Project Management

Patient Care as a Project: Changing Landscape of Care Delivery Principles

PMI Pearl City, Hyderabad Chapter

Dr. Deepa Bhide, PMP is a physician and currently an independent healthcare IT and project management consultant. She has a postgraduate degree in Pediatrics and Neonatology from the University of Health Sciences, India. Deepa is an advocate of using project management in healthcare and related domains. She has worked extensively in the confluence of clinical medicine, IT and project management domains with hands-on experience in managing projects from conception to closure.

Project delivery principles guide project managers to work toward a successful project outcome. Lean project principles harp on 3 “Cs”: coordination, collaboration and continuous improvement, along with elimination of waste and a focus on delivering the value desired by the end-user. In this article, I outline project delivery principles as they relate to patient care as a project.

Based on the involvement of the physician and the key care coordinators, healthcare projects are of two types (1):

  1. physician-independent
  2. physician-patient centric

Physician-patient centric projects involve managing the patient and his/her ailment as a project. The outcome of patient care as a project is a subjective and objective cure (or control) of the ailment to restore the patient’s health to a level of optimal functioning. 

Traditional healthcare delivery, by nature, is reactive. Patient seeks care only when they are suffering from symptoms caused by illness or injuries. In this model, the physician is by and large the sole decision-maker without an ideal/robust support of teams or technology in diagnosis and care.

Care follows a disease-centered and problem-driven plan, with inpatient care as the core business. Given that care delivery is largely siloed and riddled with redundancies in the system, healthcare experts agree that there needs to be …

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"One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

- Bertrand Russell