People-Centric, ICT-Enabled Process Innovations via Community, Public and Private Sector Partnership, and e-Leadership: The Case of the Dompe eHospital in Sri Lanka

Dr Wasana Bandara, Rehan Syed, Bandula Ranathunga, Dr K. B. Sampath Kulathilleka.

Situation faced: This case study is a unique example of a people-centric ICT-enabled BPM effort that overcame many challenges through steady championship fuelled by a multi-sectorial support network (local community, government agencies, private sector and institutes of higher education). Driven by a desire to make a difference, a weakly reputed regional hospital in Sri Lanka with chaotic, mundane, manual processes became landmark success in its service efficiency and effectiveness via staged-continuous improvements, collaborative ideation, creative resource utilization, and effective management of its “people” aspects.

Action taken: The project took a multi-staged people-centric approach. Major attitudinal change efforts with staff helped to build a unified internal workforce that was empowered to understand the patients’ needs. The hospital’s physical environment was transformed into a peaceful, pleasant atmosphere that was free of chaos. The entire patient-care-process was mapped, analyzed, and transformed with IT enabled process improvements. A new patient records management system and a mobile-channeling system was implemented to eliminate long queues and increase the quality of patient care. Continued reviews and improvements are key in this case, as the vision to make a difference does not end with a single initiative.

Results achieved: The case illustrates how an ordinary government regional hospital’s patient-care process was transformed with the collective efforts of multi-stakeholder power. The reforms have enabled the hospital to increase the quality of patient care, enhance staff satisfaction, gain deep support, and get buy-in from higher authorities and the community. These process reform efforts enabled not only a one-off improvement initiative but a sustained success story that has received national and international attention.

Lessons learned: A key takeaway is how all of the enabling elements (championship, community, and executive support), lined up, each making its own significant contribution. The absence or misaligned timing of any one of these elements could have caused the effort to stall or fail. The e-champion and his supporters selected and managed the people-centric resources and opportunities in a highly resource-constrained environment while balancing and strengthening the ongoing stakeholder relationships. These efforts served as the foundation for the success and sustainability of this case.

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