McDonaldizationMcdonaldization is the process of adapting the principles or characteristics of a fast food restaurant. These characteristics may include efficiency, calculability, predictability, standardization and control over uncertainty. I’ll select Nawaloka Hospitals PLC. It’s related to the health care industry. Earlier the health care was more simpler than these days. Earlier there were no house calls for doctors, doctors knew their patients and their families personally, doctors were concerned with their patient’s progress for their own peace of mind. But today this organization has emerged as a mcdonaldized organization. A simple visit to a doctor now has become more complex. All the characteristics in the Ritzer’s analogy of mcdonaldization can be seen when we look into this modern health care system. Calculability can be easily seen when we arrive at the hospital. When we first fill out all the required paper work in the reception, we’ll be given a number which will represent us. And we have to present that number printed paper to the nurse and we have to wait until a nurse comes into the waiting room and inform that the doctor will see us now. Then after visiting the doctor we come out with a prescription. Then when we go into the pharmacy the first thing that the pharmacist ask is our prescription number. Here we are a prescription number, not a person. If we can’t remember the prescription number, then our name is considered as the secondary option to identify the medicines which we have being prescribed. Because of the mcdonaldization in this organization, the whole doctor visit has become a very impersonal one.Efficiency can also be easily seen during a hospital visit. When we need to go to the hospital, first we must call the receptionist and we must make an appointment. Earlier it wasn’t like that. In those days if we needed to visit a doctor we must go to the hospital and the people were able to visit the doctor according to the order they came. So there were huge lines of people waiting to visit the doctor. But now this method of making prior appointments through a telephone call has made the doctor visiting process an efficient one by avoiding the long lines of people waiting to visit the doctor. This hospital has become more time efficient due to mcdonaldization. Simple illnesses can be easily diagnosed by the nurses using prior tests by taking our temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate etc without visiting the busy doctor first. Through this method it makes the doctor’s work easier since now the doctor only have to get involved if the patient has something serious that worth their time. Then after visiting the doctor we have to go to the pharmacy where efficiency plays another major role. By calling the pharmacy beforehand to have a prescription filled can reduce the long queues of people. Predictability also can be seen during this simple visit to the doctor. First we have to do the required paperwork in the reception and then we have to wait in the waiting room until the nurse comes and tells us that our number has come. When we visit the doctor, he ask some basic questions like “what’s the problem today?”. Then we have to inform about all our symptoms. Then he get those symptoms into consideration and eventually comes up with a diagnosis. Then the doctor either gives you a prescription or advices you to rest for a couple of days. If it is necessary he may prescribe some further tests to be done. Then if prescriptions are required, we have to go to the pharmacy and get the prescription filled and then we have to listen to the same warnings about finishing the medicines, side effects etc. This health care system has become more predictable nowadays.Control is another aspect in mcdonaldization which can be seen in this organization. In here the doctors and nurses have an absolute control over our health and physical well-being. Even though the doctors don’t have the kind of power and responsibility which they had a century ago, their influence is still quite high. Standardization is another aspect in mcdonaldization which can be seen in this organization. Not only patients, doctors also estimate the time the surgery takes, predict times of body checkups etc. Each hospital is somewhat having the same services and processes. We can easily see that everything is standardized and homogenized. When we consider about the positives and negatives of mcdonaldization to this organization, it brings many advantages to this organization. Some of them are as follows.Able to get what the patients want instantly and conveniently. When a patient want to visit a doctor, he/she can first call the reception and make an appointment beforehand without visiting the hospital to do so. Then after getting an appointment number, the patient will automatically receive a SMS indicating the appointment number, patient’s details, appointment date, and appointment time which will easy the tasks of the patient. Then the patient only have to present at the hospital at that respective day, at that respective time slot given. This will minimize the patient’s waiting time and will bring more customers(patients) by their fast, friendly, and easy policy whenever they are serving their customers(patients). Earlier it wasn’t like this. In those days if we needed to visit a doctor we have to go to this hospital and inquire about the days that the relevant doctor is visiting the hospital and then we have to again go to the hospital at that relevant day to meet the doctor. Here we’ll be able to visit the doctor according to the order of visiting the hospital. So there were huge waiting queues. So patients were sometimes able to visit the doctor after waiting for 4-5 hours in the waiting queues. So according to these scenarios we can clearly see that the mcdonaldization has become useful in this aspect.Services provided are far more uniform and consistent. Nawaloka hospitals PLC provides many unique services such as fibro scans, palliative care units, sleep labs, dexa scanning facilities, speech therapies etc which will allow their customers(patients) to get all the required services from one place. All the people (patients) are treated similarly. Earlier when we are waiting in the waiting queues for 4-5 hours, if a reputed/famous person or a well known patient of that doctor comes to visit the doctor he/she gets the chance to visit the doctor first because of his/her social status or because of his/her familiarity with the doctor. This creates an uneasiness in other patients’ minds. But now it’s not like that. In today’s system the appointment number solely define the order of visiting the doctor. Even if any reputed or familiar person with the doctor comes to visit the doctor, he/she has to wait until his/her number comes. So we can say that mcdonaldization has made things easy and comfortable for the customers.Easy to compare competing service providers which empowers the consumer.Innovations diffuse more rapidly. There has being many innovations that this hospital has developed. They have taken up the mantle to battle the prevalence of heart diseases in Sri Lanka. They are even aiming for the next frontier in the fight against cancer. They have even prioritized elderly care with new geriatric centres etc. In the other hand mcdonaldization even brings disadvantages to the organization. Some of them are as follows.Limits the job ability, performance and skills of employees. Since different jobs in the hospital are done by different individuals they get specialized only in that specific area. This may be seen from the outside people as an advantage since it makes the work efficient. But it may have negative effects on employees. Increase of unemployment. Jobs that are normally done by individuals are now done by computers. It reduces the number of jobs in the work force and limits employee duties. Since human jobs are now replaced with technology, it increases the unemployment level in the country. This can be seen as a negative effect of mcdonaldization in today’s organizations.
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