Productivity and Value

Healthcare Operations and Patient Flow Management

Achieve operational excellence by improving capacity, productivity and patient flow at every stage of care.

About the course

One of the most fundamental requirements of high-quality patient care is that it is timely and efficient.  Unnecessary waits and sometimes harmful delays must be avoided, as must the wasting of valuable resources such as equipment, consumables and the time and energy of caregivers themselves.  However, healthcare services face ongoing difficulties in providing sufficient capacity to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time.  And as the global Covid-19 pandemic has vividly illustrated, the consequences of getting capacity decisions wrong are almost always serious and sometimes fatal.

This highly relevant course enables clinicians and managers to overcome capacity and productivity challenges using practical tools that can be put to work immediately to analyse the current operational performance of a healthcare facility or service; measure the gap between actual and desired performance and then make radical improvements.  The course considers all four ‘levers’ of healthcare operations excellence – purchasing and supply, process technology, capacity and improvement – but places a particular emphasis on aligning capacity and demand in order to enhance patient flow – ie, the ability to treat patients quickly and efficiently, with minimal waits or delays, as they move through the stages of their care.

Delivered via IHLM’s online learning platform and through live interactive Zoom webinars you will become part of a global community learning how to transform patient flow together.


What you’ll learn

On completion of this course you’ll be able to:

  • understand why healthcare operations management has four major decision areas: capacity, purchasing and supply, process technology and improvement
  • use evidence-based tools and models to make important purchasing and supply decisions
  • evaluate new technologies and decide whether your healthcare service should use them
  • forecast patient demand and analyse your health service’s capacity
  • design a healthcare operations dashboard to measure or observe your service’s current performance and identify performance targets
  • assess the current state of patient flow and use process mapping to expose problems of capacity and variability
  • understand how well capacity is aligned with demand and know when it is time for change
  • manage and eliminate variability by smoothing, homogenising and separating patient flows

How you’ll learn

This course is broken down into eight weekly modules:

  • work at your own speed through a carefully curated collection of self-paced online learning materials that include video lectures, podcasts, interviews and real-world case studies
  • evidence-based research from peer-reviewed publications will help you dig more deeply into topics that really interest you
  • you are not alone – you will interact with other course members, collaborate on learning activities and get direct feedback and coaching from the course leader during weekly Zoom webinars
  • earn professional certification by completing weekly learning activities and mini-projects

This course should take approximately 4 – 6 hours per week.  You can expect to devote about 1 – 2 hours per week to self-paced learning, 1 – 2 hours per week preparing for and participating in the webinar and 1 – 2 hours per week applying your knowledge through learning activities and mini-projects.  Every webinar is recorded so you can rewatch it at any time.


Who should take this course?

This course will benefit anyone, whether they have a clinical or an administrative background, who manages or leads the day-to-day operations of a healthcare service or who plays a role in delivering operational excellence or optimising patient flow.


About the certificates

Upon successful completion of the course you’ll receive an:

  • IHLM Certificate of CPD Completion – This may be useful for course members who belong to professional bodies that have Continuing Professional Development requirements.  The course has an estimated 60 hours of guided learning.
  • IHLM Professional Certificate in Healthcare Operations and Patient Flow Management – This is evidence of the skills and capabilities you’ve developed during the course.  The award of a professional certificate requires completion of learning activities and mini-projects during each module.

How to register

Ready to start?  Just click the ‘Register now’ button at the top of this page or use the ‘Ask us a question’ button if you’d like to talk to one of our course facilitators.  The fee for this course is £995 per person.  If you’d like to pay in instalments you can arrange this by contacting us at: registration@ihlm.org.

We provide discounts to organisations registering 3 or more staff in the course and can also provide a customised in-house version tailored to your organisation’s specific needs.

All registrations are subject to our terms and conditions which are available here. By registering for an IHLM course you are accepting these terms and conditions and agreeing to be bound by them.


