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Effective decision making is imperative in all healthcare events. While this decision making is typically composite and unstructured, it needs the decision maker to assemble multispectral information and data in order to make compelling decision when looked with various alternatives. Unstructured decision making in unique and complex conditions is challenging and in relatively every circumstance the decision making is without a doubt looked with data mediocrity. Serious challenges are faced by the healthcare sector. Growing healthcare costs, market powers and a maturing populace are putting increasing burden on the quality of healthcare. To keep up, or even enhance, this quality, healthcare practices need to be optimized. The optimal choices yield an outcome that is most reliable with the decision makers stated objectives when more than one alternative is available. Identifying an alternative with the highest achievable performance or which is the most cost-effective in the given constraints is considered as “optimization”.
In comparison, maximization of anticipated outcomes means trying to achieve the maximum outcome without regard to cost or expense. The method of optimization is limited by the non-existence of complete information, and the lack of time to evaluate what information is accessible. Optimization is important to be able to exploits the new technologies in a clever way. The choices in the healthcare set up are made at two levels, one wherein single physicians must decide on the course of treatment for specific patients, and secondly, the policymaker must decide on the distribution of health care services available to the society. The availability of resources in health care is limited. It is not possible to produce and distribute what people want. The resource allocation in healthcare or any other setup is based on what we produce, how much we produce and who gets it. Resources are such allocated in order to maximise profit with respect to the firms and to maximise satisfaction with respect to the consumers subject to limited income and prices of goods consumed.
The Choices are seldom made on an all-or-nothing basis, they are made at “the margin”. Decision makers weigh the trade-offs’, a little more of one thing and little less of other. The decision maker must have the knowledge and skills required to take an optimal decision based on allocation of available limited resources taking into consideration the cost. For example, the decision to provide in-house diagnostic services or to outsource it requires the decision maker to have ample knowledge about the available resources, whether or not there is enough space for a diagnostic lab, availability of human resource and required investments to be made on equipment. The optimal decision would be the one that would yield maximum benefits in terms of outcome and cost with minimum use of the limited resources that can be accessed to meet with the decision makers stated objectives. He needs to make a choice among the two available alternatives keeping in mind the opportunity cost linked with each of the choice. Consideration is given to the additional benefits and costs of a decision. Hence a decision maker needs to have a knowledge about optimization to take optimal decisions.
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