1. INTRODUCTION Corporate strategic decisions are usually based on the methods through which an organization could leverage its existing competitive advantage in promoting value and ensuring growth (Lynch, 2009), while….
NHS Direct Strategic Management
NHS Direct is the national health line of National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, which is envisioned to be preferred NHS provider for digitally delivered and telephone heath services. NHS Direct offers professional heath advices, reassurance and information. Strategy management is the systematic analysis of internal environment factors within the organization and external factors allied with customers, competitors and the regulatory bodies and offer the basis for rethinking the current management practices.
Strategy management is aimed at achieving enhanced alignment of corporate policies and strategic priorities; this requires the utilization of resources in order to achieve strategic objectives. Resources are defines as physical or virtual entity of limited availability that can be utilised to achieve an objective, resources vary in context and includes time, assets, human skills and knowledge, technology that are anticipated for operations.
NHS case In NHS Direct case, several resources are vital to the achievement of the strategic objectives, a critical resource to the strategic management is the human resource, these includes the frontline staff such as doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, scientific and technical staff , support to clinical staff as well as NHS infrastructure support.
Human resource plays a crucial role in NHS for the achievement of its objectives, as captured by Davies, (2008), who argues that the existence of human resource provides that capacity for offering quality services, and as such, any digression from the optimal capacity, of human resource is consequential to the entire service delivery. The other important resources are the skills and technology.
The heath services service is digitally delivered and/or by telephone which contains the operations of the NHS direct to be wholly dependant on technology, technology however, requires the right skills and competencies such as expertise in telecommunications, Digital Televisions and web management so as to ensure client satisfaction hence being a resource. Monetary and financial resources are also important to the NHS case.
According to the case, Healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP has been rising just as the NHS expenditure, financial resources plays a crucial role in the strategic management, since it forms a fundamental foundation for the management of the other resources. NHS requires financial resources to be able to implement the care services as outlines by the case. Processes are important resource in NHS, these are outlined as the gateway to services, where all the activities of NHS are geared towards implementation of services.
This is important to NHS since when the processes are harmonized and synchronized, NHS benefits from customer satisfaction and reduced operation costs. The T-service is used since it was the conventional means of offering customized service to patients as and when needed, Blobel, (2004), this also ensured that patients can be offered expert health advice, at the convenience of their homes, these results to cost savings on medical expenditures. To achieve strategic objectives, the NHS direcy management has to optimize on utilization of efficient processes.
The processes while they seem efficient, as highlighted by the increasing client base and a good safety record is resource intensive as highlighted by the need to axe more than 1000, staff in restructuring. The resources available to NHS direct, whereas forecasted to be on deficit in the year 2006/2007, are at potential considering that NHS 24 was progressing, while opening more centres, this shows that NHS direct has the potential on increasing resources, and streamlining operations to achieve better outcome and reduced costs.
Direct resources in terms of human resource, skills, monetary resource can be enhanced to augment with the increasing client base, The implementation and process can be improved by adopting web based collaborative environment models which are virtual workplaces which involve several components for information exchange, communication and working by the NHS staff and clients. The environment utilises and coalesce technological advances in videoconferencing, internet based conferencing and collaboration, online chats, archived and real time streaming, and instant messaging to a user friendly workspace.
Examples of open source based collaboration functionality which can be adopted by NHS are Bricolage which is a Content management system, EtherPad which is a Collaborative drafting with chat , Wiggio system which is focused on simplicity – group communication and content management toolkit , phpGroupWare which includes a project collaboration module and Plone which is a powerful, flexible Content Management that is Enterprise and web 2.
0 tools, these are geared towards achieving effective communication in order to attain strategic competitive advantage by enhancing NHS organizational knowledge availability and informed decision making by the patients, while reducing costs. Reference Davies, Peter 2008, The NHS Handbook 2008/09, NHS Confederation, London. Blobel, Bernd 2004, “Contribution of medical informatics to health: integrated clinical data and knowledge to support primary, secondary, tertiary and home care”, in proceedings of the European Federation for Medical Informatics Special Topics Conference 2004 , IOS Press, Munich, pp 33-50.