 

Module 1: An Introduction to Healthcare Operations Management

In our opening module we explore what healthcare operations management is and why the performance it results in can make or break a healthcare organisation or service. The topics covered in this module include:

  • how volume, variety, variation and visibility explain the differences between different types of healthcare service
  • how healthcare services align their resources, capabilities and processes with their performance objectives
  • the four major decision areas of the healthcare operations manager: capacity, purchasing and supply, process technology and improvement
  • The differing perspectives that healthcare’s many stakeholders have on what high-performance means

Module 2: Purchasing and Supply Strategy

No healthcare service works in isolation: it is always dependent on a network of suppliers for everything from drugs and consumables to IT systems and diagnostic equipment. In our second module we discover how successful healthcare managers make important purchasing and supply decisions. The topics covered in this module include:

  • what is purchasing and supply strategy and why does it matter in healthcare?
  • make or buy – deciding when and how to outsource
  • why healthcare supply chains become distorted and how to prevent it from happening
  • how Value-Based Purchasing can improve healthcare outcomes while lowering costs

Module 3: Process Technology Strategy

Technology has far too profound an impact on the delivery of healthcare services for decisions about its use to be left solely to technical specialists. In Module 3 we explore the role a healthcare manager should take in deciding what technologies to invest in and when to use them. The topics covered in this module include:

  • what is process technology strategy and why does it matter in healthcare?
  • using a technology roadmap to identify your service’s potential future needs
  • how to evaluate a new technology and decide whether to use it
  • the technologies that will reshape post-Covid health services

Module 4: Capacity Strategy

As the global Covid-19 pandemic has vividly illustrated, the fundamental challenge for every healthcare service is to provide sufficient capacity to meet patient demand. The consequences of getting capacity decisions wrong are almost always serious and sometimes fatal. In this module we therefore consider:

  • what capacity strategy is and why it matters in healthcare
  • the factors that influence and affect patient demand
  • how to forecast patient demand
  • how to analyse your health service’s capacity

Module 5: Improvement Strategy

Improvement lies at the heart of healthcare operations. Healthcare services that habitually use improvement programmes to make care more timely, more efficient and more cost effective will achieve far better performance than those that don’t. In this module we therefore explore:

  • what is improvement strategy and why does it matter in healthcare?
  • designing a healthcare operations dashboard: how to measure or observe performance and identify performance targets
  • how to measure the gap between actual and target performance
  • beginning an improvement project and preparing a project charter

Module 6: Measuring and Observing the Current State of Patient Flow

In Module 4, on capacity strategy, we discovered how important it is to be able to forecast patient demand and compare it with our service’s capacity. Now, in Module 6, we take a much deeper dive into this subject by learning techniques that can be used to measure and observe the current state of patient flow in our healthcare service. The topics covered in this module include:

  • the main ways in which misalignment between demand and capacity makes itself visible in healthcare
  • how to define and collect data for a patient flow assessment
  • using process mapping to expose problems of capacity and variability

Module 7: Analysing the Current State of Patient Flow

Having measured and observed patient flow using techniques such as process mapping, Module 7 focuses on how to analyse and interpret this information. The topics covered in this module include:

  • analysing patient flow: quantitative methods for measuring and evaluating patient flow
  • understanding how well capacity is aligned with demand and knowing when it is time for change
  • how to analyse queuing and waiting time
  • using Statistical Process Control (SPC) to understand variation in patient flow

Module 8: Managing and Improving Patient Flow

In the last two modules we learned how to measure, observe and analyse the current state of patient flow. Now comes the hard part – managing and improving that flow. In this module we therefore consider:

  • how to summarise your analysis and develop a plan of action
  • using ‘change concepts’ to explore improvement ideas
  • managing and eliminating variability by smoothing, homogenising and separating patient flows
  • using the ‘Model for Improvement’ and PDSA cycles to test changes on a small scale

 

 

Course Leader

Benedict Stanberry

Course Factfile

  • Next session: To Be Confirmed
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Commitment: 4-6 hours a week
  • Qualification: Certificate
  • Cost: £995
  • Location: Online

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