Top 5 Challenges in Managing Healthcare Projects

What Is Project Management In Healthcare?

Project management has become one of the essential components of every business, and the healthcare industry is no exception. This is because project management can help with cost control while improving productivity and reducing risks. Project management in healthcare is a well-defined process of systematic planning and organizing to maximize the utilization of limited resources while achieving objectives.

When it comes down to the healthcare industry, it is continuously evolving, which pressurizes the quality of healthcare services and increases the costs. For this reason, the need for project management in healthcare has become apparent because it can improve the outcomes and optimize the delivery of healthcare services. With project management in healthcare, the healthcare facilities can plan, execute, and manage the projects while engaging the workforce.

To be honest, project management in healthcare can result in higher stakes, but the proper implementation will result in better outcomes while reducing the costs of healthcare services. It can be utilized for mitigating the risks of litigation (it’s a part of every healthcare facility). Project management in healthcare will imply step-by-step processes which reduce the chances of negative occurrences. In simpler words, it delivers a straightforward process that yields better outcomes for the patients.

Project management in healthcare creates proper planning. The entire process teaches the healthcare facilities how to track the progress, which results in continual improvement, promising faster healthcare provision. Project management in healthcare can help align the costs with healthcare facilities, so if a financial emergency occurs, the finances can be re-prioritized. Not to forget, it can help with streamlined communication within the hospital and the workforce (doctors, nurses, and other staff).

Why Is Project Management Important In Healthcare?

Over time, project management has become the most reliable approach to streamline healthcare provision. Project management in healthcare delivers higher control over physical and financial aspects while optimizing human resource management at the healthcare facility. In addition, it’s needless to say that healthcare facilities have multiple sponsors, and proper project management can even help improve stakeholder and client relations.

Not to forget, it can reduce the costs of healthcare service provision (it can send off patients to home quickly through seamless management). With project management in healthcare, the healthcare facilities will become more reliable, resulting in higher productivity. Even more, the internal coordination and management within the healthcare facility will be easy.

With the growth in the healthcare industry, healthcare costs are increasing, but proper implementation of project management can indeed reduce costs. However, to yield the right results, the healthcare facilities have to provide training to the personnel because it’s a new system that they aren’t aware of the technology. Still, with proper utilization of such technologies, you can help improve the healthcare quality because it improves overall healthcare processes.

The best thing about project management software is that it offers a unified communication platform to ensure on-time communication. These systems are often integrated with report development features that help get the numbers on hospital’s performance, providing the ability to improve the weak points by offering result-oriented organizational planning. Last but not least, it can improve staff productivity, and isn’t that something every healthcare facility wants?

We all understand that implementing a healthcare project from initiation to delivery is not an easy task and involves various challenges, bottlenecks and dependencies that may appear in different forms. These difficulties can either be in the form of lack of regulatory requirements or simply the absence of coordination between team members involved in the project. Nevertheless, all these factors collectively converge in creating unnecessary chaos, disorganized teams and misplaced priorities. It is therefore essential to have an understanding of the different challenges that are normally encountered in the management of healthcare project.

What Is Healthcare Project Management Software?

The healthcare project management software is designed as a tool to implement project management at healthcare facilities. These software solutions are HIPAA compliant because they will eventually store the patient’s information and impact the healthcare services. The healthcare project management software can help track the information and see how different stakeholders utilize this information in the hospital.

The best part of healthcare project management software is that it can limit the user’s roles, so there won’t be any need to deal with excessive details. In addition, it has in-depth encryption available along with other security measures to ensure the patient information is secure. The healthcare project management software delivers reliable and regular backups, which ensures that the patient information is accessible at all times (HIPAA Regulations demand the healthcare facilities retain the data).

There are various features that can be integrated into the healthcare project management software for yielding specific outcomes, such as;

  • Task management – it will reduce the utilization of manual processes and tools to ensure the healthcare systems are independent. It can increase transparency and provide seamless task collaboration. Not to forget, task management systems help align the hospital processes, which improves productivity.
  • Time tracking – the healthcare providers hardly have time to sit back and think, so the time tracking feature in project management systems can significantly help. This is because it will ensure the delivery of high-quality healthcare service even if the time slots are limited. Not to forget, it allows the healthcare providers to plan the treatments without needing much effort (it improves the balance)
  • Resource management – it allows the healthcare providers to evaluate different staff members and their performance. It will ensure that healthcare staff isn’t overworked because it improves productivity standards.

Top 5 Challenges in Managing Healthcare Projects

Heavy Regulatory Requirements

The healthcare industry faces more regulations than other industries, including HIPAA protection and confidential handling of health information laws. Over the passage of time, compliance to regulations to protect sensitive information has increased phenomenally due to which healthcare facilities have added layers of approval. Healthcare project must be signed off by the hospital, local, and national governments. The element of stringency is not limited to project approvals and sign off, but also extends to the ways in which each phase of the project will be executed.

Data Backups and Privacy

With the rampant pace at which innovations are taking place in the healthcare industry, there is an increased risk that leaves patient data prone to the vulnerabilities of the cloud and individual mobile devices. The increased number of data theft cases such as that of databases of Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), one of the largest hospital groups in the United States has raised serious concerns regarding the processes and policies that are followed by a healthcare project at each stage of their milestone.

Dependency on External Stakeholders

In a healthcare project, dependencies on external players which is normally in the form of either software or professional services vendors can directly contribute to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the project. It is important that any such external player included in the project management process is carefully vetted for the services and expertise that they claim to provide so that any bottleneck or unwanted hiccup in healthcare project delivery can be addressed and resolved.

Stakeholder Management

In order to ensure that each stage from the initiation of the project till its execution & closure, all important stakeholders are on the same page regarding the objectives, scope and the milestones that need to be achieved with the help of the project at each phase. When all stakeholders are onboard, issues such as allocation of resources and coordination with client in the resolution of issues can be carried out in a timely manner.

Lack of Proper Change Methodology

It is integral that, on a healthcare project management level, an appropriate methodology is adopted that is agile enough to help employ changes successfully. The absence of a proper methodology in place results in lack of coordination and communication between the stakeholders involved in the project, such as physicians and healthcare administrators. This translates into lack of understanding, acceptance and ultimately adoption of the change, leading to failed project outcomes.

What Is PMP In Healthcare To Improve Quality And Performance? 

When it comes down to implementing healthcare project management software, there is an undeniable need for PMP, but what is that? These are basically the project management professionals who are certified to run different clinical processes. In addition, they are aware of the patient care stakes and regulatory issues, which helps them optimize the healthcare provision while complying with regulations.

The PMPs need to earn a certification, but the job responsibility is pretty vigorous. For instance, they are responsible for developing a new section on the healthcare project management software and hiring new healthcare staff to enhance the medical practice. Not to forget, the project management professionals are responsible for creating a plan that improves emergency healthcare provision. Moreover, PMPs can identify the issues and design solutions.

On top of everything, project management professionals (PMPs) can monitor the healthcare services and other developments while complying with the budget. Last but not least, they have to communicate the activities to the hospital boards or anybody that passes the budgets and finances.

FAQ

What is healthcare project management in hospitals?

Healthcare management is all about improving the functionality and management of healthcare facilities. With each passing day, the healthcare industry is getting under much pressure, which makes healthcare provision extremely expensive. With the healthcare project management, the pressure can be relieved, which not only reduces the medical service costs but also improves the healthcare quality.

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