Reasons why the Healthcare Industry is dissimilar to other industries mainly in terms of functionality and infrastructure

Ajay

The healthcare and medical facilities are ones that save lives and are as crucial as the food industry, just like it is not possible to survive without food similar can be said for healthcare delivery. The healthcare industry has gone through monumental changes over the past three decades and has led to the highly functional medical facilities and care structures that remain completely operational today. The healthcare facilities have transformed in many ways due to the changes in disease patterns and population health of a region. Along with the time it has been also witnessed in the healthcare industry that private medical facilities and healthcare organizations including transnational corporations have received more popularity and recognition. 

Due to changes in health demographics over a population, the government of the US and other leading countries have to revise the national health systems and bring the necessary changes into healthcare delivery. The advancement in technology has played a major role in empowering the healthcare industry to deliver better treatment and innovative medical aid in a very short span of time. Due to modern healthcare technology, doctors and medical professionals are able to find the exact cause of health problems in a patient and provide personalized treatment. The healthcare industry is highly different from any other industry because healthcare often acts as the facility to provide a better life to people and save them from health deterioration. The prime aspects in which the health industry differs are the economic and demographic structure. The funding in the healthcare industry largely comes from the government and third-party insurers and there is no customer dealing structures like the other industries.

Changes in healthcare execution over the past decade 

When looked at from the industrial perspective the demand for healthcare delivery is robust and constant. While no one wants people to suffer from more diseases, the health problems in a population are not being noticed to have decreased anyhow. Definitely, there has been a success in the eradication of some 

diseases which used to affect the population of a huge geographical area. With the development of more vaccinations and immunization policies, it has been possible to make new generations completely free from these diseases like Polio and Measles. The modern healthcare system operation and implementation have been able to use technology and research in spectacular ways that have increased the overall life expectancy of a population. Previously there was a lack of correct diagnosis and the undeveloped healthcare industry was partially responsible for it. 

Communities of many regions held many irrational beliefs that resulted in seeking medical help too late. The healthcare industry also differs from others in the abundance of non-profit organizations that stay away from the tax rules. The healthcare industry is the sector where the space for mistakes is extremely limited and vital mistakes can result in further deterioration of patient conditions. There need to be efficient functionalities of the technological equipment at all times and the patient requires enhanced monitoring to identify any changes in the patient’s vitals very easily. The treatments also need to be not only effective but completely safe for the patients otherwise the treatment would need to be discarded if the health risk is much greater. The healthcare infrastructure also needs to have better distribution in a population so that people can make use of the facilities in a similar system to other essential industries. 

The administrative and hierarchical infrastructure differences from the other industries 

In every industry, there should be an administrative authority working closely with the board of directors to reach productive conclusions and resolve issues existing in the organizations. The board of directors has highly experienced professionals and the general count is more than ten in the healthcare industry. The board of directors fulfills the role of consultation experts for healthcare organizations and functions different from the governance body in other industries. But it has been witnessed across the industry that most healthcare organizations have socially popular names on the board who might not have the same field of expertise and rarely be able to provide help in the complications arising in the healthcare organization. In the US there are reputed hospitals having more than fifty board members who are also sometimes referred to as trustees. Among this large count of board members, very few are having a medical background and neither have hospital experience. 

Many hospitals have influential individuals from the sector of real estate, banking, large-scale business, and similar other industries who won’t be able to fulfill the role of a consultation expert efficiently. In other industries like e-commerce and product businesses, the giant international companies are being noticed to have very small board members with more prominent individuals of the same industry experience. This helps in resolving problems much quicker and always having a strong back-support in running the organization. The three billion valuation organization named red cross society has about fifteen board members being a world-scale non-profit organization. 

When this governance structure in the healthcare industry changes then the operational and executional functionality of the organizations would increase a lot. The daily operational relevance of the board members in the whole healthcare industry structure would help the hospitals to function better and provide a better patient experience. The CEOs in healthcare organizations have many differences in their position and experiences in comparison to other industries. In various healthcare statistics, it has been found that the permanency of a hospital CEO is for a much shorter period than the CEO’s working in other industries. 

The total average span of holding office by a hospital CEO in the US is a maximum of five years. Some CEOs also had to leave only after serving for just three to four years. When the organizational leader of the day-to-day operations of the healthcare system gets changed so frequently the performance and operation get hampered a lot. The new CEO definitely requires some crucial time to understand the functionality, features, and fundamentals of the hospital which are three F’s requiring close attention after newly joining. The process of finding an appropriate CEO every four years is not an easy task to be carried out by the hospital authority. Experts claim this kind of human resources model to be non-scientific and lacking in logical definition as many resources like money, time and labor go into it which could be avoided while having positive results for the industry. 

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The hospital leaders or the CEOs who have a physician background face trouble in the managerial aspects which come with the leadership positions. These leaders do not have the conventional skill of combining and managing business strategies and find difficulty in making business decisions for the organization. Assessing portfolios, discriminating short and long-term trade-offs and business promotion are skills that are also rarely found in potential leaders from a medical background. 

Healthcare statistics reveal the gap between the supply and demand of ideal leaders in the industry. There are certain changes required in the existing healthcare industry so that more ideal hospital CEO’s can be made through the natural system of progress in every industry. The top leaders in the industry should focus on building a natural process through which medical professionals with many years of experience can also be habituated with the pillars of management in the industry. When these medical professionals would be able to practically study their hospital’s management system they would be able to learn a lot.   

Efficient health system infrastructure and correction of existing health system functionality 

Healthcare organizations need to process vital scrutiny for equipment infrastructure to update it and abandon the obsolete ones in the same healthcare system. The physical structure deformation in terms of technological equipment is also due to infrastructure differences in the healthcare industry. The other industries with customer-centered operations function in different ways. In other industries, the prime goal is to please the customer and make excellent sales of products on a daily basis. But in healthcare infrastructure, several high-cost types of equipment are not subject to customer reviews and are often not updated as long as it runs well. The healthcare industry just like other industries should focus more on the existing equipment and update them accordingly to provide enhanced care to the patients.

 In other industries constant research and investments are happening to improve customer engagement and the sales system. In terms of basic infrastructure, including the building facilities and the conveniences also needs to be made sophisticated for being more comfortable for the customers. Hospitals are often seen to have a depressing design with obsolete decoration creating a disdainful vibe around the whole building for patients. The healthcare industry has also been under cyberattack in recent times and many healthcare organizations have not been securing their data with the utmost protection.

 The healthcare industry thus still stands at a vulnerable phase to cyber-attacks and the industry should completely strengthen the network security for patient records and all other crucial databases. Experts also suggest that the human resources hierarchy and the operational model in the healthcare industry are very different from the others. The unpleasant workflow at many hospitals in the US has been criticized by healthcare leaders several times. The employees are not performing the tasks which they are best suited for and the professional training and expert knowledge is not utilized in efficient ways. This poor nature of running the health system operations got more vulnerable when the covid-19 pandemic hit and there was an immense growth in patient load.                             

Posted by Ajay