Phases in HealthCare Project Management 

The expectation is sky-high when it comes to healthcare project management. With high stakes and a higher risk profile, healthcare project management tasks could be challenging and demanding. At the end of the day, the objective is to provide optimum healthcare and save human life. That is why healthcare projects are different from the ones we see in the IT infrastructure, construction industry, or retail industry. A simple thought behind the higher risk is, if you miss the deadline, it can end up crippling the healthcare system. So, from day one, the word is “go”. You might think that this is not the way traditional project management works, but healthcare projects are different.

Even though project management practices are fairly new in the healthcare sector, it has been proven that with effective adoption of project management practices, not only cost of implementation gets reduced but even the outcome is improved, and the deliverables are delivered on time. With the improved outcome, patients get the best healthcare. Today, more and more investors are investing in the healthcare sector, and project management practices are ensuring optimum return is derived from the investments, while the best care is ensured to the patients.

A Project

What could be a project? 

Before we dive into project management or think of getting certified in project management, we need to understand what a project is. We might use the term ‘project’ quite often in our day-to-day life, but do we know what it relates to in project management practices. As per PMI (Project Management Institute), the project is just a temporary endeavor or an assignment, the completion of which will result in a unique output, that can be a product or a service. For example, the implementation of bots in the patient care CRM tools could be a project. The output of this project will be improved patient care, with an improved appointment system, interactive report generation, and proactive engagement with the patients even without human interaction. Thus, it could be seen the project has multiple outputs, which are unique and brings improvement or benefits to the organization.

Stages in Project Management

Imagine you receive an email from the facility team, that the emergency room needs to be renovated within a week, or someone from the hospital board has reached out to you mentioning that a new wing for pediatrics needed to be built in six months. The first question which might come to your mind is, where do I start. This question is quite valid if you are starting from scratch as a project manager, and if you are not certified on PMP. Project Management is effective only if we follow the key project management practices. One of the core practices is implementing the project as per project management stages. A project should have at least these four basic stages as listed below:

Initiate: As a project manager once you receive the proposal of the project, you define the scope of the project. For example, if you are renovating the emergency room, define the scope statement which should include what is included in the renovation. Along with that develop the project charter which should have the cost, schedule, and list of deliverables. The charter should also list out the risks at the initial stage. Once this documentation is ready, it should be presented to the management for review and approval. The project sponsor needs to review this as well, as he is the one who approves the overall budget of the project. Generally, the sponsor is part of the management board.

Plan: Once the scope is approved. Start with the project plan. To plan, break the project into milestones, where each milestone is a deliverable. Create a plan for each of the milestones, and then merge them into a complete project plan. The plan should mention the deadline of each of the milestones, and at the same time, it should also state by when the complete project will be completed. The project plan should also elaborate budget allocated for each task, and the stakeholders who are responsible for completing those tasks. When we create the plan, we have to ensure the plan is realistic and achievable. Forecasting and budgeting techniques need to be used as well. However, to become an expert on forecasting and budgeting, it is always recommended to get formally certified on PMP.

Execute & Monitor: In this stage start executing the plan which was created in the last stage. Monitor the progress of each of the milestones. Monitoring can be always done by comparing the actual progress against the projected progress. There are multiple tools available for monitoring, and some of them are covered under PMP training programs. For healthcare project management this phase is extremely critical, as delays or lack of adherence to the schedule & cost can completely put the project off track. The delay might affect the critical health services.

Close: Once the project is completed, a closure report is prepared. This should outline the outcomes of the project clearly, along with the key deliverables and lessons learned. The executive or management team reviews this report and accepts the closure.

This is only a brief description of project management stages, and a more detailed understanding can be gained through PMP training programs. The project management stages ensure that the project approach is modular, where each of the stages has its objective. The best part is you can complete the next stage only once you have completed the current stage, this is counter checks itself.

Why should I go for PMP training?

While there are many webinars, and online tutorials which can provide training on the basics of project management. But, project management is beyond that. One needs to know the key tools and concepts mentioned in the PMP curriculum, to gain professional knowledge on project management. If you are looking for the best PMP training program, then we at HPMA Global can help you.

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