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04/25/2012

“Human Elements Pose More Risks to an Organization Achieving its Strategic Objectives than Elements in the Industry Environment”


“Human Elements Pose More Risks to an Organization Achieving its Strategic Objectives than Elements in the Industry Environment”

 

Introduction

The process of strategic planning inside hospitals and healthcare organizations in the world had gradually changed. From the perspective of the market, healthcare organizations are already developing more comprehensive strategic plans which concerns on the different aspects of the organization including the structure, understanding the market, the behavior of the community as well as the needs and demands of the healthcare professionals (Zuckerman 2010). As a result, different healthcare organizations are focusing on strategic objectives or the objectives which pertains on four vital elements of the profile of the business, including: products/services, customer groups, market segments and geographic markets (Robert 1998). For the past years, different studies and review of literatures focuses on the health workforce, thus pertaining in the strong connection of human resource issues and the overall effectiveness of the health system (Fritzen 2007). As a result, many healthcare organizations, hospitals and clinics are focusing on properly managing it human resource, including the processes that are related with hiring, staffing and selection, in order to ensure that competitive advantage can be achieved and maintained, at the same time, achieve its overall goals, objectives and mission.

The author agrees that human elements pose more risks to an organization achieving its strategic objectives than other elements in the industry environment. Thus, in order to discuss this, the use of the case of Hospital Authority will be used in order to show how its human resource can affect its overall performance and efficiency.

 

Hospital Authority

Hospital Authority (HA) is a statutory body that was established under the Hospital Authority Ordinance in 1990. The organization has been accountable and liable in managing the Hong Kong’s public hospitals and their services towards the community since 1991. Furthermore, the organization is also accountable to Hong Kong Special Administrative (HKSA) Region Government via the Secretary for Food and Health, which formulates health policies and monitors the performance of HA (HA n.d.).

In 2009/10 HA has a workforce of more or less 56,000 people, and had been enabled to manage 41 hospitals and institutions, 48 Specialist Out-patient clinics (SOPCs) and 74 General Out-patient Clinics (GOPCs). All of these organizations, together with HA, they have been able to provide 27,100 beds or more or less 4 beds for every 1,000 members of the public (see Appendix A) (HA n.d.).

In 2008/09, HA recorded a: (a) total of 1.3 million in patient and day patient discharges; 2.1 million accident and emergency attendances; 8 million specialist outpatient clinic attendances; 5.2 million primary care attendances; and 1.6 million community outreach visits.

HA is a “people first” which is guided by its vision mission and goal. The organization’s primary objectives are to support the community in order to stay healthy and to contribute to the achievement of the Hong Kong SAR government’s policy that “no one should be prevented, through lack of means, from obtaining adequate medical treatment.” With this, the organization focuses on making sure that all of the member of the community will have the access to comprehensive, affordable, highly professional and people-centered preventative (HA n.d.).

We do this by ensuring that all members of the community have access to comprehensive, affordable, highly professional and people-centered preventative, curative and rehabilitation healthcare services if they need them. The following are the vision, mission and values of HA:

 

Vision: “Healthy People, Happy Staff, Trusted by the Community”

Mission: “Helping People Stay Healthy”

Values: “People-centred Care; Professional Service, Committed Staff, Teamwork” (HA n.d.)

 

Human Element in Healthcare 

            Human elements pertains on the different factors and aspects in the hospital that are directly or indirectly connected to human resource or the staffs of the hospitals, including doctors, nurse, staffs, assistant, etc. Human elements can be, but not limited to: communication, teamwork, leadership (Leonard & Graham 2004), technical and non-technical individual clinical skills (Sevdalis & Brett 2009), medical accident, satisfaction of the doctors, nurse and other medical staffs (Krogstad & Hofoss 2006), training and development, and behavior and approach (courtesy and understanding of the customers) (Suki & Lian 2009).

 

Healthcare Industry in Hong Kong

            In general, the healthcare industry in China has been becoming complicated as year goes by. This include the rising costs of service, the increasing demands of the customers, the dissatisfaction of the customers and outbreak of different diseases including SARS and A(H1N1) and the imbalance of supply and demand (PWHC Hong Kong n.d.).

            The healthcare industry of Hong Kong is comparable to that of other developed countries. Since the HA took over the management of all the public hospitals in the city, incredible effort have been done in order to improve more the quality of the healthcare, including the level of service. In addition, all medical practitioners are being trained with “good practice” – meaning they it is compulsory for them to have active participation in training and other continuing education, clinical audits, attendance of clinical management meetings, participation in community care and contributions to different clinical research and teaching (Allianz 2010).   

