July 30, 2011

Operations & Services- Hospital Industry

In today’s scenario if a customer is ready to pay anything for medical treatment then he won’t compromise on the services even a bit. The question arises does operating a hospital or for that reason any other big chain in the hospitality industry goes without any study or is there a “science” that goes behind managing the show. Well the answer to that is that any hospitality industry has got a dedicated team that takes care that everything goes smooth and the customer gets value for his money. Operations Management in a hospital is one such job that takes care that the process and administration goes smooth. By the fact that hospitals are literally turning out to be more of a hospitality industry the job becomes even more challenging.

              Apollo Hospital, Bilaspur (Chhatisgarh)
Amongst the many hospital chains in India , Apollo Hospitals stands out as a name of trust  in case of any medical treatments.  Apollo Hospitals is a chain of hospitals started by Mr. Prathap C Reddy in 1983 and today the chain has got hospitals in as many as 9 countries across the globe. The chain manages more than 53 hospitals across the globe with each of them having impeccable services. 
Apollo has made it a point to have key international standard certifications under its brand name and this keeps the standards of the chain high. In fact the hospital at Hyderabad was the first hospital outside USA to have an accreditation from Joint Commission International (USA).
 Through a central networking Apollo makes sure that all its hospitals have similar standards and quality is maintained across. Apollo manages hospitals for its partners (non Apollo Hospital) as well and takes over the operation of that hospital in the process. All the partnering hospitals gain from the central purchasing of Apollo Hospitals which in turn brings in monetary benefits to the partnering hospitals. A hospital in Nigeria to which Apollo had given its operations expertise could actually bring in 86% per bed day increase in its revenues.
To keep up to the standards and quality there is lot more than medicine that goes in for the strategy.
Most of the doctors in Apollo will be highly qualified an in many case have experience in western countries.  Apollo makes sure that it maintains a relation with its customers even after they have returned home. A special customer relation cell would take care that nothing from the patient goes unheard. At employee level there is a constant interaction between the management and the staff/employee to make sure that satisfaction levels are high. In case of Medical Technology,  the group makes sure that it has got some of the best medical equipments in the world.
 These are some of the technique which differentiates one from the masses and brings in competitive advantage. Though most of the organizations that excel, have in their roots, the idea of considering the customer as god but this was not a common practice in medical industries in India before Apollo made it.
It was the way Apollo had managed its business and operations that the group towered above any other competitor. But the strategies of giving 5 star hospital services were soon taken by other competitors as well and the nearest rival (Fortis Group) is now gearing up to touch the milestones set by the Apollo group. It is now to be seen that how does the hospital that has been on the top for over 27 years now continues to be on the top. More than its medical treatment was the way it treated its patients that took the group to such heights and it requires another great operation strategy to keep that top place intact.
References-Digitaltermpapers.com, Business India, apolloglobalprojects.com
The writer of this article, Abhijeet Srivastava is a PGP student of Indian Institute of Management, Raipur.


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