Four control loops can be identified in the control model: ‘in control’, ‘acceptance control’, ‘required change control’, and ‘positive control’ loops (Longest & Darr, 2014). The example of the ‘in control’ loop is the situation when the integration of the new patient safety system led to decreasing the safety issues by the percent that was set as the target before implementing the new system. In this case, the post-integration measurement demonstrates that the expectations are met, and outputs or actual results are discussed as appropriate. Therefore, healthcare providers are expected to continue using the system. From this perspective, the example of the ‘positive control’ loop is associated with the situation when the expectations regarding the work of the patient safety system were exceeded without violating other important conditions. In this case, the cause of the positive outputs can be related to the effective change management that allowed for integrating the system without providing more pressure on nurses and physicians (Rouse & Serban, 2014). As a result, the approach that was followed by the leader to promote the change in the organization can be used as a framework for other change projects.
The example of the ‘acceptance control’ loop can be associated with the situation when the merger of healthcare organizations led to changes in the patient flow. At this stage, the expectations regarding the patient flow are not met while referring to the statistics, but the cause of this deviation cannot be controlled or addressed immediately because of the merger’s consequences. In its turn, the ‘required change control’ loop can be observed when the cause of the deviation can be addressed with the help of certain changes in inputs or processes (Longest & Darr, 2014). The example of this case is the following one: the implementation of the new software to make records in the healthcare facility was aimed at improving the working process. However, the expectations were not met, and the appraisal demonstrated that the use of the software led to increasing the time necessary for preparing records instead of reducing it. The cause of the problem is the lack of skills in healthcare providers related to using technologies. This problem can be addressed with the help of implementing training sessions for users of the new software. Human resources and talent development managers are responsible for implementing the intervention in the context of the described situation.
It is important to note that the control and problem-solving models have certain similarities. The first step in the problem-solving model is the analysis based on the comparison of expected and actual results (Longest & Darr, 2014). This process is also reflected in the control model to decide on the loop to follow. Therefore, these models are based on certain standards and comparisons made with the help of appraisals. In addition, both models can be used to determine the deviation in the system in order to propose solutions. In the control model, the solution is represented in the form of an intervention that can be used or not depending on the loop. In the problem-solving model, the deviation is addressed with reference to the specific solution selected among alternative ones. The implementation of the solution in the problem-solving model and the ‘change’ in the control model with the focus on the ‘required change control’ loop leads to addressing standards and improving results.
Longest, B. B., & Darr, K. J. (2014). Managing health services organizations and systems. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.
Rouse, W. B., & Serban, N. (2014). Understanding and managing the complexity of healthcare. New York, NY: MIT Press.