Organizations in the society exist in an environment that requires comparison with other similar organizations for improvement purposes. Depending on the objectives of an organization, performance benchmarking has proved to be an effective way of ensuring that they maintain a competitive advantage in the industry.
The health sector is not an exception. Through simulation, performance benchmarking is done to ensure that health organizations maintain quality service, the safety of the patients, staff and other people in the sector while fulfilling the standards of the regulators.
The health sector is faced with various issues that require to be addressed. The online simulation process in the health sector is crucial in the training of personnel, making their decision making process easier and ensuring the safety of the patients while making use of innovations in this case. This paper addresses the decisions made in the online simulation of Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care.
The simulation carried out on Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care was to address the increases in the nosocomial infections. These infections are a threat to the hospital due to its role in ensuring the safety of the patients and other personnel and people involved in the process (Jarvis, 2008).
The increases proved to be unsustainable from a liability perspective since the personnel and other resources were concentrating more on them yet they originated from the hospital practices. The costs involved in their treatment and management proved to be inefficient.
The infections also proved unsustainable from a quality perspective since LHAC was questioned on its quality maintenance and assurance in the process. This was done through performance benchmarking to identify the root causes of the problem, the establishment of airway recommendations and identification of process improvement strategies. The simulation identified the root causes as the equipment practices that were rather inefficient in the hospital and offered recommendations based on effective sanitation and the incorporation of the functional strategy to the business strategy.
This section addresses the decisions made from the simulation classified as the root cause, the airway recommendations established, the benchmarking partnership and the process improvement strategies.
The Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care (LHAC) has experienced increases in the rates of nosocomial infections. Nosocomial infections as Jarvis (2008) assert comes as a result of transmission of an infectious disease which could be contagious or caused by a pathogenic organism.
The types of these nosocomial infections range from surgical related infections, central nervous system infections, skin infections, blood stream infections, gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections, and respiratory infections which all are facilitated by the conditions and practices at the hospital facilities (Health Grades Inc, 2010). The process of addressing nosocomial infections is critical due to the diagnosis that is sensitive and the fact that some of them turn out to be drug resistant.
The identification of the root cause of the infections was the most prudent way of addressing the issue to avoid recurrences and reduce costs in management. The simulation on Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care (LHAC) identified the root cause of the nosocomial infections increase as the equipment practices in the hospital that were inefficient. This cause was motivated by the exposures to diseases and environmental pollutants in the hospital (Health Grades Inc, 2010).
The inefficient use of facilities was related to lack of homogeneity in the use of equipment in the various departments, sharing of the equipments among departments, poor sanitation of the equipment, the fact that the equipment was not enough while personal responsibility and proper use of the equipment was limited. The infections thus spread even as the number of patients in the departments increased.
The infections were further encouraged by lack of coordination of equipment use. For example, two or more different departments could be using the same equipment in their diagnosis of conditions, which could lead to the easier transmission between patients due to exposure to contaminants. The hospital also lacked tracking systems to monitor the use and care of equipment (Thornton, De Rosa & Craven, 2002).
In addressing the root cause of the problem of nosocomial infections, personally, I could include more monitoring systems and checks of the environmental pollutants and training process of personnel to be able to identify whether their lack of experience with the equipment caused them to be unable to use them or whether it was out of negligence and ignorance and provide the necessary recommendations accordingly.
The identification of the root cause of the nosocomial infections being inefficient handling of equipment at Lenity Hospital, there was a need to offer recommendations that would seek to ensure proper management of the equipment and an environment of safety and caution.
The recommendations offered were on the basis of the risks they posed through contamination to patients, staff and visitors at the hospital. They were also based on the regulations requirements for health safety in the health sector as a way of improving the health care and quality health (Moller & Sonntag, 1998).
The recommendations offered include the effective training of personnel on the use of the equipment and increasing their awareness of the nosocomial infections (Lack, 1996). This recommendation is necessary since the equipment in the health care facilities do require knowledge in the use and maintenance.
The skills on the use of the equipment would make the personnel aware of their contributions in nosocomial infections and provide ways of minimizing them. Another recommendation was the use of a tracking system. This system would serve to ensure the sanitation of the equipment.
