Health sector runs like any other business sector. Therefore, concepts of leadership, management, and planning are important in healthcare. These aspects can be discussed under one bracket known as strategic management or planning. Strategic planning is often referred to a systematic and organized operation where corporation creates a documents highlighting the current status of the business as well as the future plans. Strategic planning helps in decision making and implementation of plans that guides activities and the structure of the organization. Just like any other organization, healthcare critically requires strategic planning (SP). SP is important in attracting undecided customers, increasing professional competition and skills, increasing production with limited resources, and shifting focus to provision of quality goods and services other than just focusing on profit making (Berkowitz, 2017).
Just like mentioned above, strategic planning works well where there is effective leadership, management, and planning. Leadership is the ability to lead a group of people in an effective manner. The leaders influence the follows to work towards and given vision. On the other hand, management is the process of dealing with people or controlling them. A manager combines resources and people to achieve the goals of the organization. Lastly, planning is the process of organizing inputs to see produce profitable output (Berkowitz, 2017). In this regard, the paper will discuss how the concepts of leadership, management, and planning can be integrated to create a vision of excellence in the health sector in relation to supply chain.
Just like any organization, leadership and management play a critical role in healthcare. There are several principles of leadership that are important to integrate into any organization. Of the core principles of management and leadership is having a vision and being able to share it. The leader must be able to define the vision or dream and spread the message to other people. Effective leaders must ensure that the way distribution is done is in a way that the rest understand and that they can work as an organization towards reaching the goal. Another principle of that a leader must have a strategic plan. Strategic planning should an ongoing and continuous process where the leader identifies, organizes and looks for ways of executing programs and projects aimed at realizing the visions of the company. The best leaders are one that keeps on adjusting the strategies to meet the current and future needs due to the market shifts (Walshe, & Smith, 2006).
Leaders must also innovative and creative. Great and effective leaders are those that renovate their production, operation or giving services in order to differentiate their companies from competitors. They do not work towards change just for the sake but strategically makes changes or improvement to serve customers and their needs. Besides, a leader should set an example that should be emulated by others (Walshe, & Smith, 2006). The examples should be good examples including being respectable, reliable, trustworthy, and timekeeper just to mention a few. Leaders must not only be heard instructing what need to be done but they should lead by example. Lastly, another principle of leadership and management is ensuring that one is responsible and taking responsibility for the action. When things go wrong, which normally happens all the time, I leaders should take responsibility and avoid blaming others. Through this way, the leader sets the organization to new heights.
Although all the leadership and management principles are applicable in healthcare, I believe that having a vision and being able to share with others, being responsible as well as being creative are the critical principles in healthcare. When leaders understand the visions and goals of the organization, he/she is able to organize resource that is limited to produce significant output. Being responsible is important in supply chain since the leader will understand the best way to get customers are to find suppliers. Furthermore, being creative and innovative helps a leader to make the healthcare organization standout from the rest. Innovation will help the leader design an effective supply chain where they rich customers as soon as possible and meet their needs effectively.
In the health sector, there are three important supply chain metrics that would be vital. One of them is customer order cycle time. This is the time taken for the customer to receive services after requesting them. This would be very important since reducing the waiting time in hospital in a key factor in customer satisfaction. When customer order cycle time is reduced, customer needs and satisfaction will have been meeting in the supply chain. The next metric is the inventory days of supply which then measure of days that supply would last without restocking. This will be important to know if customers will get supplier all the time. Lastly, cash to cash cycle time will be the other critical metric (Spacey, 2018). This determines the time it takes to receive supply after order or payment. This will determine the availability of supply for customers in health service.
Managers are almost the same as leaders in healthcare. However, when it comes to planning (which takes a bigger part of health care) managers take more responsibilities. Just like any other business, healthcare deals with suppliers, consumers, and distributors. Managers must be able to differentiate all these people in order to be able to plan. Manufacturers can be licenses individuals, corporations or government entities who are mandated to produce the medical instrument, apparatus, and mediation. These individuals then act as suppliers supplying medical equipment to hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Chemists and medical facilities can also act as supplier giving customer services and products related to healthcare. Furthermore, they can distribute medical items and services hence they can be regarded as the distributor. Hospitals and other healthcare providers also act as distributors of medical needs. On the other hand, customers of healthcare industries are the person who requires medical attention (Berkowitz, 2017). In most cases, they are patients. Those who are visit medical facilities for things not related to treatment but need help such as inquiring about medical services available are also customers of healthcare.
