Implementing and Managing Ongoing Performance Programs

Any healthcare organization that’s serious about improvement always has Ongoing Performance Programs. Sometimes these performance programs are organization-wide while other times they are done by departments. Regardless, there should always be a performance plan that is ongoing. Implementing a performance program is like implementing strategy, there are many sides to it, many structures that need to work together from teams to schedules and the availability and cost of resources must always be taken into consideration as well. Below are some major steps that should be taken when implementing and managing ongoing performance programs

How to Manage Ongoing Performance Programs

Integration

In order for there to be cohesion and in order to avoid confusion, any performance improvement program is it old or new, should and must be integrated with the strategic objectives of the organization. An organization of any kind is already complex organism with various individuals, departments, and resources coming together to achieve goals and carry out projects. How these different parts work together effects, how well the organization does. Thus, it is important that a performance improvement plan or performance improvement initiative be integrated with the organization’s strategic objectives and goals. These strategic objectives can consist of both long-term and short-term goals. The integration of performance improvement with strategy also avoids redundancy and a waste of resources such as time, money, and manpower. Many strategic plans include improvement initiatives, so when a major improvement plan is being rolled out, notes need to be compared to ensure that there is no overlap. Like if a healthcare organization has a strategy in place to replace all the sheets in a better brand in a particular ward as part of a patient satisfaction strategy and a new performance improvement plan is set which included replacing all the sheets in the entire hospital, comparing notes will help spit this overlap and ensure that that department does not have a double supply of new sheets.

Identify Growth Areas

In order for performance programs to run smoothly, analytics has to be involved. Healthcare analytics is used to identify areas of opportunities and growth that the performance improvement initiative can focus on. Yes, any organization can just by looking doing a quick run through or even from day to day activities, identify areas of growth or areas that can be improved. But this is not a healthy or effective way of identifying areas of growth. On the surface level, certain problems might appear to be the cause of an organization’s problem, but on closer analysis using analytics and data, they would show to be mere symptoms of a deeper probably unrecognized problem. With analytics, specific areas of improvement can be identified and problems can be tackled at their true source and not at the symptoms or at where they surface in the healthcare organization.

Define Teams

For any organization to be able to run smoothly, team building and team leadership are important. Any performance program that is implemented should have a permanent team assigned to it as well. Team member should be permanent and not temporary because temporary teams lead to a lot of issues that can be avoided. For starters, every most performance improvements are ongoing and as such, team member needs to always have up-to-date knowledge on what’s going on, what stage of the plan they are at, what has been achieved and what more needs to be done. In addition, each team member should have assigned roles that they concentrate on for maximum impact. They also need to constantly monitor results and tests different strategy. Having temporary team members or team member joining and leaving at any time with lead to at best inefficiency of the team and at the worst, chaos. The time spent to onboard new team members and bring them up to speed on new projects could be put into achieving the performance improvement goals of the team. Constant changing of team members also leads to a dampened moral in the team. After working relationships have been formed and a team has developed a good rhythm, changing members could cause that rhythm to be lost.

For these reasons and more, healthcare organizations should always require permanent performance improvement teams for any Ongoing Performance Programs if they want to achieve effective results. When an improvement team is created, it should be built to coincide with the existing internal organizational structure. Team members should be assigned team roles that are similar to their day to day jobs. For example, team members from the accounting department should handle any accounting issues of a performance improvement program. The hierarchy should also not be ignored. When picking a team leader, the team leader should not be someone that reports to the team members outside of the team. Put simply, don’t pick a junior employee as a team leader in a  team where his supervisors and managers are members.

The role of a performance improvement team is to implement any ongoing performance programs. This can be achieved with proper team building, planning, and a healthy team dynamic.