Successfully Delivering Healthcare IT Projects and Product Development. Last year signaled the need for an overall improvement in resource management in the healthcare industry, not least due to the resourcing shortages that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. ProSymmetry shares what they’ve been doing to help healthcare providers better plan for and manage their essential and scarce resources.
It’s no secret that many sectors struggled with resourcing shortages in 2020 — but no industry suffered under the weight of the pandemic more than healthcare-based institutions and related supply or support providers. Throughout the pandemic and beyond, these groups are faced with resourcing shortages in the following areas:
- Hospitals, nursing homes, and other health providers continue to face coronavirus-related staffing shortages, even after the peak of the pandemic’s winter wave.
- Out-of-state volunteers play less of a role in filling gaps in the healthcare workforce than at the beginning of the pandemic, in part because later virus waves have been more widespread.
But there are some positives:
- Industry leaders say prioritizing vaccinations for health workers should reduce the strain, with fewer workers out sick or in quarantine.
- Medical school enrollment has surged in the past year, but a shortage of medical residency slots could continue to be a bottleneck for new doctors and nurses in the longer term.
Having the right tools for successful resource management in the healthcare industry
When it comes to the future of resource management in the healthcare industry, the stakes are often high for project success — even if project goals have nothing to do directly with patients. Today, there are more challenges than ever, including:
- Non-stop and often chaotic medical crises
- Increased illness and infection rates among healthcare workers
- High stakes work and hectic schedules
- Scarce equipment and supplies
- Stricter regulations
- Highly-complex projects
- Sharply increasing patient counts but limited staffing
Health-based institutions often have high costs and limited human resources; they work with expensive equipment, often out-of-date tools, high-use and rapid turnover of supplies, and are in a state of constant readiness at all times. This leaves limited time to become experts at capacity planning, resource management, and what-if analysis. Having the right medical supplies and equipment is a top priority for medical professionals. But of equal importance is having the right tools specifically designed to better identify, prioritize, and manage precious healthcare resources.
The future of resource management in healthcare
As the medical industry continues its digital transformation, Tempus Resource by ProSymmetry is playing a pivotal role. Tempus ensures hospitals, care homes, medical schools, and other health-related providers have access to a purpose-built resource management platform, with powerful, efficient, and easy-to-use tools, which provide:
- Resourcing innovation and transformation opportunities in the medical field
- Real-time reporting for up-to-the-minute medical insights
- A way to identify current medical resource constraints
- The ability to adjust medical portfolios to accommodate new, high-priority projects
- Robust ‘what if’ analysis
- Sophisticated modeling and forecasting
- Reallocation of resources as necessary
Resource management in practice
Lonza AG Group and Siemens Healthineers are proof that having an effective resource management platform can transform the medical industry’s ability to achieve optimal performance and reduce risks, waste, and time while increasing project and portfolio visibility.
Lonza AG Group
In 2019, Lonza AG Group, a multinational chemicals and biotechnology company, struggled with, among other issues:
- Reduced transparency around project status, processes, decisions, and resource availability.
- Manual portfolio process and time-consuming reporting, with no automation.
- Unclear business responsibilities’ ownership.
- Limited business involvement with project prioritization.
- Too many projects in execution.
“We were too busy to improve, everyone was utilized at 100%, but nothing was getting delivered. Moreover, executives couldn’t use data as a robust source for decision making” — Daniel Echtle, Head of IT Portfolio Management, Lonza.
Using Tempus as a central data source, Lonza increased involvement across the entire business, especially for prioritization, the incorporation of self-service reporting for easy access to Project Portfolio Management (PPM) information, and the automation of regular PPM reporting. Lonza was also able to improve data accuracy and gain management buy-in to ensure PPM worked as envisioned.
At Siemens, a global leader and parent company to several medical technology companies, understanding the following aspects of PPM was a top focus:
- Precise project scoping
- The type of resources needed for each project
- The timing of the need for each resource
- Resourcing capacity and skills required
Tempus worked closely with Siemens teams to address these concerns resulting in Siemens gaining access to planning and resource modeling tools, timesheets and reporting, analysis, and data consolidation. Planning for the near future, Siemens will continue to leverage Tempus to focus on project scheduling and external costs, report automation, and skills management.
“With Tempus, Siemens’ project planning process begins with resource modeling. Part of their RM maturity has revolved around not adding any new projects without fully understanding the project scope, required resources, capacity, skills, and start dates. When you know all of these factors, you can have ‘proper prioritization” — Bobo Ferber is a Project Lead, Siemens.
The quality of care in the healthcare industry is dependent on being able to make informed prioritization decisions. It’s only when you have the right tools and capabilities to execute projects without any impact on other projects or initiatives that this level of care can be successfully met.