Healthcare Variation

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Healthcare Variation

Variation is managed differently by healthcare managers, physicians, clinical researchers, and individual patients to reach different goals. The primary concern of the managers is how care processes perform over time; they want to create stable and effective procedures. Physicians and clinical researchers have their interests focused on the generalisability of findings and healthcare effectiveness; they control variation using their methods of design study. Lastly, the patients are concerned primarily with the quality and nature of their clinical outcomes and care (Neuhauser, Provost, & Bergman, 2011). Understanding how the above groups differently deal with variation could help us appreciate it or control it.

  1. Key processes for healthcare organizations

According to Bergman, Neuhauser & Provost (2011), the main processes in healthcare are prevention (keeping healthy), detecting health-related problems, disease diagnoses, treatment, and provision for a good end of life. Prevention includes a good diet, physical fitness, abstinence from substance use, drinking clean water and others. These are healthy habits to keep the body safe from illnesses. Detecting health-related problems are done through screenings where citizens monitor their health status for early detection. The third process is diagnosing diseases. Diagnosing diseases in time help decisions to be made for the next course of action; it is critical. Treating diseases, that is, curing and caring, is the center of most of modern healthcare. Citizens need to cooperate with healthcare organizations in improving this process. Finally, providing a good end of life through a holistic perspective is required. More physicians in geriatric care are needed.



  1. The potential common causes of variation that would have an impact on the critical processes of health-care organizations.

Beyond variations in clinicians’ work, there are also variations in the practice of the system. It creates changes in outcomes, access, and other vital indicators. Variation in healthcare can occur in different ways; the funds spent, quality, types of services, and the outcomes achieved. Unwarranted variation, which is when patients receive services or treatments they do not need or are denied accessing the ones they need, results in adverse impacts on the whole population. It does so through decreasing quality of life (Newton, 2015). Addressing these variations locally and application of more effective practices and services could bring a significant life-saving potential, diagnosing ill health in time and prevention of emergency hospital admissions.


  1. Important particular causes of variation in healthcare organizations

Particular causes of variation are the glitches that occur unexpectedly and affect a process. These variations are also referred to as the assignable cause, and they are unusual. They could bring chaotic problems but can be corrected through changing the affected methods, processes or components. Their characteristics are: they are new, previously neglected or unanticipated, they are unpredictable and problematic, and finally, they are unique and therefore outside the base of historical experience. Examples would be a machine malfunction, power cut or computer crashes.


  1. Dynamic healthcare organization’s business organization and the changes

The modern healthcare is ever-changing, and it brings challenges for healthcare organizations, payers and providers. These changes could be in the rising competition, changing regulations, mergers and acquisitions, tighter margins and stricter compliance. The above modifications create struggles in increasing the workforce agility and simultaneously keeping the costs in check. The steps that could be applied in improving patient satisfaction while increasing profits are: combining workforce and financial data, improving external collaboration with other partners, focusing on the talents of skilled employees through innovative tools and training, promoting the agility of the business by utilizing real-time and holistic data, and finally by creating a technology roadmap tailored to their timeline and priorities.










Bergman B., Neuhauser D., Provost L. (2011). Five main processes in healthcare: a citizen perspective. BMJ Quality & Safety. 20(1) 41-42.             https:dx.doi:10.1136/bmjqs.2010.046409

Neuhauser D., Provost L., & Bergman B. (2011). The meaning of variation to healthcare        managers, clinical and health-services researchers, and individual patients. BMJ Quality             & Safety; US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Newton J. (2015). Variations in healthcare – how can we begin to tackle them? Public            health matters.  healthcare-how-can-we-begin-to-tackle-them/