Critical Thinking Case Study: Let it Pour - My First Assignment as Executive Assistant
Key Problems and Issues
The first of the problems are coming from the origin of the hospital as it is an organization with a lot of spiritual heritage and values. These have to be retained even while providing all the required services and satisfaction for the patients. The second problem that the hospital is facing is due to the difficulties that exist in the operations of any hospital, and those difficulties exist irrespective of the mission or the origin of the hospital. One of the problems from this origin is the headlines and extensive coverage given by the media to medical errors that hospitals are committing. These are mentioned and reflect on all hospitals whether they are a party to such errors or not. Another problem arises from the differences within the issues of living up to the mission statement of the hospital within the present medical environment. This problem is further worsened by the views of different groups of people involved with the hospital. Some patients want to reserve the right to refuse treatment when there situation is such that further treatment is not likely to give any good results. Yet the ethic of the hospital does not permit such action to be taken. The third area is regarding the collection of payments from the patients and this also causes a lot of differences within the hospital as it is not supposed to be turning away patients on that account. At the same time, when the losses of the hospital increase, it is difficult to continue running the hospital. After all, the hospital was established for the benefit of the community. This is the situation in all parts of the country.
There was a study released by the famous Lewin Group for hospitals in Massachusetts, and this was felt to be essential in just convincing that they were not wasting the taxpayers' money. These were the reasons why the hospitals were not getting more aid even when it was felt to be required. The study by the group compared the costs of the hospital to costs of hospitals all across the country, and the study found out that costs at Massachusetts were 4.3% more expensive than in all other areas. This was in all types of care like community hospitals, teaching hospitals, inpatient stays, and outpatient visits. The president of the Hospital Association in the area wanted to remove the blame that was being put on excessive costs by others through the help of this study. The hospitals were going through their 13th quarter of straight losses and it was felt to be not sustainable. Yet there are other problems for the state which were on the rise, and the governor of the state was planning to use the surplus that was expected in the budget of the order of $500 to $700 million to be used for tax cuts. This made it extremely difficult to convince the legislators to give more money for aid to hospitals, even if the amount wanted was like $100 million. (Kowalczyk, 2000)
There is also a similar problem in Pennsylvania that is being affected by costs. This is likely to hurt people in that state who have to get health care. This makes it essential for potential patients to know what can be expected in the emergency rooms of hospitals now. The doctors there believe that when there are real emergencies, one should not let other factors like fear, embarrassment or coverage through insurance make people delay seeking the help of doctors or hospitals. In most parts of the country, including Pennsylvania the insurance companies and other people who provide managed care will pay for emergency visits to a hospital that show signals which would be thought of an alarming nature by ordinary individuals. This logic holds even if the visit later does not result in any serious illness. For any serious alarm like difficulties in speaking, serious dizziness, blurred vision or loss of vision; serious headache without any reason, or numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially if it is on one side of the body, it is advisable to call [HIDDEN] (Emergency Room Drama: Be Prepared Before a Crisis Happens) The life and health of human beings are very important, and all care should be taken to maintain it. The hospitals will also be able to recover these costs in most cases from the insurers.
Analysis and Evaluation
The first part of it is regarding the origin of the hospital, and the problems are in the area of religious ethics. This is a question that has to be dealt with by all of us in our daily lives. The situation of man changes as development goes on, and this leads to new problems coming up. There are three values for these aspects -- religious, ethical, and moral. The three sometimes meet and are sometimes different. When the three points-of-view are different, then the individual concerned has to take a decision on one's own. This is a cross that every one of us has to carry throughout life on our own, and there are no solutions.
The second question is of the decrease in patients coming to the hospital due to the media publicity that the hospital is getting. The effect on the hospital is because the hospital has fixed costs and a lower number of patients mean that the charges have to be increased for every patient to maintain the service for the patients. This is due to the loss in revenue that is happening due to fewer patients. The decrease in numbers of patients does not mean a decrease in costs most of the time, as the facilities have to be managed most of the time to a minimum limits that is required. The result would be a deliberate trimming of the budget including lesser numbers of staff, lesser numbers of specialists in the hospital, staff, or equipment, and to be forced into sending away patients who are unable to pay. None of these changes would leave a good impact on the image of the hospital and would probably leave it with even lower number of patients in the future. This will have an impact on insurance costs also. The first improvement that can be done in this area is what has been shown in study on patient perceptions of general practice consultants. This shows that they have a general satisfaction but they are less satisfied "with the amount and clarity of information they receive and doctors expression of caring and respect." (A communication skills program for increasing patient's satisfaction with general practice consultations)
When the patient is in surgery this has an even greater effect due to the anxiety that all patients suffer from the results of their consultation. For this purpose, even a program in communication skills was developed and that had elements from both the emotional and cultural parts of the consultation. There have been doctors trained under this program, and the patients who met those doctors showed less of anxiety and greater satisfaction when compared with patients of doctors who were not trained through such a program. (A communication skills program for increasing patient's satisfaction with general practice consultations) In general, it can be said that the training led to greater satisfaction of patients. This sort of training may help the hospital to improve its image, and thus solve the problems of the lowering of image that it is suffering from due to media publicity.
This problem has also been understood by the organizations of doctors and even they mention that patients and general consumers of health care services need more access to information which they can comprehend, and are thus enabled to influence greater degrees of choice. This will help through the improvement of quality in the entire market of health care. There has to be special attention paid to the biggest sections of the market for health care - the poor, the frail elderly, those living with disabilities, the mentally ill, children, and others. For ensuring a high quality of health care for all Americans, one has to take into account the needs into the design of systems for health care delivery, quality measurement, and financing. It is more important to take care of the needs of the children as they are the promise for the future. This has resulted in the association proposing a Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of all Americans. (Quality First: Better Health Care for All Americans)
When an assurance of this nature is given, there will be more of consumer confidence for health care and also improve the care that the patients receive. The situation today is that many Americans are injured in the course of their treatment and there are also deaths as a result. For the patients treated in New York hospitals, there was a study which showed 3.7%…