Healthcare industry is not like other traditional industries. The main reason of choosing this industry is the importance of healthcare because it is the most important humanitarian service at all. Improving quality service of healthcare means savaging a human life. Therefore, this study aims to discuss the importance of supply chain management in service quality dimensions in healthcare sector.
Background of Public Health Sector in Abu DhabiThere have been induvial efforts to establish modest hospitals in the emirate of Abu Dhabi since the 1960s, but the concrete efforts to build the first public hospitals were between 1966 and 1970 to provide the healthcare service in both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. After the establishment of the UAE in 1971, the health sector has developed significantly and construction of the modern hospitals that provide the high-quality healthcare services in line with international standards has begun (Muheisen, 2015).
After the continuous development in the health sector, the UAE becomes one of the leading countries in the region and world that provide the best healthcare quality service. An example of that, Al Rahba Hospital which established in 2003 to enhance health services for Abu Dhabi residents, in a short period, the hospital became the first public hospital in the UAE to be accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) in 2006 .
Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) is an independent public joint stock company that owns and operates all public hospitals and clinics across the emirate of Abu Dhabi. SEHA established in 2007 as part of Abu Dhabi Government's initiative to develop the healthcare sector. The essence of the company's vision is to provide healthcare to patients in line with international standards and continual development of customer service. Nowadays, SEHA is among the largest integrated healthcare providers in the UAE. The company provides leading health services through its 12 hospitals, 46 healthcare centers, ten disease prevention, two blood banks, and four dental centers .
SWOT AnalysisIn order to provide a better understanding of the current state of public health sector in Abu Dhabi, and critically identify potential challenges and issues that will lead to proposed research objectives, a SWOT Analysis can be undertaken. SWOT Analysis will be used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in SEHA network.
Strengths of Public Health SectorPublic health sector in Abu Dhabi have many advantages including using of the latest technology, staff engagement and collaboration, enhanced leadership and staff training, change in organizational culture, integration and using of information, and location and geographical distribution. For example, all public hospitals, primary healthcare clinics, and centers that follow SEHA are linked by a health system that provides medical records information and medical updates from any SEHA's facilities across the emirate of Abu Dhabi. This system provides the medical history, visits records and details of SEHAs facilities and medications of every patient to the medical professionals. This is significant example of the use of technology and considering patient safety, and improving the quality of healthcare services.
Weaknesses of Public Health SectorAny healthcare provider can suffer from several aspects including lack of competitive strength, gaps in capabilities, disadvantages of proposition, weak brand name, high cost structure, timeliness of service delivery, and increased staff workload. Healthcare generally in the UAE and mainly Abu Dhabi suffers from timeliness of service delivery because of several reasons, including the lack of qualified medical professionals and especially nationals doctors who are only about 5.5% (Al Shunnaq, 2015). The shortage of medical professionals is a common problem in public and private healthcare sectors. This issue caused the long waiting periods for patients to get treatment and to set up appointments. According to Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD), around 3.15 million residents in Abu Dhabi and 16.7% of them are nationals. In contrast, the number of medical staff in the emirate 8,460 physicians, 1,561 dentists, 21,733 nurses (HAAD Health Statistics, 2015).
Opportunities of Public Health SectorThe opportunities of public health sector include unlimited government financial support, technology developments and innovation, advantage in market competition, private competitors vulnerabilities, and public recognition. The stable fund from the government make public health sector do not worry that much about the costs of developing healthcare quality while for private sector the financial aspect is limited and the reason of developing healthcare quality is to make more money through attracting more customers.
Threats of Public Health SectorThe threats of public health sector might be resource and funding cuts, economic slowdown, patients demand and taste, and new or increased competition. Nowadays, the private health sector appearing flexibility to timeliness and hospitality towards patients. This attracts more patients to go to private healthcare providers (Al Bolushi et al., 2017).
CLOs RelevanceThis part of the study identifies relevant CLOs that is related to the study with descriptive explanation of how they are relevant.
According to BUS 4813 Supply Chain Concepts and Practices course, students should be able to apply the principles of the supply chain in a contemporary business context. One of the important aspects of supply chain principles include customer relationship management which requires setting strategies to ensure deliveries, resolve complaints, improve communications, and determine service requirements. This directly related to the study because this study aims to improve customer service in healthcare. According to the same course, students will be able recommend solutions to issues in meeting customer service expectations. This CLO is very related to the study because customer service is the ability of logistics management to satisfy users in terms of time, dependability, communication, and convenience. Here we can see clearly the dimensions that this study will look at inspired from this course.
According to the CLO 3 of BUS 4833 Manufacturing in Supply Chain, which requires for students to recommend manufacturing planning and control decisions to satisfy supplier service and customer service levels in the supply chain. The second part of the CLO 3 is relevant to study in terms of adding value to products and services. The control decisions require applying the philosophy of total quality management (TQM) in terms of focusing in customer needs, applying continual improvements, employees empowerment, use of quality tools, product and service design, process management. Furthermore, it linked to the quality dimensions of health services, these dimensions include (responsiveness, constancy, promptness timeliness, durability, continence, and atmosphere).
Moreover, the study is related to other topics directly or indirectly related to the supply chain major outcomes. The student can deduce it through critical thinking and access to the latest researches related to supply chain and quality of healthcare.
The Study Aim and ObjectivesOne of the critical issues that healthcare providers around the world facing today is customer dissatisfaction. The well-being of patients is a key to reducing the length of stay. According to Chopra & Meindl (2016), Supply chain management deals with various types of flows including the flow of services and goods, flow of information and flow of money within and among supply chain entities in order to satisfy consumer needs in the most efficient way. Therefore, this study aims to discuss and determine the importance of supply chain management in service quality dimensions in public hospitals in Abu Dhabi, and how supply chain management concepts are used to achieve outstanding results in this critical service industry.
This report will present the most important aspects that should be improved regarding to quality of healthcare service in terms of supply chain concepts and practices, and discuss the weak aspects that should be changed in public hospitals in Abu Dhabi. For instance, the length of staying for tr...
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