A contingency plan is the plan that is generated, for the outcome rather than in the usual plan of what is expected. This plan is often used for risk managements where exceptional risks, that may seem rare, may cause catastrophic consequences if they happen. This method is commonly used by businesses or government agencies (Swayne, 2006).
Swayne (2006) came up with a contingency plan that follows a seven-step process. In health care, in this case an outpatient surgery center may be faced by great problems in case of errors in any division of the facility. In the case of a power loss, what would happen to a patient undergoing a surgery process? What would happen to the patients if here is only a single doctor if he or she falls sick? There is, therefore, great need to make plans for such circumstances, though rare, so as to avoid catastrophic consequences (Phillip, 2003).
When coming up with a good contingency plan for an outpatient surgery centre, some issues need to be taken into consideration. This entails the seven step process.
- Identify the favorable and unfavorable events and circumstances that can hamper the strategies of the strategic plan.
The basic premise of a good contingency plan for management is that medical institutions and other firms plan for favorable and unfavorable events before they occur. Very many institutions only plan ways to deal with unfavorable events, this is wrong.
Processes are very important in successful planning effort because it entails how one comes up with that excellent plan. However, a process that gets out of hand can drain the resources of the institution. An appropriate process should be designed to drive the institution into critical decisions.
Failure to involve the right people in the process will lead to failure in delivering the strategies written down. Calling of large meetings may not focus on developing the strategies but on communicating the strategy. One must involve only the best personnel when it comes to the management of risks (Fred, 2005).
A plan that can address on the flexibility of the institution’s finances and available resources is a good plan. The plan should give a clear set of priorities and should provide a set of expectations of the employees. The plan should recognize the dynamic nature of the society, economy and politics.
The reasons for planning investment are to force an institution to take a step back from its day to day activities so as it can think about the future. It is very inappropriate for companies to come up with a good plan and send it up for the administration just to be put in a file until when things get heated up. Plans should be integrated into the management so that implementation of such plans becomes easier. The issues and agenda of the plan should become part of the agenda in every weekly, monthly management meetings. Planning is a management way.
Inconsistency can lead to lack of satisfaction of the strategic management goals. A five-year planning window is recommended so as an institution can be able to counter the changes that may happen through that period. However, the plan should be updated and reviewed at least annually. With good practice, the plan becomes more efficient. A good frequent planning technique enables an organization to grow planning skills (Chris, 2008).
- The issues that could trigger the enactment of a contingency plan in the setting of outpatient surgery centre. The entrance of a competitor into the market may have many negative impacts on such institutions. The entrance of another centre that is providing similar or almost similar services means that customers have two or more options to choose from. This will mean that if customer satisfaction is lower in the surgery centre, then customers who were unsatisfied by the services will run away for a better option.
Riots and boycotts are most of the time expected by any firm especially in a competitive business community. The occurrence of strikes or boycotts may have very severe impacts to an outpatient surgery Centre. Natural causes may not affect an outpatient surgery center as it could affect other types of businesses. Natural causes such as floods, earth quick, and snow may affect the institution’s operations highly.
- Potential benefits of the above risks are limited. The entrance of a competitor into the surgery market may however have some benefits such an improvement of quality. Government’s policies may be enacted to the favor of such a center; such policies may be a reduction of loan rates.
On the other hand, natural occurrences such as storm may hinder the operations of outpatient surgery center. Transportation of urgent medicine can be at great risk and, therefore, may lead to deaths. Advance weather conditions may also lead to loss of power. This may otherwise interfere with the scheduled operations. Riots and boycotts are one of the worst things that can happen to a medical institution. This is so because there is no firm that can operate without the presence of personnel. This may consequently lead to deaths.
- In the development of a contingency plan, it is good to ensure that it is compatible with the current strategies. To prevent riots and boycotts to be prevented from interfering with the day to day operations of the surgery center, it is good to come up with strategies such as encouraging dialogue over the issues at hand. This can be done by communication between the levels of management. It is however not recommendable to wait for the moment where riots are the only option to solve issues. It is good to keep proper relations between all personnel. Otherwise, if issues cannot be solved, then it is good to keep a team of qualified persons ready for recruitment.
It is of great benefit for healthcare service provider to keep good storage of the medicine that is to be used. This avoids shortage of medicine and or equipment in case of inconveniences that come with natural occurrences such as storm. It is also healthy for a surgery center to put in place an alternative source of power in case of power loss.
Entrance of a new competitor poses threat into a firm in any sector of the economy. To reduce the risks that may be involved with such, an outpatient surgery center may need to incorporate contingency planning such a quality assurance and customer satisfaction in the management of everyday activities (John, 2007).
- The effect that will come with the application of this contingency plans is as follows. In a case of riot sand strikes, the day to day operations of the center will not be interfered with, this is because the management will simply recruit the qualified group of people that is ready to work at the current conditions.
Advance weather conditions will also not impact negatively on the operations of the institution because all the equipment is already existing and, therefore, the will be no staining of resources.
Entrance of competitors will have minimal impacts to the center since there are already raid strategies of quality assurance.
- It is very easy to assess the occurrence of strikes and riots. This is because, with effective communication between the management and personnel, the employees will be able to air their grievances and therefore dealt with at early stages
Entrance of competitors may show early effects on the center such as customer reduction. This can be dealt with by raising customer confidence through the contingency plan.
Weather forecast can be used to keep the center alert of what they expect. This will help them get ready for whatever that can happen.
- Early warnings that are evident should be used in a wise manner by the management so as to prepare for anything that might happen (Phillip, 2007). Strategies such as calling crisis meeting should be used. In the case where there is a potential strike, the management can quickly try to find out the cause and address to the matter. If it gets out of hand, it can fire the personnel involved and recruit others.
When managements receive news about potential competition, it should work harder to improve the quality of customer satisfaction and as well as bring into place a wider variety of services. By keeping trend of weather conditions, the management can be able to put measures that are not going to create inconveniences such as acquiring alternative reliable source of power and enough medicine and equipment to last a longer period.
Chris, J. (2008). Strategic Management. Los Angeles: SAGE Publishers.
Fred. R. D. (2005). Strategic Management Concepts, 10 th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearon Prentice Hall.
John. D. B. (2007). Strategic thinking and entrepreneurial action in the health care industry. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI Publishers.
Phillip, J. R. (2007). Disaster Recovery Testing: Exercising your Contingency plan. United States of America: Rothstein Associates Inc.
Phillip, S. (2003). Strategic management 2nd Edition. Kogan Page: Sterling Publishers.
Swayne, D. G. (2006).Strategic management of Health care organizations 5 th ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.