Health Care Administrator
Productivity is defined generally as the ratio of outputs to inputs. The quest to improve productivity in health care is crucial, but can be challenging
Department leaders are often asked to develop productivity measures (e.g., metrics, or ratios) to help monitor and ultimately improve productivity. In selecting the primary productivity measure for a unit or department, a leader must carefully assess its most significant activities. Ideally, every important activity would be incorporated in the productivity measure, but in practice this is rarely feasible. Hours worked/Inpatient days, for example, is a common and helpful productivity measure in nursing units. It does not reflect, however, nursing tasks involving patient discharges, observations, or transfers; one concern is that staff may focus more on those activities being measured, and less on other tasks.
Begin by selecting any type of unit or department in a hospital, outpatient clinic, long-term care facility, or other health care setting. Examples might include pharmacy, perioperative services, emergency department, ICU, neonatal unit, imaging services, laboratory services, food services, housekeeping, or others.
Then prepare for this Discussion by completing these steps:
•Review the productivity measures (ratios) Consider if any of these would apply in your selected unit. Reflect, too, on the benefits and challenges of using productivity measures
•Do further research to learn more about factors that impact productivity in your selected type of unit. Identify the most important outputs and inputs of this unit.
•Based on these factors, including key inputs and outputs, what would be some good productivity measures to use for this unit? What are the pros and cons of using these measures?
•Identify your selected unit (or department) in the first line of your posting.
•Identify the key inputs and outputs of this unit.
•Briefly discuss factors that should be considered when establishing the primary productivity measure for your selected unit.
•Propose one productivity measure for this unit and provide a rationale.
•What are possible consequences—positive or negative—of the selection of this productivity measure?