Top 5 Challenges in Managing Healthcare Projects

We all understand that implementing a healthcare project from initiation to delivery is not an easy task and involves various challenges, bottlenecks and dependencies that may appear in different forms. These difficulties can either be in the form of lack of regulatory requirements or simply the absence of coordination between team members involved in the project. Nevertheless, all these factors collectively converge in creating unnecessary chaos, disorganized teams and misplaced priorities. It is therefore essential to have an understanding of the different challenges that are normally encountered in the management of healthcare project.

Heavy Regulatory Requirements

The healthcare industry faces more regulations than other industries, including HIPAA protection and confidential handling of health information laws. Over the passage of time, compliance to regulations to protect sensitive information has increased phenomenally due to which healthcare facilities have added layers of approval. Healthcare project must be signed off by the hospital, local, and national governments. The element of stringency is not limited to project approvals and sign off, but also extends to the ways in which each phase of the project will be executed.

Data Backups and Privacy

With the rampant pace at which innovations are taking place in the healthcare industry, there is an increased risk that leaves patient data prone to the vulnerabilities of the cloud and individual mobile devices. The increased number of data theft cases such as that of databases of Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS), one of the largest hospital groups in the United States has raised serious concerns regarding the processes and policies that are followed by a healthcare project at each stage of their milestone.

Dependency on External Stakeholders

In a healthcare project, dependencies on external players which is normally in the form of either software or professional services vendors can directly contribute to the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the project. It is important that any such external player included in the project management process is carefully vetted for the services and expertise that they claim to provide so that any bottleneck or unwanted hiccup in healthcare project delivery can be addressed and resolved.

Stakeholder Management

In order to ensure that each stage from the initiation of the project till its execution & closure, all important stakeholders are on the same page regarding the objectives, scope and the milestones that need to be achieved with the help of the project at each phase. When all stakeholders are onboard, issues such as allocation of resources and coordination with client in the resolution of issues can be carried out in a timely manner.

Lack of Proper Change Methodology

It is integral that on a healthcare project management level an appropriate methodology is adopted that is agile enough to help employ changes in a successful manner. The absence of a proper methodology in place results in lack of coordination and communication between the stakeholders involved in the project such as physicians and healthcare administrators. This translates into lack of understanding, acceptance and ultimately adoption of the change, leading to failed project outcomes.