Front/back office considerations in improving patient orientation: Empirical findings on the operational access to long-term care

E.C.C. Schipper, B.R. Meijboom, K.G. Luijkx, J.M.G.A. Schols

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background
Organizations that provide long-term care in the Netherlands are reconsidering the operational access to their services. Principles of operations management, such as front/back office configurations, might improve the redesign of operational access. Once a client gains entrance to the organization, direct interaction between client and care provider starts. This is a front office activity. In this paper, we address the question: How are front/back office aspects recognisable in the operational access to long-term care for independently living elderly?

Methods
We conducted a multiple case study (n = 4). Data gathering involved observations, interviews, and examination of documents. Transcripts of observations and interviews were coded and analyzed.

Results
None of the studied entrance units were physically accessible. In all four cases a lot of administrative tasks were present, even with employees dedicated to front office tasks. By organizing separate entrance units, the cases decouple the access process from delivery of care. However, they subsequently couple all entrance-related activities in one job, i.e. a care advisor dedicated to a client.

Conclusion
The case organizations organized their operational access process in separate units. Front/back office aspects were recognizable; however, seem not to have been considered consciously during the design of the access process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th European Operations Management Association Conference (EurOMA 2011)
EditorsM. Holweg, J. Srai
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing
ISBN (Print)9781902546933
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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