Understanding sustainable healthcare model?

Although healthcare refers to hospitals of all sizes, pharmacies, healthcare educational institutes, laboratories etc, in this section, we would restrict the discussion to hospitals with 20-50 beds.

What does sustainable mean?

If you search this on Google it would tell you “ability to maintain a certain rate or level”.In other words the ability of an organisation to continually maintain a certain standard in a sustainable manner.

How can we relate this to a hospital?

It starts from setting a basic standard of service inpatient care and service ensuring its maintained in alignment with the evolving standards.

Kindly note – it’s care and service.

Why is care combined with service?

Gone are the day’s healthcare is believed to be just ‘sick’ care. In today’s world, people visit hospitals even for preventive care. And even when it’s sick care, the demands of today’s patient is changing. Hence a good service vertical needs to be set up in alignment with the medical care.

How do we ensure sustainability in both care and service?

Be it a single-specialty hospitality hospital or a multi-specialty one, standard operating procedures(SOPs) have to be set in place at every single level. This includes both clinical care pathways and patient handling processes. These shouldn’t be just documents for the sake of NABH accreditation, but processes developed in co-ordination with the respective departments, and ensure the implementation on a continuous basis.

How do we ensure continuity?

  • At first, the acceptance of the respective departments is important, hence their role in the development of the SOPs is crucial. This is followed by regular training of the sub-ordinates by the department in charge. A regular monitoring strategy using key performance indicators(KPIs) needs to be evolved alongside monitoring on a regular basis. This process needs to be regularly continued with new joiners and so on.

What are the challenges in the implementation?

The one and the only challenge is the willingness to commit to change, not just by the employees, but by the doctors themselves. The belief that ‘what I have been doing for long is right!’ is the primary challenge. This requires motivated staff – this involves a combination of freedom, support, and incentivisation. We need to understand and accept “what we sow – we reap”.

Similarly “what we pay – we get”.

With a combination of established processes, motivated staff and systems to ensure sustainability, any hospital set up would become a sustainable one without having to worry about patient volumes & staff attrition, ensuring its own growth and survival.


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