Healthcare project management is a high-end aid to successful functioning, with a need for careful analysis and execution. This is because the risks run higher in the healthcare sector. Effective implementation of project management will improve overall output and reduce the cost of software development in healthcare. The critical factor of consideration, however, is the well-being of patients. It ranks highest on the priority list and cannot be ignored. It is for this reason; therefore, healthcare project managers must excel in their efforts toward the benefit of the healthcare organization and patients alike through healthcare automation.
Why We Need Project Management in Healthcare?
- Project management is integral to healthcare providers to improve the organizational value and operational efficiency in various areas of the organization through custom healthcare software development.
- Litigation risks are mitigated with subject matter expertise and detailed process adherence through automated systems.
- Healthcare project management involves meticulous planning, which allows monitoring, effective execution, and continual improvements to the healthcare software product development process.
- The planning extends itself to accurate budgeting that allows projects to be taken to completion, without overstepping through unexpected expenses.
- Putting in project management systems towards effective communication can considerably avoid mishaps and negative outcomes in the healthcare organization.
Project Manager Should Think and Act Like a Healthcare CEO
A project manager cannot have a confined mindset as every aspect of a healthcare organization is connected to the larger picture. The approach towards project management needs to be dynamic and encompass the entire functioning of the healthcare provider. Toward this end, the project manager must have an all-rounded vision that looks at the benefit of the organization as a whole.
The scope of the project should be carefully outlined and comprehended, which includes a vision of the costs involved, the outcomes desired, and possible risks encountered. A consistent review of the same should be executed.
Each phase of the project needs meticulous planning. Set deadlines, realistic budgets, and job allocations are crucial to efficient project functioning.
During the execution phase, the plans must be strictly adhered to, and project managers should adopt stringent monitoring methods to ensure that protocols are followed. This is where slight tweaks may need to make to achieve goals.
At the end of the project, a review is critical in assessing outcomes, evaluating deliverables, and lessons. This will aid in further improvement of oncoming projects.
In essence, the below components of the healthcare organization needs to be carefully evaluated:
1. Product Innovation
The project manager needs to consistently look at innovative ways to improve the overall workings of the organization. This includes new processes, automated systems, generating patient welfare protocols, etc.
2. Digital Transformation
A successful project manager will undertake steps to move the organization toward digital transformation as a means of effective functioning. All manual processes need to be transitioned toward digital execution for the seamless functioning of integrated healthcare systems.
3. Increased ROI
When budgeting and planning for software development in healthcare, a keen eye needs to be placed on the potential Return on Investment (ROI), with a review of the same at regular intervals to ensure adherence.
4. Process Automation
Automated processes can go a long way in improving operational efficiency, and a skilled project manager will place their item high on the priority list.
5. Boost Scalability
For an improved bottom line, the functioning of the organization needs to be scalable in terms of growth, and this needs to be captured in the desired objectives of the project.
6. Stay Compliant
Maintaining protocols and strict adherence to regulatory requirements is essential to the success of the project at hand. Compliance needs to be carefully analyzed and consistently improved.
7. Performance Optimization
Organizational performance should be a key component of the project goals, with a constant aim of achieving optimal performance levels.
8. Enhance Productivity
Higher productivity literally translates to higher profit and higher patient satisfaction. Therefore, herein lies the essence of effective project management. The review must closely look at the level of productivity prior to project completion and compare it to the productivity achieved upon completion.
9. Real-time Decision Making
A project manager needs to be constantly evolving as the project is underway with quick modifications and decision-making capabilities during the execution phase of the project.
10. Team Extension
As the demands of the project grow, there could be a need for additional resources, and the provision for this must be made on an ‘as needed’ basis.
Don’t Be a Project Manager, Be a ‘Super-dynamic’ Project CEO
Healthcare subject matter experience and technical expertise are not enough to guarantee successful project management. Neither is it enough for a project manager to adopt agile methodologies to develop integrated healthcare systems. An agile approach needs to be compounded with dynamic execution strategies to achieve significant improvements in healthcare delivery.
A successful project manager needs to be able to identify and resolve hurdles and issues within the organization promptly. Delegation and monitoring lie at the crux of project management, and staying with the budget are mandatory.
Highly skilled communication is another requirement that can intensely impact the success of the healthcare software development project. Stakeholders, department heads, and employees need to be tackled and managed through effective communication strategies.
Why is this significant?
