Hospitals throughout the world are operating on tight budgets. Therefore, operational managers must find ways to reduce cost and “manage productivity across all areas and job categories” (Langabeer, 2008, p. 129). With proper management, hospital foodservices can reduce cost and bring profitability to the health care organization. To operate efficiently, it is necessary for hospital foodservice areas to increase and maintain better control over the numerous variables that exist. Organizations can reduce bottom-line cost, control expenses, and improve productivity by implementing effective labor productive management programs. More important, management must focus on promoting efficient labor practices without resorting to workforce reductions. Trinity General Hospital is in need of a sustainable labor management solution. The foodservice operation consists of six cashiers, three cooks, four prep technicians, and two supervisors. Each employee averages eight hours per day and the hourly wage is $7. The total food supply expense is $500 per day and more than 1400 patient and guest meals served daily (Langabeer, 2008, p. 135). Several factors require examination prior to the implementation of a productivity solution. These factors include identifying areas of improvement using benchmarking data, measuring productivity performances against goals, and achieving productivity and performance by training and support. All of the aforementioned will help control labor cost while improving workforce productivity. Measuring Constraints
“In most industries the quantity of labor input in production is measured by hours worked and its price by average compensation per hour” (Steiger, 2009, p. 730). Measuring productivity is vital; however, constraints do exist. Management must realize and understand how these constraints affect productivity measurement. Some of the most common constraints organizations encounter is lack of training in administrative matters, lack of data availability, and quality. Lack of Training in Administrative Matters
Managing productivity in health care can oftentimes be problematic. Health care workers generally lack training in business or administrative matters and thus do not understand the importance or usefulness in managing the productivity of their time. Additionally, they are unaware of the approaches and tools available to help manage productivity. These personnel are oblivious of the basic techniques and steps that provide the needed foundation for effective use of productivity management (Langabeer, 2008, p. 129). Lack of Data Availability
Healthcare facilities have problems measuring productivity because of a lack of data availability. The systems used to measure inputs and outputs over a designated timeframe may not be available in hospitals. This places a huge limitation on the health care industry because to track effectiveness productivity has to be measured frequently (Langabeer, 2008, p. 130). Quality
Quality is another concern when it comes to productivity measurement. It is possible that outputs can remain the same while the quality of the output could have increased (Langabeer, 2008, p. 131). Management must understand the importance of quality in the work performed and how it can affect the product or service delivered. The consumer’s expectation on the quality in health care services is rapidly increasing. “Service quality has been shown to be an important element in the consumer’s choice of hospitals” (Vanniarajan & Arun, 2010, p. 1).
Project and Performance Management
Many health care organizations make an effort to manage their costs with labor productivity metrics like output/labor input. Departments that generate more outputs from given inputs are productive. Management use performance management tools to help determine how well a department is using their inputs to produce outputs. At Trinity General Hospital,...