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    Hospital administration has evolved as a specialized domain in the field of management. It involves a wide range of functions and processes which are interlinked and can get voluminous and complicated with increased services and increasing number of patients coming for consultation/treatment. How a hospital is managed on a day-to-day basis has a direct bearing on its core service which is medical care. If its processes, operations and activities are not streamlined and documented, the ability of a hospital to render effective and timely services may be adversely affected. The absence of process approach and SOPs will also hamper the functioning of a hospital as an organization. Developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) has become a necessity for hospital management and administration.

    Clinical Functions

    A hospital has to perform clinical functions round the clock 365 days in a year to ensure that its patients get the best possible professional medical care. Normally, the clinical functions of a hospital include OPD services (Out Patient Department), Emergency services, O.T services (Operation Theatre), Inpatient services, ICU and CCU services, nursing services etc. In order to deliver these services, a hospital administration has to ensure availability of doctors, nurses, medicines and medical supplies, medical instruments and accessories, ambulances, advanced medical care systems, blood bank, diagnostic laboratories and so on. Access to these resources heavily relies on the working of the support functions in the hospital.

    For example, the medicines and medical supplies required in the Inpatient department have to be procured from the hospital pharmacy. But the pharmacy can make these requirements available only when they have it in stock or get it procured from the central store. The central store or the inventory department needs to maintain the stocks at the required levels all the time. If the medicines or supplies are not available even in the hospital inventory, these have to be procured from the outside.

    For the clinical function of a hospital to run smoothly, it has to be aptly supported by other departments like inventory, logistics, finance and purchase, IT/ERP, HR and so on. The reliability of these support functions depends on the efficacy of the processes involved in them. Each process comprises of several operations and activities. These activities have to follow a step-by-step procedure to ensure that there are no lapses, standards of performance are maintained and the process output is delivered as defined and expected. This is exactly what SOPs can deliver – documented step-by-step acceptable working procedures.

    For the clinical function of a hospital to run smoothly, it has to be aptly supported by other departments like inventory, logistics, finance and purchase, IT/ERP, HR and so on. The reliability of these support functions depends on the efficacy of the processes involved in them

    Hospital Administration

    On one hand, there is the clinical side and on the other, there is the administrative side. A hospital will not be able to deliver its core service of medical care if it does not exist and managed as a professional organization. To be functional as an organization, a hospital has to carry out crucial organizational functions like HR, finance, inventory, safety and quality, facilities management, marketing and so on; each of which further comprises of several processes. For example, just like in any other organization, salary processing or payroll management is a vital HR process in hospitals too. But hospitals usually have more employees than a regular small or medium sized business. That leaves HR department in hospitals with a monumental task of salary processing at the end of every month. Several factors have to be considered before preparing the salary of each employee. This list can include attendance, leaves and nature of leaves availed, leaves encashed, statutory deductions, basic salary, TA/DA, insurance cover, dearness allowance or any other component of CTC. With process specific SOPs in place, HR staff can execute the salary processing by following the laid down step-by-step standard procedures. SOP development and implementation can significantly reduce the chances of errors and mistakes (especially when handling a large amount of data) and ensure delivery of process output on time – error-free salary in this case.

    A hospital will not be able to deliver its core service of medical care if it does not exist and managed as a professional organization

    Inventory Management

    In order to render effective clinical or medical services, hospitals need to keep all the necessary medical supplies ready and available all the time. And according to the services rendered, a hospital has to maintain its medical inventory. Inventory management in a hospital can be quite a heavy-duty task. Along with maintaining a wide range of medical supplies at the required levels all the time, the inventory staff also has to ensure that these supplies remain in the right storage environment all the time. Any lapse or deviation from the laid down standards of availability or storage, may cause damage to the medical supplies and render them ineffective for medical use.To ensure that the right stock levels of the medical supplies are consistently maintained, inventory department has to liaison with purchase and finance department. Inventory department has to consider the time lag between placing an indent and supplies reaching the inventory for stock replenishment. To ensure that the storage environment is consistently maintained, inventory staff has to coordinate with IT, power, vendors and suppliers for the technicalities and repair and maintenance of storage facilities. Thus, inventory management in hospitals involves managerial, technical and technological processes. It becomes essential for hospital administration to equip its inventory department with SOP procedures.Inventory SOPs will help hospital employees to systematically carry out the supply-chain activities in a step-by-step manner to make sure that procurement, storage, maintenance and availability of medical supplies is done as per the required standards.

