Project Management

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The Project Management Institute's annual events attract some of the most renowned and esteemed experts in the industry. In this blog, Global Conference, EMEA Congress and experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

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Viewing Posts by Deepa Bhide

Healthcare Project Management: Patient Care Project Initiation

Let's get started ...and get a patient's project initiated! Lacking a standardized approach to initiating a project can lend itself to confusion and a build of unrealistic expectations that is detrimental to the desired outcome of the project.  A case of patient care is no different. A formal  initiation is needed for a detailed planning, setting of control points and above all getting all the stakeholders on the same page.

A patient’s project is initiated with the need and desire to get better or, in some instances, planned visits to a physician’s office for a wellness and preventive health check up. Let's see a few examples

  • Customer request - Example of a need to get better is an episode of the common cold or flu that can necessitate medical intervention (an immunization visit to a physician is an example of a preventive health check up). The patient care need for the preventive shot (as mentioned above) can be seen as a type of customer request that initiates the project. 
  • A regulatory need - The pulse polio program by the Government of India is another example of project initiation in which the project is authorized to meet a regulatory demand. According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), India remains a polio-endemic country along with four other polio-endemic countries around the world. In accordance with the World Health Assembly resolution of 1988 to eradicate polio, the Government of India launched the pulse polio immunization project in 1995-1996. The immunization project aims at immunizing all children under the age of five years with two drops of oral polio vaccine on specified dates in a month. This project has helped reduce the cases of polio in India and globally.

Creating an initial expectation document that includes patient's details such as finings, assessment, plan of care, high-level milestones of lab/physical examination findings, funding sources and constraints, care continuum details, high-level risks and roles and responsibilities of those involved inc are key details that can help set this initiation on track. The nature of project initiation has a significant bearing on the subsequent activities that can follow.

The eventual outcome of the patient’s disease management depends on a good understanding of the context in which the project of patient care is initiated.

More to stay tuned!

Look forward to meeting you all and talking to you ….will be glad to share my thoughts and clarify your questions on this confluence domain. Meet me at the Global Congress Solutions Center in San Diego (25th – 27th September 2016). Can make it? Find the information on the sessions as well as sign up to ask questions

Posted by Deepa Bhide on: September 16, 2016 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Healthcare Project Management: Patient as a Project!!!

Is patient care a project? Is project managing a patient different from a project of a non-healthcare domain? A debate that runs through the minds of healthcare professionals as myriad of thoughts cloud their mind. And if it is, what’s the benefit of managing it like a project?

Well, the answer is both yes and no! Patient care can be likened to the project and yet be different in the way that it does not/need not adhere to the project management framework. First part first…..

A patient’s disease or condition has a definite start and end and hence is temporary in nature. The end here could be the control or cure of the disease. As the diseases are variable in their durations, the care involved can also vary with the disease duration. For example, diseases can be acute (short term, such as the flu or common cold) or chronic (long term, such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cancer, immune deficiency disorders, and so forth); hence, the duration of care differs with each of these diseases. Although projects are considered to be temporary, the result can outlast the project itself. For example, if we imagine a patient’s immunization program to be a project, then, the program is temporary and unique, and the result outlasts the project. In this case, the immunity gained by these immunization programs lasts a long time, even lifelong in some cases. Similarly, the control or cure of a disease outlasts the project of patient care.

The treatment of each of these diseases, although carried out by a certain repetitive set of people—nurses or physicians—is unique and delivers a unique result, which means that the patient’s condition can be controlled or cured or, at times, the result can be a lifelong disability.

So as you noticed, patient care can be conceptualized as a project and the best practices of project management can be applied to patient care for an end-to-end understanding and management of the same.

Patient care is, in many ways similar to projects of other domains. As project management framework cuts across domains, it surely can be applied to managing patient care. Key points that a project manager of a patient must remember are

  1. Patient’s condition can change to worse at any point and that appropriate risk management must be in place to manage such life-threatening situations
  2. Communication plays a key role in keeping all the stakeholders in sync on the prognosis. It helps get the right buy in and concur to the treatment plan
  3. As is the case in other projects, finances to fund patient care can turn out to be a major constrain. It is important to talk to the patient care executive to get an idea of the expenditure
  4. Patient’s care plan runs through highway with a many a traffic cones placed at different places. The dependencies are not clear at all times. It’s important to draw a schedule of plan and work iteratively to define and refine it and most importantly
  5. This project deals with “life” of the patient – the core and basis of healthcare!

Let’s see how a project is initiated in the next post….

Look forward to meeting you all and talking to you ….will be glad to share my thoughts and clarify your questions on this confluence domain. Meet me at the Global Congress Solutions Center in San Diego (25th – 27th September 2016). Can make it? Find the information on the sessions as well as sign up to ask questions

Looking forward…

Posted by Deepa Bhide on: September 10, 2016 12:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Healthcare Project Management: How is it similar or different from PM of other industries?

What makes healthcare different? What’s unique about it? And above all how is application of project management different for healthcare? Lots of thoughts….and solutions too.

Every industry is different from others in many ways and healthcare is no exception. Not just because it deals with the very “life” of the patient, but also in a way that the relationship of this central and critical equation is perceived by people across globe. The geography-specific management of this patient-doctor engagement and the “business of healthcare” that runs around this core object is different.

Patient is the same and so is his disease but the way the malady is diagnosed, assessed and treated has innumerable facets. Information asymmetries that exist are multifold, proportion of which is difficult to fathom at any stretch of imagination.

Right from the where this value chain of the “Lifecycle of the Patient” begins, the factors that start to differentiate this engagement are triggered.  For example, symptoms that the patient presents may not be representative of the disease. Two plus Two in medicine is rarely a Four! The symptoms can seem innocuous even as the patient harbors a sinister condition. It, at times, is quite challenging for the physician to detect the actual disease. And this becomes even more challenging when one needs to accomplish it successfully within the constraint of time and resources.

Getting away from the patient care example, healthcare as an industry and its unique challenges have always called for a debate. The healthcare professions (physicians, nursing staff and others) lean towards uniqueness of this field while others could well look at the industry as a generic one. A few points of such a debate are

  • Healthcare skills
  • Patient care settings and their variety
  • Payment and its structure in healthcare
  • Effect of environmental factors on patient care and overarching healthcare
  • Emergency care management and so on….

Each one of these is an independent topic that we shall see going forward

Now that’s just the beginning of the story…..we are dealing with life…..and the story goes on… so stay tuned!

I am going to be in San Diego for the upcoming PMI Global Congress from September 25-27th and would love to discuss Healthcare Project Management with you. So book your time with me as I look forward to the discussing this domain of our mutual interest!

See you in San Diego!




Posted by Deepa Bhide on: September 05, 2016 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.

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