How a Project Management Office Boosts Hospital Quality
By Thomas Guglielmo
The overriding mission of the quality assurance and patient safety body in a hospital environment is to advance learning and system-wide improvements throughout the healthcare center and its clinics. The challenge is to keep on top of the many individual quality initiatives running at any one time, while also ensuring that the appropriate care standards are observed. All hospitals are expected to adhere to a set of core care measures, developed by the Joint Commission – the national standard-setting and accrediting healthcare body – to optimize the quality of care through a standardized performance measurement system. These core measures are primarily derived from a set of quality indicators defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and have been proven to reduce the risk of complications, prevent recurrences and otherwise enhance the treatment of patients, by focusing on the actual results of care. Two of the key success factors that are often overlooked but which contribute significantly towards mastering the above challenge are Portfolio Project Management (PPM) and the Project Management Office (PMO).
The PMO, typically led by the Clinical Quality Director or Chief Quality Officer, is an organizational entity responsible for centralized and coordinated management of those projects under its domain. While PPM is a systematic approach to prioritizing goals and initiatives, the PMO is an operative body which takes those initiatives and makes sure they are being managed properly. In our example of a quality and patient safety department, both the PPM and the PMO functions are blended together in one function.
Defining the Project Management Structure
The PMO acts as the operative management body for all projects, programs and portfolios within its scope. The first step in the structuring process is to define and prioritize the goals of the hospital and quality management department, so that the projects which are then selected align with the overall strategy. Manual or software-based decision support procedures are ideal for this stage.
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The second step involves defining what constitutes a project, how projects interrelate into a program and then identifying how these programs pursue clearly outlined portfolio objectives i.e. the main priorities of the hospital. A project can be explained as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result, over a specified time period. A program is a group of related projects coordinated to obtain benefits and a level of control not Structure Portfolio level Roles involved
possible by individual project management. Programs may also include elements of related work outside the scope of the specific projects in the program. Finally, a portfolio describes a collection of programs, projects and other works that are grouped together to facilitate effective management of the work entailed in order to meet strategic business objectives. The projects or program in the portfolio may not necessarily be interdependent or directly related. Main responsibilities
Steering Members Portfolio Managers
Cross-functional portfolio management and Steering Committee Management of portfolio
Program Steering Group
Executive Sponsor Program Managers
Chair Program Steering Group Management of program to deliver benefits
Project Steering Group Project Managers Project level Project
Overall responsibility for successful planning, execution, monitoring, control and closure of project Achieve results specified in project charter Provide regular updates to PMO
Responsible for leading a specific project workstream and reporting to the Project Manager
The type of PMO design used for a certain...
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