Intensive Care

Intensive Care

Eric Van Genderen (Institute of Management Technology (IMT), UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6339-8.ch012
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Customer-centric organizations are those firms that seek to gain a strategic advantage by focusing on the customer (as opposed to the firm, product line/service(s), processes, financial statements, etc), thereby more effectively offering goods/services that meet the needs and wants of the customer. As an industry, healthcare has the added challenge of needing to offer customized products/services that not only address the needs/wants of customers, but must also do so in an ethical and sensitive way. Patients availing the products/services of healthcare professionals, more-often-than-not, require psychological support in addition to the requisite physical care and/or treatment. It has been well established that one's psychological state has dramatic impact on the physical and vice versa. This case is set in the Middle East, and centers around the two main concepts of: 1). Customer-centric business practices, and 2). ethical healthcare behavior, respectively. The case, itself, is closely based on the author's first-hand experience. Identifying information has been modified so as not to reveal the identities of the institution, managing enterprise, or employees.
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Setting The Stage

Like most organizations, the Royal Women’s Infirmary has mission and vision statements, which they proudly display to the public. These statements speak of compassion and family centeredness. The infirmary further declares core values including:

  • Care and compassion,

  • Ownership and accountability,

  • Respect and cultural sensitivity,

  • Integrity,

  • Commitment to quality,

  • A holistic and patient-centered approach,

  • Quality, and so forth.

The Royal Women’s Infirmary maintains memberships in several international healthcare organizations, not the least of which is the University Healthcare Consortium (UHC). The UHC was formed in 1984 (Chicago), for the self-stated purpose of:

Providing the lens through which the organization assesses all it does, UHC's mission is to create knowledge, foster collaboration, and promote change to help members succeed.

Moreover, the UHC’s vision maintains an objective to:

…help members attain national leadership in health care by achieving excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness (About university hospital consortium, n.d.)

Although the international healthcare industry represents great potential for profitability; especially in the private sector, Western healthcare professionals have been guided, for centuries, by a code of ethical conduct known as the Hippocratic Oath; see the sample of a modern version in Box 1.

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