After a thoroughly enjoyable nine month journey on the MBA so far, I’ve extensively transformed myself – learning from everyone around me. Cambridge really does gets the best out of you; challenges are not new to anyone here as everyone in the class has accomplished a great deal in their respective sectors.
The healthcare sector is currently facing unprecedented challenges – especially in the last decade. Whether it is the NHS (the UK’s universal healthcare system), a private healthcare provider or a pharmaceutical business, everyone faces similar issues: saving lives every day, meeting targets and improving patient care. Hospitals, with this increasingly demanding environment, face the unprecedented task of improving the business decisions, workflow and resource utilisation, while boosting staff productivity and building patient satisfaction.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the eight-member team working on the MBA Six Sigma Green Belt Certification project based at the Addenbrooke’s NHS trust in Cambridge. Myself and fellow MBA Kanin Patikanskul were in a sub-team dealing with improving the patient pathway in the Trauma and Orthopaedics (T&O) department.
I still remember my first impressions: “This can’t be that challenging”. Little did we know what was in store for us. We had to work our way through challenging administrative policies, patient privacy, busy staff schedules and operational complexity. Nevertheless it was an amazing experience. We had the chance to follow patients from their admission to the ward through to the operating theatre and recovery ward and finally exiting the pathway. Our task was primarily to improve patient experience and T&O pathway. We had to make observations of the current operations within the elective & trauma ward and the operating theatre. We interviewed the stakeholders to obtain more detailed information from patients, surgeons, consultants, nurses and the patient booking team.
Our research showed that the main reasons for the reduced operational flow were surgery start times and delayed/cancelled procedures. We then got to implement the tools we learn in the Six Sigma course to develop an efficient operational model with fresh insights and recommendations.
So what have I done this summer? Apart from executing a successful healthcare project, I know for sure that I have been challenged and I have grown.