Macro-environmental Analysis of HA Environment in Hong Kong

 

Figure  SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 1 PESTLE Analysis

 

           

Figure 1 shows the different factors which affect the HA industry environment. The political factors pertains on those events or changes in the environment which are connected to the current government policies, regulations and laws. The improvement of the overall healthcare quality in the city and the TAS are two of the primary political factors. The initiative of the government in improving the health care system by improving its quality and enabling all of the people to access services affects the environment. This is supported by TAS, which help to implement self assessment tool for healthcare facilities of the organizations in order to maintain and improve the level of their services (IMJT 2009).

            The economy is very important aspect in healthcare industry. This is because, the government helps to finance some of the facilities used in the industry. Just like other countries in the world, Hong Kong is also affected by the global economic crisis. There are different studies which discussed that the demand for the health services increase during economic downturn. The most important problem to be faced by the industry is the future shortage of healthcare workforce. Due to the unbalance demand and supply, it is expected that HA will have annual shortage of about 200 nurses and 100 doctors (HA 2010).

            The primary social factor that will affect the industry is the ageing of population. Studies showed that in 2016, people aged 65 will increase by 30% or 1.13 million; for people aged 80 and above will increase by 43% or 310,000 from 217,000. In addition, complexities of diseases of elder people have become profound in the past few years (HA 2010). However, unlike before, Hong Kongers have become more aware and conscious about their health.

            The technology has a great impact on the industry. Advancement of technology, particularly Information Technology and medical equipment, together with the medicinal development can help in order to further improve the healthcare industry in the city.

            The regulations of Hong Kong and international organizations in health service affect the industry. This particularly include the Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR which pertains on the improvement of the healthcare system in the city.

            Above all, the environmental factors include the changing lifestyle of the people which affect their health. It is important to consider that Hong Kong is has already completed its epidemiological transition of diseases, from infectious disease era to chronic diseases (HA 2010).

 

Human Element v Industry Environment Element: Strategic Objectives of HA

            The strategic priorities of HA focuses on: implementation of a planned response in order to manage growing service demand; improvement of continuously service quality and safety; keeping HA modernization; building people-first culture; and maintaining financial sustainability (HA n.d.).

            It is true that the elements from the industry environment can affect how the strategic objectives of the company can be achieved. However, it is important to consider that human factors or those factors which can be found in the internal environment have greater influence towards the strategic processes in HA. This is because by considering the human factors inside the organization, it can help in order to overcome those risks that can be found in the external environment.

            Without courtesy, communication with and understanding of the customers is very important in order to build people-first culture. This is because these human factors are considered as three of the most important indicators of customers’ satisfaction in the healthcare environment (Suki & Lian 2009). Effective communication, teamwork and leadership inside the organization can help HA to notice or find the different possible source of risks and problems which the organization will be facing in the future. This can also help in order to ensure that the appropriate strategy will be planned and implemented by the appropriate or suitable people (Leonard & Graham 2004). This is connected with the satisfaction of the medical staffs, together with their technical and non-technical skills, which help in order for the doctors, nurse and other staffs to be opened for different changes to be implemented in the organization for the good of majority. Training and development (T&D) is very important because it can help the staffs and employees to be prepared with any changes in the healthcare industries, particularly those that are related with the medical practice, usage of different machineries and equipments that can help in order to improve their performance, which will result to satisfaction of the customers and greater performance of the entire organization.

            The study of Suki & Lian (2009) shows that human elements are more significant than those non-human elements found in healthcare environment. Therefore, it is important for HA to focus on how to improve the areas involved in human element.

 

Conclusion

Human resource is indeed the most important resource in any organization in any industry. This is because; the employees or the staffs are responsible and accountable in implementing different activities and strategies in order to meet the objectives and goals of the entire organization. This is particularly applicable in the healthcare setting, because of the fact that the knowledge, behavior, abilities, skills and approaches used by the doctors, nurse, assistant and other medical authorities directly influence on how the customers will perceive the entire organization. Thus, these human elements help in order to improve the overall quality of service to be offered, which will affect the customers perception, expectations and satisfaction, which will consequently affect the objectives of the organization.

References

Alianz, Healthcare in Hong Kong, Allianz World Wide Care, http://www.alianzworldwidecare.com (accessed May 7, 2010).