Managers must also understand enterprise system in healthcare. Enterprise systems are all the processes that take place in an organization and can be organized and run through software. For instance managers in healthcare can use inventory software SalesWrap to track inventory, sales, and supplier effectively. Instead of physical meeting, managers can implement voice networking, wires and video conferencing which saves time and resources. Additionally, all operations such as security and financing can be controlled by using modern technology and software (Walshe, & Smith, 2006). The advantage of enterprise systems in healthcare is that it makes works easier, reliable, efficient and easy to track. They also help in saving limited resources such as time as well as avoid too much wastage.
Besides managers cannot operate and manage health care without proper segmentation. Segmentation helps to identify the needs of a customer and work to cater to these needs. As a manager, I would segment health care into three categories demographic features, disease character, and geographic location. In these three disease category would require critical communication with clinicians would be vital. Communication would help reduce medical errors and negligence. Besides, the segmentation would help identify the person in need of medical care thus understanding whether there is any shortage (Berkowitz, 2017). For instance, the manager can work to reduce the shortage of medical supply. The managers can, for example, collaborate with private suppliers and manufacturers of medicine to reduce the impact of the shortage. This can benefit healthcare by reducing instances of customer dissatisfaction. Additionally, managers can use tools and techniques of forecasting demand. The best tools that can be used in medical services is using statistical methods and survey methods. The advantages of using statistical methods are that it uses past data to plan for the future. On the other hand, survey methods look at the current buying behaviors of customers to predict their future behaviors.
Planning may take all the process that managers and leaders to in healthcare. Nevertheless, leaders and managers are planners. The planning process is the idea of setting goals, strategizing on how to achieve them and listing and scheduling tasks. The process of planning is critical in healthcare since it determines the success of the organization. The planning process includes having a long-term strategic sourcing relationship (Walshe, & Smith, 2006). The advantage of having a long-term supply relationship is that it helps in reduction of cost, mitigating pricing volatility, increasing efficiency and communication, outsourcing and consolidating supply chain. Planning process help to have ethical procurement principles when dealing with suppliers. Some of the contract principles that important for vendors and supplier of medical services especially pharmaceuticals are; avoiding bribery, illegal sources, coercing, extortion, and favoritism (Ethics in Procurement, 2018). These principles help to reduce cases of corruption or illegal practices that could affect company's reputation.
Integration of Leadership, Management, and Planning Create a Vision of Excellence in Healthcare
Managers and leaders in healthcare need to have a business model that can help build a strong vision in healthcare. The best business model to be used in healthcare to oversee leadership, management, and planning of supply chain is innovation. The innovative business model will help the healthcare institution standout among other organization. There are various models that are used to describe leaders and managers. The models also determine how leaders and managers plan and operate. Some of these models include behavioral ideas, trait-based leadership, and functioning theory, nudge theory, situational contingency and authoritarian models (Berkowitz, 2017). A good leader and manager one who does not rely on one model but combines two or more models especially when it comes to decision making. When dealing with supply chain, the best model to apply in healthcare is the situational model. According to this model, leaders act according to the situation at hand. In the supply chain, there are times when resources will be less, various suppliers to choose from, various methods of production, few or more customers or even difficulties in distribution. A situational leader will make the decision on the matter at hand to make the best or applicable decision.
Healthcare industry operates just like any other business. This means that it needs good leaders and efficient managers who can have a planning process that meets the needs of customers. Patients are the main customers while hospitals act as the distributors and suppliers of medical care. Leaders should, therefore, be able to segment the target market in order to organize the supply chain in an appropriate manner. The business model such as innovation as well as leadership model such as situational leadership can be used to improve performance in a supply chain in healthcare.
Berkowitz, E. (2017). Essentials of healthcare marketing (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett...
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