Mass Customization of Health Care Services in Saudi Arabia: Applicability and Adjustments

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 5
Words: 1380
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD

Introduction

The healthcare system of Saudi Arabia is regulated by the state. In particular, one should speak about the role played by the Ministry of Health (Oxford Business Group, 2007). This institution provides guidelines that determine the work of various healthcare professionals. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the role of private organizations also tends to increase (Oxford Business Group, 2007, p. 188).

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To some degree, the country gradually adopts the so-called market approach to healthcare services (Oxford Business Group, 2007, p. 188). Practitioners, hospital administrators and researchers focus on the customization of healthcare in this country since this process can increase the quality of patient care. Moreover, professionals work on the development of strategies that can improve the functioning of many medical institutions.

In many cases, these strategies are related to the personalization of treatment that a person can receive since this personalization can increase the safety of patients as well as their satisfaction with medical services (Acton, 2012). This study will be aimed at examining this problem in greater detail. The following sections of this paper will throw light on the methodology of this study, current findings of scholars, and the main research questions. This study may have significant practical implications for the work of healthcare organizations.

Problem statement

This study should demonstrate how the healthcare system of Saudi Arabia can implement mass customization of its services. This is the main issue that should be addressed. There are several tasks that are related to this problem. In particular, it is important to identify to what extent, the mass customization of health services can be applied to Saudi Arabia, especially its current healthcare system.

Moreover, much attention should be paid to the adjustments that have to be made in order to apply the principle of mass customization in Saudi hospitals. Finally, one should identify the pre-requisites that are necessary for the proper implementation of this strategy. This problem can be of great importance to many patients as well as medical workers. These are the main issues that should be addressed in the course of this study. The results may be considered by medical workers and hospital administrators who bear the main responsibility for improving the experiences of patients.

Literature review

Overall, the term mass customization implies that a provider of services or products attempts to meet the needs of an individual client who may have specific demands that are determined by his/her age, health conditions, lifestyle, and other criteria (Grossman, Goolsby, Olsen, & McGinnis 2011). This task becomes particularly challenging if one speaks about the work of healthcare organizations that should comply with governmental standards.

Furthermore, it is critical to remember about safety norms that a medical worker should always follow because they limit the possibility of mass customization (Servellen, 2008, p. 5). Nevertheless, medical professionals provide some specific practices; for instance, one can speak about the reminders that are designed for the needs of a specific patient (Stamatis, 2010). Moreover, the use of genetic information can also contribute to the customization of healthcare since medical workers can use these data in order to design better interventions (Ginsburg & Willard, 2009, p. 2).

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Apart from that, information technology enables medical organizations to provide personalized services (Blecker, 2006, p. 36). The main issue is that healthcare institutions are usually slow in adopting these software applications (Blecker, 2006, p. 36). At present, many patients complain about a lack of personalization in the work of modern healthcare organizations (McNeil, 2013, p. 71). This is why this topic should be examined more closely by various professionals who work in healthcare.

Overall, researchers identify several factors that contribute to the success of mass customization in hospitals. Among these factors, one can distinguish the commitment of the senior leadership and active participation of various medical workers (Grossman et al., 2011). In other words, hospital administrators should continuously involve and reward healthcare professionals for the design of personalized medical services (Grossman et al., 2011).

Moreover, they should clearly identify why mass customization is necessary. In other words, they need to show that this approach can make healthcare more efficient. In this way, they can make medical workers more committed. In turn, the absence of these factors reduces the possibility of success (Grossman et al., 2011). These issues should be considered by hospital administrators and legislators who need to remove the barriers that limit the mass customization of medical services.

Moreover, the implementation of this strategy may require additional investment (Oxford Business Group, 2007). This argument is particularly relevant if one speaks about the procurement of IT infrastructure (Blecker, 2006, p. 36). Thus, the support of the government can also be one of the success factors which should not be overlooked by practitioners and scholars.

