PERT/CPM network analysis: a management tool for hospital pharmacists involved in strategic planning.
Hospital pharmacists may soon be required to integrate their departmental planning process with strategic plans for the institution. This will necessitate the development of more sophisticated procedures for planning, scheduling, and controlling in order to meet deadlines imposed by the master plan. Program Evaluation and Review Technique/Critical Path Method (PERT/CPM), a network analysis instrument, can be a valuable planning tool. It allows the pharmacist to: (1) visualize the sequence of activities and events (network) in the development of a new service; (2) evaluate activity times; (3) determine those activities which are critical to the completion of the plan; and (4) apply statistical analysis to the anticipated completion date. A PERT/CPM network analysis is described in a format which allows the reader to visualize the use of this tool in the strategic planning process. The case study plan was actually carried out in a 203-bed, acute care hospital. The completion date was within 10 days of the date projected at p = 0.05.
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