To successfully address ongoing challenges for each type of healthcare projects.
What is a project?
1. An Ideation Phase
The seed of a project is born with an idea. This is the first step and typically the most important as it forms the foundation on which the entire project is built. If the ideation phase is robust and successful implementation is far more likely.
2. A Unique Purpose
The purpose of the project must be clearly identified by the project manager and communicated to the individuals involved in the execution and maintenance process of the custom healthcare software development project.
3. A Definite Beginning and End
In order for a project to be effectively executed, it should have a clear start and completion vision, upon which benefits and outcomes can be realized.
4. An Innovative Approach
Whatever the purpose of the project, it should be attributed to innovative technologies that will improve the overall scalability of the organization with advanced technologies, such as AI or ML.
5. A Flexible Attitude
Healthcare project managers need to look at the project roles and needs through an evolving approach. A project is developed using progressive elaboration, flexible modifications, and consistent reviews.
6. A Willingness to Appoint Resources
During the planning phase of the project, a clear understanding of the required resources, and provisions for additional resources needs to be undertaken. These resources should be from varied departments.
7. A Migration from Legacy Systems
Depending on the quality of the legacy system as compared to the objectives of the project, provisions should be made for migration to advanced levels of technological operations.
8. An Analysis of Performance Management
project needs analytics for performance management.
9. An Understanding of Uncertainty
Every effective project manager understands that a project brings with it a certain amount of uncertainty and should be prepared to undertake quick decision-making.
The Healthcare Project Manager of the Future
The below indicators will provide an insight into the requirements of a competent project manager:
- Leading by example vs. an unrealistic delegation approach
- A visionary mindset vs. an indecisive attitude
- Technical competency vs. an amateur technical knowledge
- · Quick decision making vs. hesitancy toward defining strategies
- ·Excellent communication skills vs. Inability to provide clear indicators
- Highly motivational approach vs. Discouraging methodologies
Healthcare Project Management Best Practices
1. Sturdy Health IT Governance
Effectively establishing clear IT governance involves coherent project mapping, explicit project portfolio management, and sharp resource management strategy. This strategy will significantly enhance profitability at a higher rate than those projects that do not have significant governance propositions.
2. Smart Scope Management
In order to maintain clarity, scope statements that offer valuable insights, clear structures that provide a breakdown of job requirements, mapping insights, and statements of work will go a long way. Further, a regular analysis of requirements and modifications speeds up efficiency.
3. Ruthless Prioritization
This stands as a key responsibility of an efficient project manager as a tool toward ensuring a clear understanding of the priority of the project, wherein the entire organization is aware of the priority project and its requirement. There should be no scope for discrepancies here.
4. Understanding Healthcare Workflow Processes
This includes accurate work charts, documented processes of patient care routines, operational systems, and other business-related processes for the custom healthcare software development solution. A clear understanding aids in efficient budgeting, planning, and execution.
5. Compliance Management
Establishing stringent compliance processes involves following clearly defined rules, regulations, and laws that are specific to the organization and the service it provides. These compliance requirements need to be factored in during the planning stage of the healthcare software development project and strictly adhered to during execution.
6. Insightful Planning:
Based on user understanding and healthcare domain knowledge, the project must include well-defined objectives and requirements, along with role allocation and responsibility identification. Standard expectations, timelines, and tangible measurement protocols should be established as well.
7. Customized Project Vision
Building out a strategy based on a customized healthcare project vision will address the specific project requirements and go a long way in avoiding the unexpected. However, there should be a provision for surprises along the execution stage, and contingency plans should be well in place.
8. Clear Communication with Stakeholders
Organizational executives and IT leadership should be in aligned in understanding and planning of the project. The alignment of technology with business processes, through clear communication between both related entities, can contribute to the high-level achievement of project outcomes.
9. Creating a Highly Functional Team
The team involved in the project is its lifeblood. Accessibility to the required tools is another keen advantage of the effective functioning of the team. A diversely skilled team can go a long way in overcoming unexpected hurdles along the way. Empower the team to communicate and ideate openly.
A successful project is conditional upon the efficacy of the project manager and the provisioning deployment of effective strategies. A meticulously planned process, consistent feedback from multiple departments, encouraging dialogue, and open communications can avoid roadblocks and boost performance. Meticulous planning and regular monitoring is another highly effective tool for success, along with clear documentation and consistent feedback.
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Originally published December 3, 2019 12:53 pm