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Informative Article | Management | India | Volume 4 Issue 1, January 2015
Securing the Future: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement in Health Care by Applying the Theory of Constraints
Abstract: Today, more than ever, change is inevitable in healthcare organizations to satisfying ever increasing expectations. Consumers expect higher service quality than the price theyre willing to pay to acquire those products and services. More than ever, employees expect job security. Shareholders expect that todays investments will yield a higher rate of return over a shorter timeframe. Management is constantly pressured to keep costs under control. In the coming decade, we are likely to see a lot of focus directed towards applying management principles to solutions of complex social issues such as environmental sustainability, energy security, access to healthcare etc. This will also underline the need for increased interdisciplinary interaction and influence on business management. In light of todays competitive pressures and a rapidly changing environment, to not change is to give way to ones competitors. To improve means to change. We know that to improve means we must provide services that solve customers problems, release services consistent with market demand, reduce variability in our processes, have measurements that indicate success relative to achieving our goal and reward people for their contribution to change. Many organizations have concluded that a process of on-going improvement is an absolute necessity. Theory of Constraints (TOC) brings a new dimension to management philosophy and provides an interesting challenge to the traditional ways of looking at an organizations profitability. Adopted within a wide variety of organizations and settings, it appears that organizations using TOC have determined that it can help them achieve a number of management objectives, including continuous improvement. Using TOC should be guided by the purpose or requirements it is necessary to meet. The goal of every organization is the same, optimize profitability by meeting customer requirements better than the competition. The TOC is both descriptive and prescriptive in nature that describes the cause of system constraints and provides guidance on how to resolve them. TOC provides a set of holistic processes and rules, all based on a systems approach that exploits the inherent simplicity within complex systems through focusing on the few leverage points as a way to synchronize the parts to achieve ongoing improvement in the performance of the system as a whole. This paper will clarify the concepts on the TOC and will facilitate its successful implementation in organisations with special reference to healthcare institutions.
Keywords: Theory of Constraints, The goal, TQM, Lean, Critical chain project management, Body of knowledge, Drum-buffer-rope, Fundamental concepts, Goldratt, Healthcare, Systms Approach, Continuous Improvement, Throughput, Inventory, Operating expense, Thinking process
Edition: Volume 4 Issue 1, January 2015,
Pages: 2674 - 2695