Women's Health -- Focused on prevention and care for breast health, mammography, etc.
Transplant Programs - Swedish is one of seven kidney transplant centers and one of just four liver transplant centers serving the entire Pacific Northwest. The Organ Transplant Program at Swedish is at the forefront of new advances in transplantation surgery, including pancreas transplants and transplants between unrelated living organ donors and recipients (Swedish Medical Center, 2011).
Service design, operational activities, strategic decisions- Swedish is nothing but on the move -- strategically and tactically. In October, 2011, Swedish opened a new full-care facility with a 550,000 square foot campus in the city of Issaquah, southeast of Seattle city proper. This new facility was designed to be an entirely new hospital experience. Some of the operational innovations include a new Childbirth Center with eight new Labor/Delivery/Recovery rooms that include sleeping areas for partners, iPod access and a hotel room service-style dining program; a new surgical inpatient unit that have pull out couches to accommodate families; and new inpatient care units that are designed to feel like a hotel/resort. In addition, the hospital was designed to meet energy-efficient strategies and sustainability with heat-recovery options, green roofs, and energy saving utilities, and a plan that allows a 60 per cent savings on energy as compared to hospitals of similar size without the new features. "From the beginning, we were confident this new hospital could be a model for the latest innovations in health-care delivery," said Dr. John Milne, vice president for medical affairs at Swedish/Issaquah and an emergency medicine physician. "Our goals were to combine advanced technologies, reduced energy consumption and lower operating costs, while delivering the best health-care services available. The new facility is an innovative example of how this can be done" (Swedish News, 2011).
Quality/variety dimensions of service- Also in Fall of 2011, Swedish entered into an affiliate partnership with Providence Health Services of Seattle to collaborate to better deliver health care to the region. This new agreement will form a new, not-for-profit health-care system that will include all of Swedish's operations in King, Snohomish and Kittitas Counties and all of Providence's operations in King, Snohomish, Thurston and Lewis Counties. Providence will keep the Providence name and its Catholic identity, while Swedish will keep the Swedish name and remain a non-religious organization. "Through this unique operating arrangement, we are able to preserve each organization's heritage and local operations, while providing a better and more affordable level of patient care across both organizations," said John Koster, M.D., Providence Health & Services president and CEO. "Health care in this country is at a crossroads. Having served the community for more than a century, we believe it is our responsibility to lead the region through these challenging times. By sharing the resources, best practices and expertise of two great institutions, we can address the nation's health-care crisis at a local level and create one of the best health-care systems in the country," said Rod Hochman of Swedish (Swedish News, 2011).
Operations management performance objectives- An earlier merger with Steven's Hospital in Edmonds, along with the new location in Issaquah and the affiliation with Providence, allows Swedish to share a common electronic health record for patients almost Puget Sound Wide. By sharing these resources, the operations directive can make it easier to access health care across all of Swedish's services. In addition to growing the patient base and providing new and exemplary standards of care, operationally Providence and Swedish are poised to increase what is already an over $60 million free and discounted care benefit to the community, as well as $205 million in agreed upon community service programs.
While the Puget Sound region has recovered somewhat from the economic downturn of the 2006-2008 years, the economic challenges facing the State are such that innovative operational management decisions and reaching out for more community partnerships are necessary in order for Swedish to survive. There are certain trends that are part of a national healthcare paradigm that operationally, Swedish will need to address. More patients needing treatment without insurance, coupled with an aging population and State budget shortfalls, and a lessening of philanthropic giving all combine to place the squeeze on healthcare budgets. Operationally, Swedish was facing a $19 million dollar budget gap in September, 2011. This resulted in a 3 per cent, or about 300 jobs, being cut or funding for future positions cancelled. Fortunately, the operations goals are such that most of these employees will be redeployed, but the budget shortfall does highlight that, "Despite our best efforts, it is not possible to shield Swedish from the seismic shift that is altering the national economy. To protect our mission and ability to continue meeting the health-care needs of this region, our only option is to face the crisis head on and adjust our operations and cost structure accordingly," said Dr. Hochman. "Swedish has done a lot to reduce expenses already, but the rapidly changing economic climate is requiring us to do more. We believe the next step is a system-wide restructure that will involve a difficult but necessary workforce reduction" (Swedish News, 2011)
Process Map -- For Swedish, there are five process modes that will help ideate and improve the way they continue to approach their strategic and tactical goal setting process. One way to imagine this is to approach the market in a way that will service as a win-win model for both the healthcare consumer and the Swedish family. For instance, our five steps would include: 1) Uncover -- who is the customer and what are their current and future needs? 2) Definition -- Ways to continue to be innovative and strategic; 3) Ideation -- Individual, group, department expressions of moving service into overall experience; 4) Building -- taking the big idea and moving it to a tactical process that can be envisioned by the organization; 5) Design -- Swedish will move forward with continued innovation after moving through the four previous steps. Typically this will allow for more robust and long-term planning, with medium term implementation (Arnold, 2007; King, 2008).
Gantt chart -- In order to establish a more thorough assessment goals and strategic plans, research should probably be done on customer needs. On approach might be as follows:
Break out into separate marketing planning process
Solidify Providence Affiliation and Look for appropriate clinic or smaller mergers
Break out and establish strategic goal process to plug needed service areas
Use National Percentage
Improve Patient Satisfaction
Year Long Satisfaction Research
Measure through Baldridge Type paradigm
Break out and use as quality marker
Enhance quality management
Research and development of quality needs
Conclusions and recommendations -- Swedish Medical Center is a regional leader with an excellent national reputation. To continue this process of innovation, it will be necessary for Swedish to solidify its mergers and acquisitions and establish a basal locus of stakeholder satisfaction measurement through a Total Quality Management program designed to find new and innovative ways of continuing to increase broad-based customer satisfaction and provide exemplary healthcare in the process.
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