once the plan has been implemented then the next step would be to follow up on the plan. In the healthcare industry, teams are essential because it allows things to flow more smoothly.
For example, when a person goes to the emergency room there are different teams assigned to assess the patient according to the diagnosis that the patient presents. You may have a respiratory team that is responsible for the patient breathing assessment and a trauma team that focuses primarily on keeping the patient alive due to any type of trauma obtained. As you can see, each team plays an important role in keeping the patient alive. Teams in healthcare allow for each of the teams to specialize in different aspects of patient satisfaction thus creating a satisfied customer. In other industries they tend to focus on teams while promoting teamwork. Take the army, for example, they have different platoons.
One would tend to think that they are not teams, but each platoon or battalion is responsible for different aspects of our country safety. Look at the navy Seals. They are a team of individuals who work together in order to accomplish different missions. The members of the team rely on each other to perform a certain job which enables them to have successful missions. The healthcare industry is a unique network of teams that are responsible for different things when it comes to patient care. Other industries and their team’s teamwork can help the healthcare industry learn that it takes a group of individuals willing to work together in order to accomplish one goal. Every one of the team must be cohesive in order for the team to be successful.
According to Mohr, in Explaining Organizational Behavior, teams have to be organized in order for them to be successful in the problem solving process. The standard organizational process is one that would allow for a team or company to analyze data solve problems that may arise on a daily basis. In order for a team to be effective and efficient it is important that all organizational processes are implemented because each team has a different goal to accomplish.
In conclusion, my department has been tasked with improving customer satisfaction while improving on efficiency. There is a budget of $20,000 that is available for use. In order to accomplish our goals the department will be divided into teams in which each team will be responsible for a different a task. First, all will be trained on customer satisfaction. Next, each employee will be provided with additional training on problem solving. The department would then be divided into different teams that would encompass and initial team. This team would be responsible for the initial contact with the customer. Next you would have the mid-level team who would be responsible for escalated calls.
A plan would be put into place where the initial call handler would escalate calls that did not fall into the category of initial calls. The mid-level team would also escalate the call if resolution were not obtained. The final level team would be responsible for resolving the issue before the call is sent to a supervisor. Besides training, each employee would be placed on an incentive program which means that the more calls resolved would result in a monetary reward. It has been found that when rewards or incentives are provided that many employees tend to work harder to resolve problems. The healthcare industry is one in which many teams must function as one in order for the entire organization to be effective.
B.S. Chakravarthy and Y. Doz, “Strategy Process Research: Focusing on Corporate Self-Renewal,” Strategic Management Journal, volume 13, special issue, Summer 1992, pp. 5–14, quote from p. 6. Buchbinder, S. B. (2012). Introduction to Health Care Management, 2e. Chapter 4. L.B. Mohr, Explaining Organizational Behavior (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1982); p. 3, para. 2.