It is possible to say that the customization of health services in Saudi Arabia has not been fully examined, and this research can fill the gap in the current body of knowledge. Admittedly, the healthcare organizations of this country attempt to make their work more customer-oriented. Nevertheless, the principle of mass customization has not been fully implemented in this country (Mufti, 2000). This strategy can be successfully executed provided that various medical organizations cooperate with one another (Blecker, 2006). Therefore, one should examine the theoretical aspects of this process and develop practical guidelines. These are some of the main goals that should be attained.

Research questions

There are several research questions that should be discussed. Overall, they are closely tied to the problem which has been identified before.

  1. How applicable is mass customization of healthcare services to the healthcare system of Saudi Arabia?
  2. What are the critical success factors for the mass customization of healthcare services in Saudi Arabia?
  3. What necessary adjustments should be made in order to promote mass customization of healthcare in Saudi Arabia?

The answers to these questions can be used for the development of the many practices that can be adopted in both governmental and private healthcare organizations. To some degree, these findings can help healthcare professionals adopt and spread the best practices. This is why they should not be overlooked. On the whole, it is critical to show the healthcare system of Saudi Arabia can be modified in order to apply the principle of mass customization.

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Methodology

This research will involve quantitative research methods. This study will be descriptive, and this approach means that the researcher will examine the associations between different variables (Baker & Charvat, 2013). For instance, one can speak about the factors that increase the likelihood of successful mass customization. Admittedly, this approach cannot fully identify causal relations between various phenomena because this study will not involve the manipulation of any variables (Baker & Charvat, 2013). Yet, it is useful for studying large sets of data and finding possible correlations between them (Baker & Charvat, 2013).

This is the main advantage of this approach (Baker & Charvat, 2013). Additionally, its time efficiency is another reason why it has been selected among others. Overall, this research paradigm is quite suitable for the needs of this study.

Data collection and analysis

In this case, the use of a questionnaire is the most suitable approach because this technique enables researchers to study the opinions of many participants who may be familiar with the process of healthcare customization. This questionnaire will prompt the subjects to identify those factors that are necessary for promoting mass customization of healthcare services. Moreover, this method is important for examining the relations between several variables.

These are the main benefits of this data collection method. The responses can be analyzed with the help of different statistical tests that can measure the impact of different factors on the work of medical professionals. Such a tool as SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) can be particularly beneficial for the analysis of findings. These results can be used for developing the policies of Saudi medical organizations.

It is critical to examine the opinions of medical workers who are already familiar with the principles of mass customization. These people can single out those pitfalls that disrupt the process. Apart from that, they can identify the conditions which are prerequisites for the success of the customization. These are the main aspects of the research design. To a great extent, it can ensure the validity of findings.

Reference List

Acton, Q. (2012). Psoriasis: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional. New York, NY: ScholarlyEditions.

Baker, A., & Charvat, B. (2013). Research Methods in Child Welfare. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

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Blecker, T. (2006). Customer Interaction and Customer Integration. Boston, MA: GITO mbH Verlag.

Ginsburg, G., & Willard, H. (2009). Essentials of Genomic and Personalized Medicine. New York, NY: Academic Press.

Grossman, C., Goolsby, W.. Olsen, W., & McGinnis G. (2011). Engineering a Learning Healthcare System:: A Look at the Future: Workshop Summary. New York, NY: National Academies Press.

McNeil, D. (2013). A Framework for Applying Analytics in Healthcare: What Can Be Learned from the Best Practices in Retail, Banking, Politics, and Sports. New York, NY: FT Press.

Mufti, M. (2000). Healthcare Development Strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Oxford Business Group. (2007). The Report: Emerging Saudi Arabia. Oxford: Oxford Business Group.

Servellen, G. (2008). Communication Skills for the Health Care Professional: Concepts, Practice, and Evidence. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Stamatis, D. (2010). Essentials for the Improvement of Healthcare Using Lean & Six Sigma. New York, NY: CRC Press.