    Inventory SOPs will help hospital employees to systematically carry out the supply-chain activities in a step-by- step manner to make sure that procurement, storage, maintenance and availability of medical supplies is done as per the required standards.

    Statutory Obligations

    Although statutory norms may vary from place to place usually hospitals have to remain in compliance with a fairly long list of statutory obligations as made necessary by the applicable regulatory framework. Safety and quality are two important and sensitive areas for hospitals and are fairly and squarely uncompromisable. Any degree of departure from the laid down standards of safety and quality in a hospital may attract serious regulatory actions against such hospitals.

    SOP procedures or SOPs can play a helpful role with respect to adherence to statutory obligations in hospitals. Laying down a step-by-step procedure for executing operations and activities can help ensure that there are no deviations from the established standards in the flow of work at any stage. The statutory standards can be incorporated in the SOPs.

    The statutory standards can be incorporated in the SOPs.

    Billing and Payment Systems 

    Fewer organizations have to handle billing and payments on such a scale and frequency as most hospitals do. Payments in a hospital are generated from multiple sources like registration fees, OPD consultation fees, patient discharge bills, purchase of medicines and supplies, clearance of periodic bills and so on. Secondly, dues are also accumulated for the inpatients on account of medicines, other medical supplies, diagnosis and other clinical services provided to them by the medical staff. This gives rise to a voluminous quantum of billing and payments in hospitals originating from different sources of services. This also gives rise to the necessity to carefully and systematically prepare the bills or execute the bill generation process. SOP development can prove to be immensely helpful for hospitals in bill generation and payment processes. By following a systematic step-by-step procedure, finance staff can gather information from various departments about the primary and supportive clinical services rendered to the patients and prepare the bill as per the applicable rules of the hospital. Bill generation and payment process involve obtaining official clearances and approvals from the concerned hospital authorities.

    By following a systematic step-by step procedure, finance staff can gather information from various departments about the primary and supportive clinical services rendered to the patients and prepare the bill as per the applicable rules of the hospital

    SOP development and implementation can help hospitals ensure that their clinical and organizational functions are effectively and efficiently carried out and that there is no lapses or negligence in discharge of duties so that high standards of professional medical care can be provided to patients. By providing medical care services, hospitals play a vital role in the human society. This makes it even more important for hospitals to assume the shape, structure and design of an organization and to be managed professionally.

    To read more about SOPs, click here SOP, ERP & SOP Integration, Why do most enterprises don’t benefit from SOPs? and SOP Validation.

    Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

     


     

    YRC is an “Expert Service Division” of Mind-A-Mend Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.

    YRC Related Articles: How to Write SOPs for Marketing?, 6 Ways To Grow Your Business, How to Start a Retail Business in India, Business Expansion Plan for Small Entrepreneurs, Six Steps to Writing a Great SOP for Retail, How to write SOPs for an Apparel Brand?, How to Develop SOPs for Quick Service Restaurant?, How to write SOPs for Furniture Showroom

    Author Bio

    Nikhil Agarwal

    Chief Operations Officer

    Get Advice to Retail SOPs for Hospitals

      PROCESS AUTOMATION

      The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

      In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

      Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

      Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

      YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

      VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

      No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

      Photography includes the following steps:

      • Cataloguing your products
      • Cataloguing your images
      • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
      • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

      DIGITAL MARKETING

      Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

      Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

      These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

      Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

      This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

      IT INTEGRATION

      Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

      YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

      IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

      This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

      Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

      WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

      • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
      • Where should your Warehouse be located?
      • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
      • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
      • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
      • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
      • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
      • How much space do I require for warehouse?
      • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

       

      At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

      We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

      Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

      UI & UX DESIGNING

      This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

      Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

      From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

      Part 2: UX Designing:

      “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

      UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

      “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

      An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

      Part 3: UI Designing:

      UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

      A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

      The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

      If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

      At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

      SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

      This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

      In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

      Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

      Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

      Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

      Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

      Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

      Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

      PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

      Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

      Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

      • In-house Design Team
      • Freelance Designers
      • Outsourced Design Team
      • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

      At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

      These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

      If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

      Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

      BRANDING

      Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

      Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

      It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

      ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

      Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

      SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

      At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

      CRITICAL PATHWAY

      Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

      CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

      CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

      At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

      BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

      Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

      Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

      Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

      YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

      MARKET RESEARCH

      Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.