Organizational diagnosis is the process of evaluating the interacting forces inside and outside of an organization; the dynamics, the catalysts, and the effects. Its purpose is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and to understand the opportunities and threats in the environment. The goal of an organizational diagnosis is to determine the implications of these factors on the organization with the end in mind of improving efficiency of operations.
Upon further observation and interviews with the pharmacist and pharmacy aides, it was determined that the pharmacy is the closest pharmacy to two private health care facilities. It can also be observed that it is situated in the town center and therefore serves a large number of customers.
The pharmacy has one (1) pharmacist, one (1) pharmacy technician, and one (1) pharmacy aide. The pharmacist is in charge of filling up prescriptions, dispensing medicines, and keeping confidential patient records. She also acts as the manager of the pharmacy, in charge of administrative record-keeping and organizing. The pharmacy technician is in charge of preparing prescriptions and the pharmacy aide is in charge of all the clerical work as well as inventories of the pharmacy.
The pharmacy fills an average of 150 prescriptions a day and receives a daily average of 23 physician prescription over the phone. The pharmacy has outdated pharmacy management software and records are not regularly updated. Inventory replenishment is not regular because the pharmacist’s time is consumed by patient interaction, leaving her with inadequate time for her managerial duties.
Given the abovementioned observations, there should be a change in the management system. Currently, since the pharmacist’s time is divided between her main function and her administrative function, the pharmacy is poorly managed. Also, given the volume of medicine dispensed per day as well as the corresponding work it entails, the pharmacy is poorly staffed. If changes were not made, the pharmacy will not only lose customers but there is also a danger that safety precautions may be overlooked, therefore endangering the pharmacy’s patients.
The biggest driver of change in this situation is customer behavior. Given the location of the pharmacy and the patient’s need not only for medicines but also for convenience, the pharmacy should be driven to change to respond to customer needs.
Possible resistance may be encountered, however. The main resistance might come from the staff themselves. The current system has been in place for several years already. They are already used to the current system and the staff might resist the changes that the new system will bring. Add to the possible resistance factor some territorial issues in the case of additional staff; there might be resistance from the current staff to let go of part of their current function.
Taking into account the observations and possible resistance, I recommend the following changes for implementation to ensure improvements in pharmacy efficiency:
The pharmacy should first hire a General Manager. This ensures that all aspects of the pharmacy’s operations are covered; the manager will focus on improving the whole pharmacy operation. He/she will be in charge of organizing, monitoring staff performance, staffing, and administrative record keeping. This leaves the pharmacist able to focus on her main function.
It is also recommended that the pharmacy update its management software. Once updated, all patient files should be migrated to the new software. Patient files should also be regularly updated by the pharmacist.
The pharmacy should then hire additional staff. Another pharmacist should be hired to spread the load of filling up prescriptions, dispensing medicines, and updating patient records to ensure that no refill schedule is missed. An additional pharmacy technician should also be hired to close the time lag in the preparation and labeling of medicines to be dispensed. The task of checking inventories and requesting additional medicine supplies should also be given to the technicians. Finally, another pharmacy aide should be hired. The two pharmacy aides will now have their separate tasks; one to handle the clerical work like working in the cash register and receiving over the phone physician prescriptions, and the other one to correspond with insurance companies to obtain payment and providing customer service by calling and reminding patients of their medicine pick-up.
Once these changes had been implemented, it should also be monitored to ensure that the desired results are achieved. Another organizational diagnosis should then be done after a fair amount of time (a year or so) to make certain that the organization is still on the right track.
Alderfer, C.P. (1980). The Methodology of Organizational Diagnosis. Professional Psychology,
Roy, D.D. (2001). Organizational Diagnosis. Retrieved from http://www.isical.ac.in/~ddroy/