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Productivity Recommendations for Physician Care Services, Inc.

Physician Care Services, Inc. faces a myriad of productivity challenges to the point where the facility’s board members are considering to sell it. However, the organization stands a chance of turning things around and improving performance in the long run. In order to succeed in improving productivity, the organization needs to apply some set of principles, including lean management and six sigma concept. Furthermore, the facility must formulate a set of measurable goals as part of the improvement process. This discussion highlights the opportunities for improvement using lean management and the principle of lean management.

Improving Productivity Using Lean Management Principles

Lean management is a modern principle that comprises of a set of practices, principles, and methods designed to maintain and improve organizational processes related to mission and values (Schweikhart & Dembe, 2009). The main focus of this process is to minimize waste and to achieve efficiency in delivery of services. Systematic analysis and assessment have been reported as the major components of lean management. At the initial stages of lean management process, value stream mapping is done to identify the opportunities for improvement.

Most hospital facilities are applying lean principles to redesign their processes, such as using advanced technologies that require fewer employees and maintain high quality of care. At Physician Care Services, Inc., maximizing value and eliminating wastage is inevitable. As a result, the organization must apply lean processes into its management plan. To begin with, the organization needs to identify the key processes also known as the value streams related to its core activities, such as occupational therapy, office visit, and inpatient stay (Miller, 2005). The management should then appoint a supervisor to oversee each of the key processes. Once the lean supervisors or experts have understood their responsibilities, they can be assigned members to improve the process. PCS can organize events to bring employees together where they can analyze the prevailing challenges and the possible opportunities for improvement. Other things such as levels of compensation required to achieve maximum productivity can be discussed.

Each team should then create a map stipulating the value from the point of view of a patient and wastes between map steps (Miller, 2005). Jointly, the teams will be responsible overcoming the hurdles and improving the processes for all core processes. For instance, to improve the financial position at PCS, each team can produce a map of input costs incurred by patients within their department from admission to discharge. This process will help in identifying the potential wastes, such as unnecessary inventory, high carrying costs, and other overheads. In the end, the organization will succeed in implementing better ways of improving key processes. It will also be possible to minimize costs incurred by both the organization and the patients. Under lean management, continuous improvement of the core processes by the teams is necessary so that appropriate action is taken.

Improving Productivity by Applying Six Sigma Principles.

Six sigma is another concept that is applied to improve the quality of processes and efficiency. This methodology involves a series of steps, including defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling operational processes. The application of this model in hospitals can be useful in identifying and addressing potential problems faced in the delivery of healthcare services (Faulkner, 2009). Furthermore, six sigma principles have a huge influence on the financial position of healthcare facilities. By minimizing defective performance, this concept minimizes costs and improves the financial position in the long run. Many studies have proven that controlling healthcare costs through six sigma model improves the facility’s financial situation. A rural-based hospital facility managed to save money to the tune of $200,000 after successful implementation of six sigma principles in designing improvement processes.

To successfully apply six sigma principles, a multi-disciplinary team needs to be formed and a six sigma expert assigned to the team to manage the project. Building a structured approach for Physician Care Services will require the team to define the project scope. The main focus will be to improve the administrative processes that led to high overhead costs and other operational challenges. Another responsibility of the team will be to map the steps from the point where a patient walks into the hospital till he or she is discharged. Information related to each patient’s costs, bio data, and medical records will be collected electronically. Multivariable analysis and descriptive statistics will be applied to identify the link between costs and the services provided. After proper analysis has been done, the team can then redesign the processes to determine which method reduces costs significantly while maintaining the quality of healthcare at the same time (El-Eid et al., 2015). Finally, control tools, such as charts can be used to establish trends in costs associated with input and output. The same process should be repeated severally to track improvement in productivity at PCS.

Developing Five Measurable Stretch Goals

Across all sectors, setting measurable goals helps the various stakeholders to work towards achieving them and allows for measuring the progress. In the above discussion, it is clear that healthcare managers need to work with teams in order to bring change in the organizational processes. The next recommendation is for the managers to formulate goals that keeps them on track. The goals set must be measurable, specific, relevant, achievable, and time-bound (Begley et al., 2013). The teams should, during the meetings, discuss the goals, measure their progress, ensure that resources are available to meet the goals, and make changes where necessary to remain on course.

The current situation at Physician Care Services, Inc. calls for immediate action. To eliminate the productivity concerns, managers of PSC needs to formulate a set of goals. Potential goals may include the following;

  1. Decreasing the operational costs by at least 25% within the next quarter, by implementing quality improvement processes.
  2. To expand patient services by equipping each department with the necessary personnel and equipment within the next four months. This will position PCS well in the market in terms of competition.
  3. Devolving the decision-making processes downwards and allow for the contribution of each team member within the next six months to improve efficiency.
  4. Increasing admissions and patient volume by 20% within the next five months, by increasing bed capacity and accepting admissions during weekends.
  5. Improving employees level of satisfaction through proper scheduling and better management practices within the next three months.

The goals mentioned above have been formulated in response to the concerns of the board members during the last board meeting. For the fear of making losses in the future, the board had considered selling the facility. The main concerns involves the constant increase in operational costs and the declining quality of healthcare services. Thus, the first goal is to minimize the operational costs by applying improvement methods such as lean management and six sigma principles (Begley et al., 2013). Management overload has been another challenge facing PCS. As a result, it would be prudent to delegate the decision-making process to junior staff members to improve efficiency in the long run. In response to this concern, one of the goals is to devolve the decision-making process downwards. To ensure that the organization position itself well in the market, expansion is inevitable. It would be appropriate to increase the bed capacity to allow for more patients to be admitted. Furthermore, the facility should accept patients even during weekends to increase the volume and revenues necessary to cover the overheads in the near future.

Many physicians had recorded their concerns about tedious work, especially during the busy days, which brought about dissatisfaction with the level of compensation. This will be implemented by proper staff scheduling and better management practices. Performance measurement and constantly reminding the staff of the organizational goals should be at the heart of PCS managers (Begley et al., 2013). As long as the employees work towards achieving the set goals, PSC can always improve physician and patient experience in the long run. It is also important for PCS managers to keep track of the organizational framework regularly for improvement.


Begley, C. E., Lairson, D., Morgan, R. O., Rowan, P. J., & Balkrishnan, R. (2013). Evaluating the healthcare system: effectiveness, efficiency, and equity. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

El-Eid, G. R., Kaddoum, R., Tamim, H., & Hitti, E. A. (2015). Improving hospital discharge time: a successful implementation of six sigma methodology. Medicine94(12).

Faulkner, T. (2009). A community hospital’s journey into Lean Six Sigma. Frontiers of Health Services Management26(1), 5.

Miller, D. (2005). Going lean in health care in innovation series 2005. Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Cambridge, MA.

Schweikhart, S. A., & Dembe, A. E. (2009). The applicability of Lean and Six Sigma techniques to clinical and translational research. Journal of Investigative Medicine57(7), 748-755.


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