Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” (quotation.com) Dr. Linden Frelick, president and CEO of Victoria Hospital, realized it was time to make some strategic changes in his hospital to survive and provide service to the local community. Due to external and internal forces such as economic pressures imposed by the government by cutting funding, increasing operational costs, stiff competition from nearby facilities, and an inefficient internal structure, Victoria Hospital had to change or it would perish. Therefore, Dr. Frelick proposed and implemented three strategies to assist the hospital to remain viable to the community it served.
The three strategies Victoria Hospital employed consisted of, first, changing the organizational structure to meet patients’ needs, second, use technology to change work processes within the hospital, and third develop entrepreneurial opportunities to generate revenue for service no longer covered by health insurance. This paper will evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies against the four dimensions of change. But before we get into that, let take a look at why the four dimension of change are important.
To effectively manage change, organizations need to utilize the four dimensions of change (strategy, resources, systems, and culture) to evaluate their strategy using an integration of these attributes to bring about change. These dimensions provide a structured plan to evaluate how an organization can gain a competitive advantage in the market place in order to improve their services or products to the customer. Since business strategy is how an organization dictates how it will compete, it is important to establish also how it will use its resource, systems, and culture to support the strategy.
Application Analysis Strategy
What needs changed? The internal organizational structure needed a facelift. The hospital used a traditional organizational hierarchical structure. This type of structure leads to each functional department to address their own particular needs instead of the needs of the entire organization. In additional, this type of structure allowed duplication of patient care services as well. Next they turned their attention to their internal processes that involved patient care delivery and the need to change the way they utilized their information systems.
The forming of care teams allowed Victoria to be more flexible and responsive to their environment instead of working in functional specific silos. This would allow the teams to provide services they do best and also by forming partnerships for those services that require additional expertise. Reorganizing the hospital’s functional departments to into a flat organizational structure would permit the communications to improve and deliver care to patients efficiently and reduce associated costs.
Within the medical community, the Patient Care Guidelines and Pathways is a set of researched recommendation on the delivery of patient care. These standards assisted in clinics looking at every care process to see what provided added value and reduce those that didn’t. (Leban & Stone, 2008) Dr. Frelick vision includes realigning Victoria’s processes and restructuring the organization to take advantage of the guidelines. In addition, to changes to their internal processes, they have a desire to take advantage of technology to further provide quality service to their clients. By using an online clinical system, they will be able focus on providing clinical information to the entire organization along with the standard administrative and financial data.
The culture at Victoria was one of isolated functional groups. Each group only functioned and addressed their needs within their own department. The healthcare industry is moving to a more cross functional culture and Victoria’s current culture of silos cannot provide the flexible clinical services. Also, even though the executive has been made aware of the Dr. Frelick vision of a redesigned Victoria Hospital, they had various levels of interest in the program. In order for Victoria’s strategy to be successful, everyone has to be on board and sharing the vision.
What I have learned is that in order to implement any successful change, you need a plan and framework, and in this case the four dimensions of change is an excellent tool for evaluating how your well your strategy mingles and supports the resources, systems and culture of an organization. By using the four dimensions, managers can apply this evaluation tool to any situation where changes are required.
Leban, Bill & Stone, Romuald . (2008). Managing Organization Change (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Quotation Page. “Andy Warhol Quotations.” Retrieved Jan. 22, 2009 from