Fritzen, S 2007, ‘Strategic Management of the Health Workforce in Developing Countries: What have we Learned?’, Human Resource for Health, vol. 5, no. 4, http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/5/1/4 (accessed May 7, 2010).

Krogstad, U, Hofoss, D, Veenstra, M & Hjortdahl, P 2006, ‘Predictors of Job Satisfaction Among Doctors, Nurses and Auxiliaries in Norwegian Hospitals: Relevance for Micro Unit Culture’, Human Resource for Health, vol. 4, no. 3.

Leonard, M, Graham, S & Bonacum, D 2004, ‘The Human Factor: The Critical Importance of Effective Teamwork and Communication in Providing Safe Care’, Quality Safety Health Care, vol. 13, no. 13, pp. i85 – i90.

PWHC Hong Kong, Healthcare, Price Water House Coopers Hong Kong, http://www.pwchk.com/ (accessed May 7, 2010).

Robert, M 1998, Strategy Pure and Simple Two, McGraw-Hill Professional.

Suki, N M, LIan, J C & Suki, N M 2009, ‘A Comparison of Human Elements and NonHuman Elements in Private Health Care Settings: Customers’ Perceptions and Expectations’, Journal of Hospital Marketing & Public Relations, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 113 – 128.

Sevdalis, N & Brett, S 2009, ‘Improving Care by Understanding the Way We Work: Human Factors and Behavioural Science in the Context of Intensive Care’, Critical Care, vol. 13, no. 139.

Zuckerman, A 2010, ‘Hospital and Medical Staff Strategic Planning: Developing an Integrated Approach’, Physician Executive, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mo_m0843/is_n8_v20/ai_15786964 (accessed May 7, 2010).

Appendices

Appendix A: Hospitals and Institutions, SOPCs and GOPCs

Hospitals and Insitutions

 

Hong Kong East Cluster

  • Cheshire Home, Chung Hom Kok

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • St. John Hospital

  • Tang Shiu Kin Hospital

  • Tung Wah Eastern Hospital

  • Wong Chuk Hang Hospital

Hong Kong West Cluster

  • Grantham Hospital

  • MacLehose Medical Rehabilitation Centre

  • Queen Mary Hospital

  • The Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital at Sandy Bay

  • Tsan Yuk Hospital

  • Tung Wah Group of Hospitals - Fung Yiu King Hospital

  • Tung Wah Hospital

Kowloon Central Cluster

  • HK Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service

  • Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital

  • Hong Kong Eye Hospital

  • Kowloon Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Rehabaid Centre

Kowloon East Cluster

  • Haven of Hope Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

Kowloon West Cluster

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Kwai Chung Hospital

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • TWGHs Wong Tai Sin Hospital

  • Yan Chai Hospital

New Territories East Cluster

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Bradbury Hospice

  • Cheshire Home, Shatin

  • North District Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Shatin Hospital

  • Tai Po Hospital

New Territories West Cluster

  • Castle Peak Hospital

  • Pok Oi Hospital

  • Siu Lam Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital

Specialist Out-Patient Clinics

 

Anaesthesiology

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • The Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital at Sandy Bay

Cardiothoracic Surgery

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

 

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

Clinical Oncology

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital

  • Yan Chai Hospital

Dental

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • United Christian Hospital

Dermatology

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Tung Wah Hospital

Ear, Nose & Throat

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • Tung Wah Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Yan Chai Hospital

  • Yaumatei Specialist Clinic Extension

Eye

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Hong Kong Eye Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • St. John Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Eye Centre

  • Tung Wah Eastern Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Yan Chai Hospital

Family Medicine

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • Yan Chai Hospital

Geriatics

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Grantham Hospital

  • Haven of Hope Hospital

  • Kwai Chung - Psychogeriatric Out-patient Department cum Carers Support Centre

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • St. John Hospital

  • TWGHs Wong Tai Sin Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Yaumatei Specialist Clinic Extension

Gynaecology

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Tsan Yuk Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Yan Chai Hospital

Medicine

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Grantham Hospital

  • Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Pok Oi Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Pok Oi Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • St. John Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Eye Centre (Renal Dialysis Centre)

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • Yan Chai Hospital

  • Tung Wah Eastern Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Tung Wah Hospital

Nephrology

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Yaumatei Specialist Clinic Extension

Neurosurgery

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • United Christian Hospital

Obstetrics

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Tsan Yuk Hospital

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • United Christian Hospital

Palliative Medicine

  • Grantham Hospital

Psychiatry

  • Yung Fung Shee Memorial Centre

  • Yaumatei Child Psychiatric Centre

  • West Kowloon Psychiatric Centre

  • Violet Peel Psychiatric Centre

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Mental Health Centre

  • Queen Mary Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Kwai Chung Hospital

