The Need For A Gap Analysis In Your Healthcare Organization

The Healthcare industry is rapidly growing in terms of employment and revenue and is considered as one of the fastest growing service sector in the Indian market. However, with a large presence of Healthcare institutions pan India, it is unfortunate that many of them do not meet the right quality standards. It is essential for every healthcare organisation to maintain a proper healthcare facility to carve a name for itself in the healthcare market, as the factor which most of the customers seek in a service is the quality of the service. With the globalization of economy, the demand and expectations of the people have risen and most of them expect the best care in the services they receive.

But, most of the healthcare institutions struggle to meet the expectations of their clients and provide a satisfactory level of care. Many growing healthcare organisations fail to understand the difference that falls in between the services they provide and the services their customers expect. This dismal situation is provoked by the fact that the human and other resources that are in place are often not as efficiently used as they could be. Due to the absence of systems and lack of adherence to quality standards, patients receive substandard care below the satisfactory levels.

Furthermore, lack of financial support for the healthcare institutions makes the situation more difficult. If private facilities are to progress, they require capital to upgrade infrastructure, equipment and manpower. If public facilities are to progress, governments need to know where to use their finances most efficiently. Hence, it is highly important for a healthcare organisation to do a gap analysis to understand the level of difference between their actual system and the standard system for them to work on the differences.

Some of the areas and aspects which necessitates a gap analysis are as follows:

1. Management and leadership

It is essential for the management and leadership to work together in developing plans and policies to ensure that adequate human resources, funding, space, equipment and other resources are available to meet patients' needs at all times.

2. Patient care services

Health facilities work to establish trust and open communication with patients and to understand and protect each patient's cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values. Care must be taken to ensure a high level of planning and coordination from the entry to exit of any patients either outpatient or inpatient services

3. Human Resource Planning

Any business or facility needs an appropriate number of suitably qualified staff to fulfil its mission and meet patient needs for clinical and non-clinical functions. Proper plans and forecasts need to be made to estimate the number of employees needed for the functioning of the organisation to avoid being over-staffed and under- staffed.

4. Management of information & IT Systems

A proper system needs to put in place to manage aggregated data from patient visits to help the health facility understand its current performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

5. Clinical Services

Services in the clinical areas carry high risks, it is vital that there is collaboration between the personnel in the location with proper process and systems.

6. Diagnostic services (Lab & Radiology)

Laboratory investigations and rapid reporting systems are essential for patient assessment and the implementation of treatment plans, and ensure that the diagnostic imaging service meets the needs of its the clinical services offered, healthcare providers and the patient population.

7. Doctor engagement models

Treating doctors are vital to any healthcare institutions, their engagement model is very important to improve the satisfaction level of the doctor, through that they provide satisfactory services to the patients.

8. Facility management services

The infrastructure, both medical and non-medical, buildings, grounds, plant, utility systems and machinery are provided and maintained should not pose hazards to the occupants.

9. Support services

The support services such as laundry, housekeeping, F&B, security & medical records are critical services to improve the quality of service delivery throughout the organization.

10. Branding

Proper communication and branding of the facility, awareness to the patients are very important factors of the healthcare facilities.

11. Financial Planning

Financial planning plays a vital role in any healthcare institution, advance planning of the facilities, medical and non-medical infrastructures, manpower are all depended on the financial planning of the management team.

We live in a fast- pace world where technology and needs constantly change. It is highly necessary for an organization in an important industry like the Healthcare to update themselves with these changes and demands to survive in the Healthcare industry. Hence, every healthcare organization needs to do a gap analysis to understand the practical gaps available in the overall system. Timely review of these gaps will surely help an organisation to create differentiation in the services offered.