Another area that was experimented with was admissions in the Urology department. The entire system was bogged down due to lack of information and absence of proper communication. The information was lodged at a place which was at some distance from the ward. As a result, almost a third of non-surgery patients had their appointments canceled as the ward did not find time to attend to them. The information cell was moved next to ward and planning of appointments was coordinated prior to confirmation being sent to patients, In this way the patients got attended to at appointed times.
There were as many as 59 processes between arrival and admission of a patient until the commencement of the operation. By introduction of planning procedures, these were reduced to 13 resulting in the reduction of total cost to the hospital and increasing the reliability factor many times over. With the success of these experiments, SJH is now looking to introduce the JIT system all over the hospital to cover every activity. 3. Reducing the time for operations However, in this age and time, the traditional method of mass production at low cost is not enough.
It is no longer sufficient for firms to be high-quality and low-cost producers or service providers. Today, they must be able to deliver products and services to the customer swiftly. To compete in this new environment, the cycle of order-to-delivery must be significantly reduced. JIT is the new weapon of choice today to reduce the time of this cycle (road. uww. edu, 2007). This is equally applicable in the service sector as a large hospital as the operations there are mostly repetitive like in an assembly line operation.
In our case study, the streamlining of the admissions process also proved fertile ground for improvement along JIT principles. For example, in the Urology Department, one-third of patients for non-urgent surgery found that their appointments were being canceled. One reason for this was that in the time between the consultant saying that an operation was required and the patient arriving at the operating theatre, there were 59 changes in responsibility for the process.
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