The Schneck Medical Center according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology -- NIST (2011) "is a 93-bed nonprofit hospital providing primary and specialized services to the residents of Jackson County, Ind., and surrounding communities." The facility as NIST (2011) further points out, offers a variety of primary care services including but not limited to cancer care, noninvasive cardiac care, and joint replacement.
Established in 1911, the facility was amongst four organizations selected by the President and the Commerce Secretary in 2011 to be awarded the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. This particular award in the words of NIST (2011) is "the nation's highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership." It is important to note that apart from the Baldrige Award, Schneck Medical Center has been a recipient of several other awards including the Outstanding Patient Experience Award. This particular award is presented to healthcare facilities whose overall patient experience can be regarded outstanding.
Like many other organizations, Schneck Medical Center has a precise mission, a clear vision, and well -defined values. The facility identifies its mission as; "to provide quality health care to all we serve" (Schneck Medical Center, 2013). On the other hand, its vision is "to be a healthcare organization of excellence….every person, every time" (Schneck Medical Center, 2013). While the vision and mission spelled above capture Schneck Medical Center's basic purpose and where it sees itself going forward, the core values of the healthcare facility indicate what principles and beliefs it holds dear. The values it identifies as being critical in this case are "integrity, compassion, accountability, vision, and excellence" (Schneck Medical Center, 2013).
The HSA Principles and Practices: Their Implementation and Impact
With regard to its performance, i.e. how it administers its health services, it is important to note that according to NIST (2011), Schneck Medical Center has its attention firmly trained on health care measures that are largely patient-focused. On this front, NIST (2011) observes that "on 17 of 22 core measures reported for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), SMC scored 100% in the second quarter of 2011." Secondly, it is also important to note that taking into consideration its value-based purchasing (VBP), the facility registered impressive performance. According to NIST (2011), VBP makes use of a rewards and consequences system to evaluate the accountability of care providers especially with regard to the cost and quality of their services. Next, Schneck Medical Center has also in the past embraced approaches that further enhance its ability to put its patients first. The facility's insistence on high performance has led to the adoption of better treatment options, a better working environment for employees, and a healthier society.
The Administration of Financial Planning and Measurement of Financial Performance Within a Health Care Organization: An Evaluation of the Relevant Skills
Executives in a healthcare setting need a variety of skills to effectively oversee financial planning and measure financial performance. Some of the skills that could come in handy in this endeavor include but they are not limited to financial management, negotiation, and strategy formulation skills" (Hernandez and O'Connor, 2009). To effectively participate in the measurement of financial performance, executives also need to have sound financial analysis skills, and attention to detail.
When it comes to the administration of financial planning, executives in a healthcare setting are expected to plan for and determine the affordability of the strategic goals and objectives of an entity. Strategy formulation skills have got to do with the ability to correctly assess the environment and define the objectives and/or goals of the organization, identify the resources necessary to achieve the said goals and objectives, and come up with a plan on how resource gaps could be addressed. On the other hand, financial management skills have got to do with the ability to formulate budgets, evaluate how effective current operations are from a financial perspective, make sound financing decisions, manage and control financial risk, etc. It is important to note that unlike is the case with executives in other fields of management; healthcare managers face many other unique challenges. These challenges include but they are not limited to issues to do with working capital management. The challenges in this case come about because as McLean (2003, p.4) observes, "accounts receivable are owed by third-party payors and because of the potentially life-threatening situations that can arise because of inventory stockouts." Still on the administration of financial planning, yet another skill worth mentioning is the ability to negotiate. In seeking to rein in costs, executives could from time to time be called upon to negotiate for better terms with employees or even suppliers. Should that be the case, sound negotiation and communication skills could come in handy.
Financial Planning Skills Benefits: How they Paired Against what was Realized by the Schneck Medical Center
Better financial skills had a significant impact on what the facility realized. To begin with, NIST (2011) points out that the reported results of Schneck Medical Center compare "favorably to the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 'A-' and 'AA' rated median levels." This in the opinion of the institute is as a result of excellent management of its cash position, cash flow, as well as operating margin. Secondly, the market share of Schneck Medical Center in Jackson County is largely impressive. The facility also boasts of an impressive market share in the neighboring Jennings County. With Schneck Medical Center's favorable performance expected to continue being impressive going forward, the facility could use its enhanced strength to further improve its ability to offer quality health care. The facility has also in the past embraced a number of measures that have enabled it to improve not only its operating margin but also bond rating (NIST, 2011). As the institute further points out, currently, the facility "exceeds S&P's 'A-' rated benchmark for five significant financial metrics" (NIST, 2011).
Ethical Considerations Relevant to Healthcare Service Establishments
From time to time, health care professionals are faced with unique ethical dilemmas. These dilemmas are in most instances founded on rights, responsibilities, as well as personal freedoms. To begin with, healthcare service establishments often find themselves walking a tight rope between making a profit and providing quality or charity care to patients. On one hand, health care organizations have an obligation to act in the best interests of their patients, i.e. By offering quality and affordable care. On the other hand, the said organizations must pay their bills and meet their day-to-day expenses. They have a mandate to keep their doors open. How should a healthcare service establishment balance between these two conflicting mandates?
Healthcare service establishments also have to decide on whether or not to accept gift items from both medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. Indeed, nurses and doctors are many a time targets of such gifts which include notepads, books, branded wrist watches and wall clocks, etc. While one school of thought could claim that accepting such gifts could result in a conflict of interest of some sort, there are nurses and doctors who may not have any qualms about accepting such gifts.
Yet another ethical consideration healthcare organizations have to grapple with from time to time is the issue of handling ordinary vs. VIP patients. VIP patients in this case could include prominent members of the society, family members of trustees, etc. Preferential treatment of those in this group could take various forms including but not limited to longer physician/specialist consultations or even shorter waiting time. Should VIP patients such as well-known and influential celebrities be treated differently than ordinary patients?
Confidentiality is yet another ethical consideration that could be considered relevant to healthcare service establishments. Confidentiality in the words of Hester and Schonfeld (2012, p.72) "is an obligation healthcare providers (or others) have after someone discloses information to them…." Healthcare practitioners have a moral and legal obligation not to disclose information about their patients to third parties. In this case, information arising from either personal conversations or medical reports must be kept confidential. It is however important to note that in some instances, medical practitioners may be obligated to disclose the otherwise confidential information in relation to the health of a patient to authorities. A good example of such a situation is when patients with unexplainable gunshot wounds appeal for treatment (Lyer, Levin, and Shea, 2006). Under such circumstances, a health care provider should alert the police so that the necessary action can be taken. It is however important to note that in some insistences, medical practitioners are faced with issues whose determination cannot be aided by verifiable rules and procedures. A good example of this is when a doctor is privy to information regarding the true paternity of a child. Does the doctor in such a case have an obligation to share what he or she knows with the father?
The Collection, Sharing, and Protection of Patient Information
As I have already pointed out elsewhere in this text,…