Understanding Healthcare Process: The case of Pneumonia care at Skaraborg Hospital Group
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Quality and operations management (MPQOM), MSc
Pneumonia is one of the most common infections in today’s society as well as the fourth largest cause of death worldwide. At Skaraborg Hospital Group (SHG) it has been noted that the pneumonia patient group is a complex one where patients characteristics vary, and a large part of patients have complex care needs. For the creation of a future pneumonia care process at SHG, it is therefore of interest to get an overview and understand the current pneumonia care. The aim of this thesis is to explore and understand the care process for pneumonia patients at SHG with an additional focus on patients with complex care needs. The work has an iterative approach involving hypothesizing using quantitative data retrieved from SHG, as well as qualitative data collected using interviews with care personnel from SHG. Statistical analysis and process mining have been a part in analyzing the quantitative data. Improvement areas and recommendations have been based on literature on performance measures within healthcare as well as literature on areas of interest found from empirical data. From the empirical findings and analysis five areas of improvement have been identified which would benefit the quality of care for pneumonia patients as well as care practice at SHG. These recommendations are presented in the order of execution. i) Reorganize the hospital to conform to a more value network-based logic, connecting wards with one another and improving communication. ii) Standardize the manner of information transfer in terms of creating a uniform way to write medical records and transfer notes. iii) Integrate and connect support functions i.e., physiotherapy, more strongly to the pneumonia care process. iv) Introduce a guideline in pneumonia care, which would consist of a clinical pathway and work towards a more value chain-based way of working. v) Measure the process, which includes collecting data on the pneumonia care process and use it to continuously keep track and improve it. The results provide a basis for future improvement work and process development for the pneumonia care process at SHG.