The simplicity of adding value – Good service

By: Kenneth Salonius

Healthcare is a service industry. Part of providing added value in healthcare is providing good service. Of course, the definition of good healthcare is different from good catering, but the success in these different services relies on similar qualities.

To quote our earlier article on the topic of adding value “The primary value in healthcare is about providing the best possible patient outcomes while optimizing the resources of time, money, and technology.” – this applies also to providing good healthcare service. The optimization of resources should be considered in the context of operational qualities seen in a service setting. But first, these service industry qualities require some clarification regarding how they will help define success in healthcare:


    • Intangibility of services: High-quality advice, treatment, and coordinated medical/psychological/social support from healthcare providers
    • Customer interaction: Personal interactions with treatment providers who are supportive and understanding of the patient situation
    • Customization of care: Individualization of treatment is mandatory in healthcare services and an important part of service intangibility
    • Perishability: Individualized treatment can’t be placed on a shelf and accessed when needed; services must be delivered as a patient’s situation is presented
    • Heterogeneity of service: Diversity in the protocol and delivery of treatments can vary depending on the expertise, resources, and patient requirements


Treatment protocols, patient management processes, and precise ways of working can be implemented based on an understanding of these above service characteristics. But the desired treatment outcomes are dependent on professionals providing optimized service to the right patient at the right time.


Provision of high-quality healthcare service relies on coordination of many key people, all of whom need to understand the service design implementation to meet the outcome goals.  


The contributing qualities for good service delivery are defined by the customization of care to meet the individual patient needs. Utilizing the key resources of treatment, including the right treatment professionals, evaluation tools, or treatment protocols, at the right time means generating the optimal individualized treatment process for the patient. What the patient sees, however, is the result of a coordinated service team, several service design elements, and delivered by multiple stakeholders:


    • Healthcare managers and administrators – overseeing the strategic planning of the services provided in different locations
    • Administrative staff – operating all of the backend functions of operations, from appointments to billing
    • Support staff – essential support staff that ensures it is possible to safely and reliably receive patients 
    • Allied health professionals – additional professionals, including pharmacists, therapists, and social workers
    • Healthcare professionals – the frontline staff of doctors, nurses, or therapists that are interacting with the patients on a daily basis, and directly delivering treatment solutions
    • Patients and families – that need to be actively involved in participating in the treatment process


Even in a small healthcare operation the coordination of a professional team needs serious strategic considerations to really deliver good service. 


Is it possible to have healthcare service design as an integral part of the company/hospital/organization culture?


It’s easy to lose sight of the end goal – positive treatment outcomes – if the strategic and service design considerations do not direct stakeholders in a unified direction. A working culture that recognizes healthcare as a true service industry, while embracing the pros and cons of service requirements, will excel at delivering positive outcomes. The best way to excel in a service industry is to provide good service and in healthcare this requires recognition, understanding, and coordination of all the independent contributing factors.

It starts with good leadership, and to help in that end we are running Synapsi leadership mentoring program for healthcare professionals in collaboration with AstraZeneca, NLY – Nuorten Lääkärien Yhdistys and Keva. Application for the next batch of the program opens any day now!

More details?

Please get in touch with Kenneth Salonius if you should have any questions or if you need more details.

Kenneth Salonius

Strategy | Collaboration | Sales
+358 50 517 2348