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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Critical Thinking Case Study: Let it Pour

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Abstract


Faith community hospital, like many others, is facing financial hardships. Increased operating costs and low occupancy rates at the hospital are financially crippling. Included in this case study will be discussion on root causes of major issues and problems along with analysis and evaluations of alternative solutions to the hospital’s financial crisis using a force-field analysis as a decision making method. This method will allow for the evaluation of forces for and against the decision to hire all new management in an effort to help revive Faith community hospital financially.


Introduction


Faith community hospital is in the midst of serious financial troubles. Various elements have contributed to this point of heightened financial hardship. Other healthcare organizations are familiar with this kind of situation. “In the past two years, hospitals … have continued to be plagued by financial pressures that stem from continued low payment rates and rising operating costs…” (Financial Pressures, 00, pg. ). Hospitals are being forced to come up with new and innovative methods of revenue along with addressing the issues causing financial difficulty. Along with identifying specific issues, problems, and root causes, the decision by the board of directors to bring in new management will by assessed by conducting a force-field analysis.


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Overview


Faith community hospital has a spiritual foundation and heritage that it values and promotes in its service to patients in its community. Unfortunately the spiritual views of the hospital sometimes put them on the opposite side of some and have divided the staff on issues such as Do Not Resuscitate directives. Some hospital staff is refusing to administer certain types of care due to religious values and beliefs. Doctors are reacting by putting patients first; however, they get left feeling powerless. Faith community hospital has a familiar story. Rising operating costs and decreased patient occupancy will force the hospital to reduce fixed costs by fifteen percent in order to break even if the hospital does not begin to show signs of improvement very soon.


Main Issue


Increasing costs to care for a patient per day and the decrease in the number of patients coming to the hospital for care is the major issue to be addressed. Patient costs have been raised from $17.00 a patient per day to $40.00 a patient per day. There are several reasons why people are not coming to Faith community hospital for care. One major reason is the hospital’s reputation. Several malpractice incidents have tarnished the hospitals reputations for quality patient care. There has been incidents where staff have initiated Do Not Resuscitate directives to patients with no such legal paperwork documenting that they did not wish to be revived if need be. In addition, there have been incidents where staff has not followed Do Not Resuscitate directives for patients that had the proper paperwork and where it was their wish not to be revived if need be. Patients want to be treated and cared for by competent and ethical healthcare organizations.


Goals and Objectives


In order to become more financially stable and to become a top choice in medical care it is essential to improving patient occupancy at Faith community hospital. In order to achieve that goal certain objectives will have to be set and met. First, improving patient care and quality of patient care will be essential to attract new patients and will result in an improved reputation. This can be done by retraining or hiring new staff that share the same value system as Faith hospital which will result in a reduction of conflicting and unethical situations. Reducing cost is another goal to help keep Faith community hospital a float. Cost needs to be cut without compromising patient care and without compromising quality. No salary increases for a set amount of time is one way, along with energy reductions, and no admittance of patients without insurance.


Alternative solutions


In an effort to bring in more revenue new programs can be developed for patients as well as an additional specialized unit that can be added on to the hospital. Developing new and innovative ways to acquire revenue is another alternative solution. “Adding new revenue streams and building upon existing programs can provide a financial boost” (The Business Journal, 00, pg. 1). Lastly, improving hospital environment overall by new management with the same value system as the board of directors will help immensely. “Management can altar the corporate culture to promote satisfaction for patience, employees, and physicians” (The Business Journal, 00, pg. 1).


Force-Field Analysis


Plan


Pros New Management Team Cons


Clean start Time it takes for a new New Ideas management team to get going


Shared Values Less diversity


Improved Corp. culture


Reputation


Bringing in new management to aid in the revival of Faith community hospital has several supporting forces to the idea. First, new management will give the healthcare facility a fresh start with qualified professionals that will bring their expertise and experience to the table to help tackle issues of decreased patient occupancy. With new management often come new and fresh ideas to the table. New management can be selected by the board of directors to make sure management hired has similar values to reduce diversity and to contribute to the hospital’s foundation on faith. New and improved management teams will bring a fresh of breath air to the organization along with a more customer service oriented corporate culture resulting in an improved reputation among the public. Most important are shared values and improved corporate culture. Downsides to a new management team is the time it takes to hire qualified personnel, train them, and get them involved in resolving ongoing issues. In addition, when you hire management that all share the same values, it reduces diversity which is not always a positive attribute.


Strategy


Faith community hospital would like to rejuvenate its reputation by hiring a new management team with shared values and innovative ideas. Retraining of existing staff to minimize mistakes will also help the hospital improve its reputation. Next, innovative ideas to launch programs and revamp existing programs in order to increase revenue are important. Improved reputation will help attract more patients along with new and improved programs for them resulting in increased patient occupancy. Reducing cost will be another necessary element for the success of Faith community hospital along with meeting other organizational goals and objectives.


Conclusion


To conclude, Faith community hospital is dealing with the rising price of patient care costs and the decreased number of patients going to the hospital for treatment. Various reasons like malpractice and the hospitals spiritual views contributed to the reduction in patient coordination and care. Bringing in a new management team with shared values and fresh ideas on how to combat this financial debacle is essential and will lead the healthcare organization out of the red.


Resources


Financial Pressures Continue to Plague Hospitals. 001. Pg. 1-1. Retrieved August 5,


00. http//www.hschange.com/CONTENT/5/


The Business Journal. 00. pg.1-. Retrieved August 5, 00.


http//www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/00/07/1story..html


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