Healthcare Management Research - Essay Example

Healthcare Management

Healthcare professionals must ensure that the patients have been taking care of and everything is done as per the preset standards. Some of the issues that need to be considered include quality improvement and cutting down unnecessary costs, thus ensuring efficiency. Moreover, it is necessary to have health prevention initiatives and population health focus in place as these are the main variables of healthcare management. These initiatives and strategies are of importance in healthcare management as they help to improve the quality of care, and thus mitigate any form of patient complaints. Additionally, the health services need proper planning, coordinating, and directing and this should start from the learning institutions. The students should be enlightened on the necessity of ensuring that they are capable of managing a department or a health facility, and this will provide high levels of professionalism.

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Cost Containment Strategies

The management of healthcare services must remain innovative and ensure that they have incorporated strategies that can increase efficiency, thus avoiding unnecessary costs. Therefore, it is necessary for the healthcare management team to ensure that the constant changes in technology have been used in the operations, as this will guarantee high quality services (Lee et al., 2013). Additionally, the costs will be reduced considerably, making it possible for the providers to meet their objectives in time. Some of the techniques that can be used to attain this goal include the following:

a) Reliance on technological assessment as a way of identifying cost-effective drugs

b) Use of diagnosis based groups in the hospital payment systems

c) Tailoring the payments to reflect the real value of patient care

All these strategies have made it possible for the healthcare providers to cut down unnecessary costs and ensure that efficiency has been maintained or increased. In fact, one of the most important things in a healthcare facility is ensuring that patient satisfaction has been achieved. As a result, the cost containment strategy will make it possible for the professionals to maintain a high quality of care but with minimum expenses.

The ability of the medical professionals and the administration to contain costs will make it possible for them to have extra finances that can be used in the expansion of the facility. For instance, the available funds can be used to hire more professionals and equipment, thus ensuring that the patients have received the expected services. In fact, it will be encouraging to note that every decision has both advantages and disadvantages (Schwartz, 2012). Nevertheless, the downside of focusing on the cost containment strategy in the medical facility is negligible since some of these expense reduction initiatives favor both the healthcare facility and the patient. The policy can also influence innovation adversely, but if the administration understands its importance, this will not be a problem. For instance, the costs that should be minimized are only those that cannot affect the efficiency in an adverse way. There should be a pre-assessment strategy that will be used as a guide in cost cutting, thus making sure that some of the expenses that promote innovation and high patient care and thus satisfaction have not been affected. Therefore, the management should understand that medical innovation is expensive, but such costs are worthy to be incurred. Improvement in the quality of care should be maintained, and this means costs implications (Grossman, 2013). The best way to cost cut, therefore, is to have a team that understands the importance of every activity in the medical facility before making a decision on what expenses should be avoided.

Quality Improvement Initiatives

Healthcare facilities have the responsibilities of ensuring that the quality of services rendered conforms with the standard and value of their respective prices. Before setting the prices for their services, it is necessary for the management to have a plan on how such activities will be carried out. Some of these initiatives include the recruitment of competent employees, having the necessary facilities (technological equipment) that will enhance the operations of the medical facility, and consistency in serving customers (Ghali, Ash, Hall & Moskowitz, 2013). in fact, there should be regular and continuous activities in the facility that are geared towards the meeting of the long-term objectives. For the hospitals to be considered as centers for quality, the desired outcomes must be attained, meaning that customer complaints should be mitigated.  

Other quality assurance variables in a medical facility include how operations are run, their efficiency, and the level of customer satisfaction. The management has a role in ensuring that the services provided remain of high quality, as this will guarantee the achievement of goals such as real patient admission rate, thus profits. Some of the primary variables that should be considered to ensure high quality of output includes the following:

a) Patient focus

b) Proper use of available information

c) Quality improvement should be regarded as teamwork

d) The quality improvement is part of the processes and systems in the healthcare facility.

The management and nurses have a role in understanding the fundamental processes that take place in the healthcare facility and the concepts used to determine the value of their quality standards. Therefore, the available resources (inputs) should be utilized effectively to guarantee the desired results (such as proper patient care) as a way of achieving a high quality of attention; the management can implement nursing informatics and evidence-based practice strategies in their operations (Kaplan et al., 2012). The resultant effect is an efficient communication network in the medical facility, thus ensuring that patient information such as medical history has been taken into consideration before commencing treatment. Healthcare services can either be simple or complex, but the most important thing is ensuring that what the organization is being involved in has been perfected to the optimum.    

