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Shouldice Hospital Case Study

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Essay title: Shouldice Hospital Case Study

Executive Summary

In the Shouldice Hospital case, I have identified two primary constraints: 1) The number of beds available to patients and 2) The number of surgeons available to operate on the patients. Since the demand for this type of operation seems to exceed the number of operations Shouldice can perform, as an organization whose goal is to produce profits, the staff at Shouldice Hospital should subordinate all of their processes to ensure that their bottleneck resources are operating at their most effective capacity. I am proposing two separate improvements that will allow Shouldice Hospital to increase their overall capacity without having to incur the additional costs of building an addition or even a new clinic and also allow them to keep control over their quality of performance. The first improvement to their processes would be to make sure the surgeons spend as much time as possible on the actual operations on the patients and as little time as possible on the other activities on which they currently spend time. The second improvement would be to make changes to the inflows of patients which could free up additional bed-space without having to add beds.

Case Analysis

The problem that Shouldice Hospital has is that it does not have enough capacity to meet the demand for their services. While this may seem like a good problem to have, every time they have to turn away a patient due to lack of space, they are losing out on the revenues that patient would be bringing.

There are a few options Shouldice Hospital can consider to expand their current capacity; the first option would be to build additional facilities to house the additional patients. They could either add-on to their existing facilities in Canada or build a new clinic internationally, most likely in the United States. The first option is troublesome due to the regulatory laws in Canada regarding healthcare, and the second option is controversial as a certain amount of control over operations would have to be ceded from the top management to the remote facility. The third option, which I propose, would be to examine their current activities and see if they aren’t wasting additional capacity which they could regain through improved processes.

The surgeons at Shouldice Hospital are one of the biggest bottlenecks, or system constraints, preventing the clinic from taking on additional patients. The problem I see is that surgeons only spend about half of their day actually performing the surgeries, which is the one activity that only they can handle. If we freed up as much of their time from other, more mundane, activities that could be delegated to other employees, the surgeons could use their additional time to take on more patients and add to the throughput for the clinic. One way to do this is to pass off the duties of the pre-surgery examinations to other personnel. All patients are examined

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