The sanitation would be necessary to ensure safety through avoidance of sharing of equipment that poses a high risk of infection (Cohen, 2006). Additionally, the system would require accountability of inventory. It is also recommendable that Lenity hospital ensures the availability of equipment and distribution through out the departments and also ensures reliability where the equipment would be available when needed to avoid the use of other equipment that would increase the risk of infection.
Further, the equipment that is very risky would require being disposable to avoid contamination through reuse due to the sensitivity of the equipment (Moller & Sonntag, 1998). For example the equipment dealing with the injections blood and so on.
The outcome of the recommendation was impressive. Lenity management set up a tracking system for the sanitation of the equipment. They additionally, instituted inventory controls with the employment of inventory clerks. The clerks have the mandate of ensuring that the inventory bought meets the safety requirements and minimizes the risk of infections as much as possible.
They also have the responsibility of ensuring that the equipment is supplied in the hospital in due time and track the stock levels to ensure that the equipment is bought in time. The hospital management also sought on reducing infection through the use of disposable equipment and the maintenance of a sterilizing department to oversee the safety after the cleaning of equipment before reuse.
In doing of the simulation for another time, I could have followed the steps and measures I took in this current one since it was conclusive and the recommendations proved feasible and would not only ensure safety and reduce nosocomial infections, but would also improve the reputation of LHAC and reduce the costs of operation (Zulch & Rinn, 1999).
The benchmarking partner chosen for this simulation was the information services department of the Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care. This was based on the reason that this was part of the LHAC and so would provide internal information regarding the safety. Additionally, the department would offer statistics to base the simulation on and provide the resources of the best practice in the sector (Cohen, 2006).
The department proved reliable in providing the information needed on the safety levels, use of the equipment, data on nosocomial infections as well as the comparisons with the industry since LHAC covers a great share of market in the health sector. In doing the simulation again, I would incorporate the safety department to assess the levels of safety and comparisons with the safety expectations of the health sector.
The functional strategy was chosen to be incorporated in the overall business strategy since the strategy is feasible and applicable in the reference area of ensuring the management of equipment. This strategy emphasizes resource productivity and uses specialized work force (Thornton et al., 2002).
This is recommendable to ensure that the use of equipments at Lenity Hospital is by specialized people to avoid misuse and increase the sensitivity to safety. It was observed that there is need to incorporate the functional strategy to the overall business strategy (Jarillo, 1993). This would be by emphasizing the need for safety and proper management of equipment in every department and the endeavor to reduce the nosocomial infections from a departmental basis.
The simulation carried out on Lenity Hospital for Advanced Care revealed the root cause of the increasing nosocomial infections as the inefficient equipment practices. This scenario is common not to LHAC only, but in major health care facilities. The inefficient equipment practices are attributable to the strategies of safety and management, lack of awareness in the use of the equipment or lack of personal responsibility.
The simulation recognized the need to address the nosocomial infections as a way of reducing the costs involved in the treatment and management, the improvement of the reputation of LHAC and the fulfillment of the industry safety and legal requirements. The recommendations provided were the establishment of a tracking system, effective training of personnel and the increase in sanitation practices.
The benchmark partner used for the simulation was the information services department of Lenity Hospital while the functional strategy was emphasized with the need to ensure that the overall business strategy acts as the guide in this. The simulation was effectively done without the need for major changes in the approach although the benchmark partner would further incorporate the safety department of Lenity Hospital.
Cohen, S. (2006). Virtual Decisions. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publications.
Health Grades Inc. (2010). Nosocomial Infections. Retrieved 19th August, 2010, from http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/n/nosocomial_infections/causes.htm
Jarillo, C. (1993). Strategic Networks: Creating Borderless Organizations. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Jarvis, W. (2008). Bennett & Brachman’s Hospital Infections. London: A & C Black Publishers Limited.
Lack, R. (1996). Essentials of Health and Safety Management. New York: CRC Press.
Moller, J., & Sonntag, H. (1998). Systematic analysis and controlling of health care organizations lead to numerical health care improvements. Health Manpower Management, 24(5), 178-182.
Thornton, D., De Rosa, F., & Craven, D. (2002). Nosocomial pneumonia: emerging concepts in diagnosis, management, and prophylaxis. Current Opinion in Critical Care, 8(5), 421-429.
Zulch, G., & Rinn, A. (1999). Simulation based performance analysis and benchmarking. International Journal of Business Performance Management, 1(2), 200-218.