Poor dental health can be a portal that allows bacteria and other infectious organisms into blood stream. Poor dental health care can also lead to poor outcomes of dialysis. Heart disease patients have special needs when it comes to dental care. Spreading this knowledge would motivate patients with these diseases to visit Eastside clinic regularly.
If staffing of more employees is not able to attract more patients to the clinic then the clinic would make a greater loss than it is currently making.
Kool Smiles being a profit making organization might be more efficient and have a more cooperative and friendly staff which can attract Eastside clinic patients towards them.
Promotions through dental vehicles would lead to extra costs such as repairmen of vehicles and fuel costs for which the clinic might not have funds.
The clinic might not have enough funds to employee more people
Currently, Dr. Mulligan has chosen to alternate sites, under which he visits four days a week at Eastside clinic while 1 day every week at the Westside clinic. The staff of Westside clinic is much friendlier as compared to its former counterpart and there is more communication between the front desk and the dentist.
The fact that Dr. Mulligan gets a more cooperative team to work with and a more comfortable environment to work in will keep him motivated in his practice and it will be easier to get off the exhaustion that might be felt due to extensive pressures at the Eastside clinic. This is because, if Dr. Mulligan, who happens to be the key person in supervising the operations of the Eastside clinic is overworked or stressed out, the quality of health care service that he will be providing to the patients will be compromised regardless of how well qualified and experienced a dentist he is.
A well cooperative team at the Westside clinic can help him learn the ways of how team can be kept motivated which he can apply on his team at the Eastside clinic which seems to be unmotivated to participate in the operations of the clinic. Since Westside clinic seems to be working with greater efficiency as compared to Eastside clinic, Dr. Mulligan can use his practice at Westside as a learning forum and can apply his newfound knowledge to bring operative improvements at the less efficient East Side clinic.
Paying only once a week visit at the Westside clinic would mean that Dr. Mulligan might not be able to take full advantage of the opportunities provided at the Westside clinic. This is because, most part of the week is being spent in a more stressful environment at the Eastside clinic. Therefore increasing the number of visits per week to twice a week will enable Dr. Mulligan to spend more time in a healthier work environment.
Visiting the Westside Clinic only once a week would also mean that the doctor is not being able to give ample time to patients at the other side of the town. This will also make the Westside clinic less marketable, despite of the efficient health care services that it provides.
The fact that the standard of healthcare services provided at the Westside clinic is much higher than the Eastside clinic whilst the key figure, that is Dr. Mulligan, remains the same, can allow Dr. Mulligan to use his practice at the Westside clinic to promote the Eastside clinic. This can be done by informing patients at Westside Clinic about the existence of and facilities available at the Eastside clinic.
Since Dr. Mulligan would find it easier to work at the Westside Clinic given a more cooperative team, he might get dissatisfied and unmotivated, thus resulting a further deterioration in the quality of services provided at the Westside clinic.
While the direct problem of The Eastside Clinic seems to be accommodating wait listed patients, the earlier discussed analysis of root causes suggests that there are serious operational mismanagement that are implicating on the capacity management system of The Eastside Clinic. Therefore, in order to improve the current capacity and bring it up to the level of expected capacity, there are various changes that are needed to be maintained in the current manner in which The Eastside Clinic operates.
Since the organization is focused on providing dental care services and dental care results are an important part of process of carrying out medical examinations for various diseases, the success of business therefore lies in the efficiency with which the imaging service is provided. The key person responsible for carrying out the scans is therefore the dentist and hygienist who is overworked and stressed out which is affecting his efficiency and productivity. The Eastside Clinic should therefore extend the operating shift hours from an eight hour shift to a nine hour shift and should make a room to for break hours for the dentist and hygienist. The dentist and hygienist can use the break time to relax him and this can help him to gain back his momentum and increase his efficiency.
Secondly, mismanagement of scheduling department is also needed to be addressed. First of all The Eastside Clinic should convert all its scheduling tasks to a computerized schedule management system. Computerized schedule database management systems are easily available in the market and are not very costly. Making a computerized scheduling system will increase scheduling efficiency. The software must be designed to automatically identify number of free slots available to accommodate patients, day and time each patient is scheduled for a scan and the type of scan that each patient is required to be scan for. A copy each of the schedule form must be provided to both the patient and the dentist and hygienist so that chances of carrying out the wrong scan on the wrong patients can be eliminated.
In order to avoid last minute cancellation of appointment, patients must be asked to make a fifty percent advance payment at the time of making an appointment. The Eastside Clinic should fix a minimum time notice for cancellation of scheduled appointment. If a customer fails to cancel the appointment in that given time frame and cancels it afterwards or fails to show up as per the schedule then the advanced payment must be confiscated and must not be refunded. This can save the costs pertaining to capital wastages due to cancellation of last minute appointments.
The Eastside Clinic should also provide an online scheduling facility thorough the clinic's official website. Customers should be provided the services to view the available slots online and book their appointments online. They can also be provided online scan reports. This facility however can only be availed by patients who are computer literate and/or have an access to the internet.
After bringing in the proposed improvements in the capacity management system of The Eastside Clinic, if the clinic still has enough patients on the waitlist that justify the purchase of an additional equipment, then the Eastside Clinic must make employee extra hygienist and must consider replacing the existing front desk staff, if their productivity and efficiency does not show improvements (Simmers, 2004).
Monitor and Control
The proposed recommendations suggest the following action plan for the Eastside Clinic to make improvements in the capacity management.
The operational hours of the clinic must be increased an hour and room must be created to provide for break time to the dentist and hygienist.
Scheduling tasks must be made completely computerized.
Improvements in communication between patients and scheduling clerks must be improved.
Strict policy pertaining to cancellation of appointment must be maintained.
While the above mentioned recommendations are aimed at making improvements in the clinic's capacity, it will only be able to produce results if a strict check and balance is maintained. Since currently, the clerks are used to the manual recording method; they must be trained to use the computer software. They must also be trained and monitor about how do they deal with the patients who contact to make an appointment (Anhier, 2005). They must also be trained about the fact that they cannot schedule every patient on every available slot and patients with certain medical conditions are to be rejected.
The Eastside Clinic must create a benchmark and all employees must be evaluated for their performance and efficiency. This will highlight the fact whether there is really a problem with the capacity management or the employees deliberately follow a 'go slow' plan.
The Eastside Clinic is being torn apart in marketing by its competitors. In order for The Eastside Clinic to regain the lead in the dental care services industry a new marketing strategy should be developed. There is no single service of The Eastside Clinic, which is positioned in the market the way its competitor's products are. The Eastside Clinic should consider pursuing an informative marketing strategy, which focuses on creating awareness about the existence of the clinic and the services…