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IntervIew GE HEALTHCARE


Q. How can hospitals redesign their space to increase efficiency and productivity? A. Our Care Design experts use clinical expertise, workflow redesign, and simulation technology to help healthcare organizations redesign their care delivery. The first step to redesigning an existing space is to look at the current processes in order to understand workloads, tasks, staffing levels, scheduling, and resource utilization. Next, we evaluate various “What if?” workflow scenarios using simulation models to develop the right approach. Once we’ve chosen the desired approach, the teams work to drive acceptance and understanding of new concept across the organisation. The Middle East must prepare for the


future of its hospitals. In the next five years, the Saudi Arabian government plans to build over 100 new hospitals which will require 25,000 additional medical staff. Management should invest not only in the design but more importantly the leadership skills, capacity strategy and management capabilities of the new facilities.


Q. Why is simulation so important in Care Design? A. Building a new hospital or transforming an existing one is a tremendous investment. The use of simulation allows you to test multiple options, make the necessary adjustments, and choose the best option that meets the organizational and cultural requirements … not one answer fits all. This strategy also allows you to gather a multidisciplinary team to buy-in on the strategy prior to implementation. Simulation saves you time, money and your reputation.


Q. Does GE work with existing hospitals? A. Absolutely.To date, we have conducted more than 20 performance improvement engagements in the Middle East, resulting in


some cases improved productivity by 80%. Operating theatres are central to the operation of a hospital and it’s critical that they are optimally utilized. In Saudi Arabia, we have seen a few instances where utilisation across the theatres has been as low as 30%. Leadership development is another area


where we work extensively with existing hospitals. An example is our work with the Ministry. Healthcare professionals go to work every day because they want to make people well. Very often it’s the system that stops them from doing that. It’s our job to engage the staff and empower them to think about the way they operate differently.


Q. Are there any challenges you find working in the Middle East, compared to the rest of the world? A. As a growing, emerging market, there are unique cultural challenges. For example, expats make up 80% of the ME population, meaning they have different backgrounds and expectations. This has resulted in large staff turnover for hospitals. To address this challenge, we aim to understand the motivational factors behind each deployment and develop strategies to address it and achieve success. Training and knowledge transfer is central


to how we work with our clients in the region. For example, at the MoH and NGHA we’ve used GE’s internationally recognized programmes to conduct leadership & training work. Speaking the vlocal language is necessary. To address this challenge we employ a dedicated team in the region, with vast international experience that are fluent in Arabic and understand the local culture. HB


‘Building a new hospital or transforming an existing one is a tremendous investment


Hospital Build Issue 3 2011


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