Health Prevention Initiatives

These are the plans set by healthcare facilities in ensuring that the patients have been protected from contacting diseases. It should be noted that even if the healthcare facilities make a profit out of their activities, treating the sick, they should have plans of having a healthy society (McGinnis, Williams-Russo & Knickman, 2012). Therefore, the government should collaborate with the private sector in its efforts to provide the standard healthcare services. For instance, as a way of giving back to the society, it will be necessary to offer free or cost-reduced facilities for the sick. Most of the people who should be considered in this category include those suffering from Tuberculosis, Malaria, and AIDS since they are common in some regions of the world. Additionally, diseases such as malaria affect specific parts of the world such as Africa, thus even if it has been elongated in some areas such as the U.S. the health care facilities should be aware of its existence (Kumanyika et al., 2012). Therefore, there should be programs for strengthening the available facilities that will make it possible to cure or prevent such diseases. Eventually, there will be a healthy nation, credited to the collaboration between the government and the private sector.

Population Health Focus

The current society has moved on to having a personal or a family doctor who can take care of personally customized healthcare services. Nevertheless, this practice may change with time since some facilities have started offering such services based on a particular population. The development will eventually be important since if we continue with the customized services, we will end up barring the poor from receiving the standard quality medical attention. In this case, a population is selected and then an analysis was done to determine their specific needs. After identifying the requirements, the government officials and those from the partner private sector works jointly to ensure that such issues have been solved (Berk & Monheit, 2011). Therefore, such strategies are for the common benefit of the populace, but they have an option of paying for customized (personal doctor) services at their will. The most important thing is ensuring that the common healthcare problems affecting the populace have been solved. The government must focus its attention on providing healthcare services to a particular community or region as this will guarantee the effectiveness of service delivery, thus benefiting the society as a whole. If however it does not foster this noble idea, most of the populace will stand to suffer, meaning that the healthcare objectives will never be achieved.

The possibility of working as a team is facilitated and even if this strategy can be a new practice in countries such as the U.S., it will eventually gain recognition due to its reliability and efficiency. Learning institutions should help students in mastering this important ideology to guarantee its effectiveness in application. The practice is also cheap since the individuals of a particular populace share some common behavioral and health traits. Therefore, the services can strategically position in the community to serve all. Another encouraging point to note is that after determining the standards and procedures for treating a patient in a particular location, it will be possible for them to use that as a benchmark for providing curative care for other patients. The most important thing is this case is determining what can be done for the healthcare professionals to maintain a high quality of attention for the selected populace (Fiscella et al., 2012). Additionally, related healthcare costs will be mitigated since the medical professionals will have to understand the common problems affecting the members of a particular locality.

The above explained initiatives and strategies would work because of the following reasons

a) The government is ready and committed to ensuring that the populace lives a healthy life and once sick, quality patient care is provided. This means that the preventive health initiative is accomplished.

b) The government and private sector work jointly in ensuring that the populace at large is healthy, and if there is s problem, they strive in the bid of looking for a long-term solution to the issue, including medical research, thus necessitating the population health focus.

c) The cost containment strategies and preventive health initiative are made possible once medical innovation has been included in the offering of services. Innovation leads to efficiency, meaning that unnecessary costs will be mitigated, thus enabling the healthcare professionals to offer their assistance and patient care optimally.

References

Berk, M. L., & Monheit, A. C. (2011). The concentration of health care expenditures, revisited. Health Affairs, 20(2), 9-18.

Fiscella, K., Franks, P., Gold, M. R., & Clancy, C. M. (2012). Inequality in quality: addressing socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic disparities in health care. Jama, 283(19), 2579-2584.

Ghali, W. A., Ash, A. S., Hall, R. E., & Moskowitz, M. A. (2013). Statewide quality improvement initiatives and mortality after cardiac surgery. Jama, 277(5), 379-382.

Grossman, R. M. (2013). A review of physician cost-containment strategies for laboratory testing. Medical care, 783-802.

Kaplan, H. C., Brady, P. W., Dritz, M. C., Hooper, D. K., Linam, W., Froehle, C. M., & Margolis, P. (2012). The influence of context on quality improvement success in health care: a systematic review of the literature. Milbank Quarterly, 88(4), 500-559.

Kumanyika, S., Jeffery, R. W., Morabia, A., Ritenbaugh, C., & Antipatis, V. (2012). Public Health Approaches to the Prevention of Obesity (PHAPO) Working Group of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). Int J Obes, 26, 425-436.

Lee, Y. C., Yang, M. C., Huang, Y. T., Liu, C. H., & Chen, S. B. (2013). Impacts of cost containment strategies on pharmaceutical expenditures of the National Health Insurance in Taiwan, 1996–2003. Pharmacoeconomics, 24(9), 891-902.

McGinnis, J. M., Williams-Russo, P., & Knickman, J. R. (2012). The case for more active policy attention to health promotion. Health affairs, 21(2), 78-93.

Schwartz, W. B. (2012). The inevitable failure of current cost-containment strategies: why they can provide only temporary relief. JAMA, 257(2), 220-224.