There is no doubt that people working for any organization should pay an increased attention to a successful communication with customers as the latter can be called the primary source of income of the company. Therefore, effective collaboration with customers should be regarded as the most important factor contributing into the success of any initiative.
Understanding that, many people whose duties are related to development of projects and campaigns try to think more about customers and place their needs in the center of attention when it comes to devising newer projects and implementing creative ideas into them. Although it can be said that the necessity to focus on customers’ needs is an essential feature of the work in any sphere of activity, it is important to understand that its level of criticality increases even more if we speak about those spheres where the specialists have to deal with the primary component of fulfilling life – physical and mental health. In order to care about their customers in a more effective way, different healthcare organizations try to increase customer focus and it has an impact on common practices related to project management. It is common knowledge that project management in healthcare helps to control human resources and money better and it also allows to improve coordination between the particular specialists working in healthcare organizations. Projects related to healthcare can be implemented on different levels but there is a common feature peculiar to all types of projects – all of them should be developed and managed with regard to the needs of patients.
There are certain changes in project management that take place when the organization decides to focus more on customer preferences. For instance, it often happens that healthcare organization is required to make alterations to initial programme of action and sort out priorities giving pride of place to those projects aimed at analyzing customer preferences and defining the particular factors that may cause customer disturbance. Consequently, in order to make the services more customer-oriented, it is necessary to appropriate more money for development of such projects and conducting the studies helping to understand the challenges that customers face. Also, when healthcare providers try to increase customer focus, it is very important to improve structure of healthcare organization in order to support those people and organizational units that deal with some extraordinary cases in healthcare practice and may encourage medical professionals to change their attitudes to patients and pay attention to negative experience reported by certain customers.
There are many areas in healthcare organizations where customer focus influences project management. For instance, hospital pharmacy is a sphere that involves having extended knowledge on medical drugs; as it is clear from the reported findings, increasing customer focus is impossible without developing additional projects allowing to train employees and assess their knowledge (Béchet, Bonnabry, & Pichon, 2015, p. 267). Also, the requirements of project management seem to increase when it comes to customer focus in hospital nursing; there are a lot of tools used in order to define the most urgent problems faced by clients (Al-Abri & Al-Balushi, 2014, p. 3). Thus, the results of satisfaction surveys used in hospitals often indicate that a lot of changes related to project management should be made.
In the end, the importance of customer focus is difficult to overestimate but it is necessary to remember that it is closely interconnected with the requirements of project management in healthcare. As for the latter, they often tend to increase together with customer focus.
Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Medical Journal, 29(1), 3-7.
Béchet, C., Bonnabry, P., & Pichon, R. (2015). Improvement of customer focus in a Swiss regional hospital pharmacy: A mixed method study. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 22(5), 267-273.