Mark Figgitt Apr 15, 2021 8:25:09 AM 5 min read

Planning for the future of hospital operations in a post-pandemic world

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how a single unanticipated event can greatly impact the operational management of healthcare around the world. The pandemic caused a complex range of challenges many hospitals were not prepared for, resulting in the need for acute changes in the approach to how daily operations are planned now, and in the future.

Beyond the immediate financial concerns spurred on by economic uncertainty, hospital executives have been forced to resolve other operational issues and gaps in the healthcare system such as capacity management, safety and staffing. This has resulted in a huge push for change in how healthcare operates. However, considering the complexity of the healthcare system, this is no small feat. While the initial onset of the pandemic has been and gone, its impact on the health system remains. It is now up to hospital executives to evolve and transform our health service into one that can handle unexpected events and pivot easily to meet changing demand.

The basis of any change starts at the top, it requires a shift in organisational thinking that begins with the governing body and executive leadership. There must be alignment across the organisation, and agreement at all levels of leadership. Leaders can drive improvement by focussing on creating an open, and empowering environment where trust, communication and responsibility thrive. By enabling teams to better respond in uncertain environments the overall outcome for patient care and staff management will be improved.

On top of shifting the mindset and overall culture of the healthcare environment, c-suite executives must also consider patient numbers and the technology available to manage capacity more accurately. During the height of the pandemic, patient numbers surged making staffing and resource planning even more complex. As hospitals continue to navigate the virus and begin to transition into a post-pandemic world, resolving this gap in capacity management is important to ensure the success of future response plans. Technology is at the forefront of this change and will be fundamental in building a hardwired strategy that is strong enough to respond to unforeseen environmental changes.  

Transforming how your hospital operates will not be easy, however, in this challenge lies an opportunity for health care executives to better position and transform health organisations to effectively react to unplanned events and improve the healthcare system as a whole.

In our upcoming blog series, 'The future of hospital operations post-pandemic' we will discuss the key challenges and changes the pandemic has triggered within hospital operation management. We will be looking at why these challenges have been so disruptive, how hospital executives have responded and how these challenges will impact the future of operations post-pandemic.

We will be exploring:

  • The need for change to internal hospital culture and how data utilisation can ease communication silos and staff burnout.
  • The impact COVID-19 has had on capacity management, how hospitals have responded and where management is heading.
  • The use case for technology in operation management, how data visualisation and predictive analytics can help resolve capacity management, staffing and internal hospital communication silos.

As hospitals and healthcare systems around the world continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, c-suite executives shift to begin the process of system improvement to ensure unplanned events do not pose the same level of risk and uncertainty.

Keen to learn more about how to future-proof your hospital operations? Drop us a line and we’ll get a discussion started. 

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Mark Figgitt

Mark Figgitt is the Executive Director for HealthStream Capacity Management in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to his Executive and General Management role, he is also responsible for the global product management and development of Capacity Planner™, and Capacity & Resource Advisor™.

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