  • Kwai Chung Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Centre

  • Kwai Chung - Psychogeriatric Out-patient Department cum Carers Support Centre

  • Kowloon Hospital

  • East Kowloon Psychiatric Centre

  • David Trench Rehabilitation Centre

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

Surgery

  • Yan Chai Hospital

  • United Christian Hospital

  • Tung Wah Hospital

  • Tuen Mun Hospital Ambulatory Care Centre

  • Tseung Kwan O Hospital

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • Queen Mary Hospital Specialist Clinic

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital

  • Princess Margaret Hospital

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • Pok Oi Hospital

  • Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • North District Hospital

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital

Tuberculosis & Chest

  • Grantham Hospital

  • Haven of Hope Hospital

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Ruttonjee Hospital

  • Tang Shiu Kin Hospital

General Out-Patient Clinics

 

 

  • Aberdeen Jockey Club General Outpatient Clinic

  • Anne Black Health Centre

  • Ap Lei Chau General Outpatient Clinic

  • Caritas Medical Centre

  • Central District Health Centre General

  • Outpatient Clinic

  • Central Kowloon Health Centre (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Chai Wan Health Centre

  • Cheung Sha Wan Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • East Kowloon General Out-patient Clinic

  • Fanling Family Medicine Centre

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Ha Kwai Chung General Out-patient Clinic

  • Ho Tung Dispensary

  • Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital

  • Hung Hom Clinic

  • Kam Tin Clinic

  • Kennedy Town Jockey Club General Outpatient Clinic

  • Kowloon Bay Health Centre General

  • Outpatient Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Kwong Wah Hospital

  • Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre General Out-patient Clinic

  • Lady Trench General Out-patient Clinic

  • Lam Tin Polyclinic General Out-patient Clinic

  • Lee Kee Memorial Dispensary

  • Lek Yuen General Out-patient Clinic

  • Li Po Chun General Out-patient Clinic

  • Ma On Shan Family Medicine Centre

  • Madam Yung Fung Shee Health Centre

  • Mona Fong General Out-patient Clinic

  • Mrs Wu York Yu General Out-patient Clinic

  • Mui Wo General Out-patient Clinic

  • Nam Shan General Out-patient Clinic

  • Ngau Tau Kok Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • North Kwai Chung General Out-patient Clinic

  • North Lamma Clinic

  • Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital

  • Peng Chau Clinic

  • Robert Black General Out-patient Clinic

  • Sai Wan Ho Health Centre

  • Sai Ying Pun Jockey Club General

  • Outpatient Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Sha Tau Kok General Out-patient Clinic

  • Shatin (Tai Wai) General Out-patient Clinic

  • Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Shek Kip Mei General Out-patient Clinic

  • Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • Shun Lee Government Clinic General Out-patient Clinic

  • Shun Tak Fraternal association Leung Kau Kui Clinic

  • Sok Kwu Wan Clinic

  • South Kwai Chung Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • St. John Hospital

  • Stanley Public Dispensary

  • Ta Kwu Ling General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tai O Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tai Po Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tin Shui Wai Health Centre

  • Tin Shui Wai

  • North General Out-Patient Clinic

  • (Service

  • suspended during activation of Designated Flu Clinic (DFC))

  • Tseung Kwan O (Po Ning Road) General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tseung Kwan O Jockey Club General Outpatient Clinic ( Tseung Kwan O Hospital )

  • Tsing Yi Cheung Hong General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tsing Yi Town General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tuen Mun Clinic

  • Tuen Mun Wu Hong Clinic

  • Tung Chung General Out-patient Clinic

  • Tung Wah Eastern Hospital

  • Tung Wah Hospital

  • Violet Peel General Outpatient Clinic

  • Wan Tsui Government Clinic

  • Wang Tau Hom Jockey Club General Out-

  • patient Clinic

  • West Kowloon General Out-patient Clinic

  • Wong Siu Ching Family Medicine Centre

  • Wu York Yu General Out-patient Clinic

  • Yan Chai Hospital

  • Yan Oi General Outpatient Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic) ( Tuen Mun Hospital )

  • Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club General

  • Outpatient Clinic

  • Yuen Chau Kok General Out-patient Clinic

  • (Currently Designated Flu Clinic)

  • Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre

  •  General

 

source: (HA n.d.)

                                                                                                        

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