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How to improve internal processes

September 03, 2014

The smooth running of a healthcare organisation or hospital depends on a number of factors that are often much more than medical procedures. Although the main purpose of the institution may be to deliver care to a high quality and standard, there are a number of internal processes that allow for the smooth running of a hospital. These also ensure that both patients and members of staff are kept safe.

For medical professionals, there are a number of processes that must be followed, which usually incorporates national guidelines or legislation. By improving how quickly and efficiently these internal operations work, an employer can increase the productivity of staff members, while also ensuring that quality of care is not compromised.

There are a number of ways that organisations can improve their internal processes, which can help staff perform their roles better and ensure that patient care is delivered to a high standard.

Clearly define roles
Certain internal processes rely on members of staff engaging with each other, and better, stronger communication will only make this easier. However, these can easily fail if people become confused about what is their responsibility, or if lines become blurred between specific duties and who carries them out.

The best way to ensure that healthcare workers carry out processes to the best of their ability is to clearly define the task, and what member of staff is responsible for carrying that out. For people working within the medical sector, this often involves recording or noting down a series of events. It's important that the employees responsible for this are aware of what is being asked of them and confidently know how to achieve it. 

Something like conducting a risk assessment relies heavily on a number of healthcare workers, managers and other professionals working together. This means that clearly defined roles are imperative so that each person knows exactly what they are responsible for and who to pass the information onto next.

Encouraging engagement
Staff work better in all areas of work when there is good engagement between each healthcare worker, teams and entire departments can speed up internal processes, while also ensuring that the information or data given is the most reliable it could be. 

Organisations can take a number of steps to encourage better communication between staff members from creating social events for members of staff to simply informing people of the line of management. There are a endless ways that an employer can create a healthy and open environment so that each worker feels comfortable and confident when talking to other staff.

By encouraging engagement within teams and departments, organisations are also safeguarding against processes going wrong as a number of staff will be aware of any arising problems.

Preparation
Like many areas of healthcare, preparation is key to ensuring that all internal processes are carried out efficiently but how this is achieved largely depends on the process itself. For example, if it is the internal process regarding needlestick injuries, it will be important to ensure that the correct training has been delivered, as well as having the information readily available for healthcare workers in pamphlets. However, preparation for a risk assessment would involve researching the hazards in each department or ward. 

Regardless of what the process is, it's important to see what preparation may help make internal processes smoother in the long run.

Related Legislation and Guidelines: