All projects are managed against the triple constraints of time, cost, and scope. However, healthcare projects typically come with their own additional constraints due to the high degree of regulation in the industry. In this video, Bob McGannon takes you through the common constraints specific to healthcare projects including: the need to preserve medical history data, restrictions on roles and capabilities, and systems standards.
- All projects are managed against the triple constraints of time, cost, and scope. Healthcare projects are special, however, and they typically come with their own additional constraints due to the high degree of regulation in the industry. Three common constraints specific to healthcare projects are the need to preserve medical history data, restrictions on roles and capabilities, and systems standards. Let's start with preserving medical history data. Any new process or system change over must include methods to carry over any medical history data contained in legacy systems or captured on paper records.
Be sure you don't underestimate the cost and time frames for transferring and ensuring the accuracy of any medical history data. Depending on the current systems and processes, I've actually seen manual transfer processes be put in place. In some cases, this may be the best way to transfer data. However, be mindful that it's costly and can take many people to execute. In fact, the initial accuracy rate is usually around 90%. So, extra time and reviews of manually transferred data are mandatory.
Another common constraint is roles and capabilities. The healthcare industry has many regulations which restrict what tasks individuals can perform regarding medical procedures. There are limitations to viewing patient information and interpreting medical diagnostic data. In addition, many hospitals and medical facilities impose additional controls on who can work with patients, insurance companies, and other medical service providers. Do your homework to understand your particular set of role constraints.
While building your plans, you can use the following techniques to manage these restrictions. Create process flowcharts that designate who will perform each step and have those reviewed to ensure you aren't giving responsibilities to individuals who aren't appropriately qualified. Where possible, consider restructuring tasks so your stakeholders have the greatest flexibility when executing processes, particularly where role restrictions apply. Consolidate processes to make sure qualified personnel can execute the greatest number of tasks in the minimum amount of time, and review your proposed changes with administrators in your medical facility to ensure you aren't making incorrect assumptions around the flexibility they will allow with new processes.
The final common constraint is system standards. Standards in the healthcare industry are typically written in great detail. Make sure you have the appropriate expertise available in order to interpret these standards appropriately. In addition to systems, medical tools also have standards for use. Be sure to get the most up-to-date instructions for these and have the means to review any questions with your vendors. Then, make sure these standards are reflected in any documented procedures for your project.
So, those are some of the typical constraints you may face in your healthcare project. Keep in mind, constraints are not necessarily a bad thing. They are realities we have to deal with and are often there to keep us from violating regulations that are necessary in a medical environment.
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- Managing healthcare project stakeholders
- Dealing with regulatory constraints
- Establishing milestones
- Assessing project risks
- Executing your healthcare project