HQS-620: Project management in health care course examines the models and approaches of project management in health care settings. Learners demonstrate an understanding of the project management process and its application to health care quality and safety initiatives. Learners gain skills to identify various stakeholders and roles, set goals and expectations, plan stakeholder engagement, and identify ways to mitigate obstacles in health care project management.
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What is project and project management in healthcare?
A project is more than just a task, program, or strategy and a health care organization should create a detailed, and specific description accompanied by a start and end date to achieve their expected objectives. Additionally, a project should have an owner or someone who is accountable and a budget.
Project management is a process of planning, organizing, and overseeing the work of a healthcare team so as to advance a specific organizational project and achieve the health care organization’s objectives. In short, this discipline involves controlling and coordinating the specified start and end dates of a project and everything else that happens in between those dates.
The four stages of project management.
In order for a healthcare project to be effective and successful, it needs to go from one sentence idea to a fully managed process. There are several foundational stages/steps to managing projects whether in healthcare organizations or other organizations. These four foundational stages include the following:
This is the initial stage of project management. This step involves defining the scope of the project including projected costs, outcomes, and risks. Afterward, the management team reviews and hopefully approves this scope.
The second stage of project management involves planning. During this step, you plot out each step of the project, setting deadlines, creating a budget, and assigning responsibilities. Additionally, you also decide on how to measure the project’s progress.
3. Execute and monitor.
This involves starting to execute the steps that were outlined in the planning phase. Moreover, individuals monitor and measure progress on a regular basis to ensure that the project is on track. This phase also involves adjusting the project plan including the schedule and budget.
This phase is more work-intensive in health care organizations than in other organizations. Healthcare organizations put a lot of effort into getting approvals and ensuring that all regulations are adhered to.
This is the final phase of project management. It involves properly concluding a project by creating a document that summarizes outcomes, deliverables, and lessons learned. Most importantly, reviewing these details with your leadership and project team will improve your project management in the future.
Reasons why project management in healthcare is different (tedious).
It involves high stakes.
Unlike in other organizations, health care organizations conduct projects that are serious and may result in fatal damages. Moreover, patient’s well-being may be at stake which can result in detrimental effects on patients.
Due to the huge demand for healthcare services, there is more pressure on the industry to deliver economical and high-quality services.
There are more regulations such as HIPAA’s patient privacy laws, that need to be met in the healthcare industry than in other industries.
It is a constantly changing industry.
The healthcare industry is service-oriented and a huge part is made up of highly skilled medical practitioners who are at risk of being replaced by technology. Moreover, it faces a huge demand for healthcare services and due to the shortage of healthcare professionals, it faces productivity issues. Thus, project management should be done effectively and more cautiously.
High litigation risk.
The healthcare industry is prone to litigations thus project management is very crucial in mitigating these risks.
Project management is essential in health care organizations since projects in these organizations involve many stakeholders.