Health Care Management

Quality Health Care Management

Quality management in health care refers to determining the level of excellence in delivered services concerning health. It revolves around satisfying expectations and needs of customers consistently and reliably. According to Ratzliff,  Unützer,  Katon,  and Stephens (2016), for any health facility, it is pivotal to maintain and improve its reputation in quality of care provided which calls for putting forward measures of quality and serves as a benchmark and minimum requirements in service delivery. At Sunlight Hospital has the core objective to maintain its reputation to offering quality health care and to achieve these several measures have been put in place.

Patient safety measures

Safety of patients forms the backbone of medical care. According to Muha (2017), unsafe care and medical errors cause deaths to thousands of patients every year. It is therefore important to evaluate constantly the frequencies with which patients accidentally fall and acquire injuries during their stay at the hospital. In-patients may suffer injuries because of long waits at doctor’s offices. Therefore, electronic registration and medication orders will help mitigate this challenge (Muha, 2017). It interests a health facility to prevent medication errors which if successfully implemented will lead to affordable, equitable and effective medical care. To support this, skilled nursing and inpatient rehabilitation facilities will be required which will reduce the length of stay for patients at Sunlight Hospital.

Effectiveness measure

Quality healthcare should be in a position to achieve desired results. Benefits of healthcare are measurable by improvement in health. Research by Oster, Braaten and Sigma Theta Tau International (2016) shows that an increase in the number of patients recommended to a hospital can be an indicator that care given is effective to patients. It will be vital to undertake an examination of the standards of activities by medical staff that yields better outcomes. The utmost indication that health provided is effective is shown by collecting data regarding patients before, during and after medication.

Patient-centeredness measures

The value for customers cannot be underrated since end customers are only concerned with products and services that create maximum value for them. Muha (2017) suggests that the health sector is indifferent to the concept of the customer being the king and thus services rendered should be centered on the needs of customers in, this case, patients. There is need to respect patients’ preferences, values and the needs that they express. Since patients in most cases feel powerless and vulnerable during sickness, care should be coordinated and integrated to alleviate these feelings (Muha, 2017). A patient is entitled to information regarding his or her health condition, offered education and awareness created to offer emotional support. Members of the family and friends should actively participate in treatment provision with the provision of care instructions upon discharge from the hospital. A guarantee to patients that they can access health care whenever the need arises boosts confidence in a health facility. Patients also require advice on where to access care during emergencies to further cement trust of patients in health facilities.

Timeliness measures

Timeliness in healthcare is the ability of a system to offer quick support and assistance when a need is recognized (Ratzliff et al., 2016). Timeliness in healthcare is a priority in improving any health care system. While measuring health care timeliness, it is important to consider the time patients spend in the waiting bay for doctors to offer their assistance. The time interval between identification of the need for certain medical tests and treatment is the real show of timeliness. Offering timely treatment lowers emotional distress to a patient, potential physical harm, and any additional costs. Studies by Ratzliff et al., (2016), further indicate that during delivery and in cases of chronic ailments, providing timely health care leads to declining mortality rates.

Equity Measures

According to Ratzliff et al. (2016), equity in health provision is one of the recently emerging health policies which are focusing on reducing variations in healthcare provision and outcomes within different groups in society. Healthcare facilities must reduce gaps between patients regarding access and the outcomes of healthcare services. Measuring health needs among the patients, their access to health care as well as the use of available services is the ultimate show of equity. A health facility that is sensitive to patient equity will offer services regardless of social status, economic class and color of the patient.

Designing a successful quality improvement at Sunlight Healthcare

To carry out quality improvement, I have put forward a framework and performance indices to control the process.

Strategic organization

The management at Sunlight Hospital is keen to set priorities, deploy resources and focus energy towards attaining better health care. A restructuring of the hospital’s mission, vision and core values is underway with strategies laid down to ensure members of staff, patients, and the general public understand with clarity, honor and appreciate the three pillars of success. Without an understanding of the mission, vision and core values of the hospital, it proves difficult to improve on service delivery.

Teamwork

Staff members need to work in a team with cooperation and mutual trust. The hospital will engage staff at all levels to help solve imminent challenges to our facility offering efficient and effective care. It requires that workforce planning is undertaken so that different members will be assigned and scheduled in a controllable result-oriented way. Mentoring for new staff will be adapted to ensure expertise and work ethics. While determining the achievement of our staff continuous reporting and analysis is important to implement.

Change management

In the quest to achieve quality care at our hospital, we are providing models and frameworks to educate and guide on change. Flexibility and adaptability of changes being implemented have been considered since these changes will affect all operations of the hospital and mitigate possible reactions. According to Gamble, Thompson and Peteraf (2018) organizations that are not agile and flexible to changes in their operating environments are soon phased out of operation. Regarding this, our change plans have been designed to create synergy with our mission, vision and core values.

Monitoring and evaluation

Assessing results can be realized through monitoring and continuous evaluation. The hospital is putting a framework for monitoring and evaluating results where data collected is translated into analysis and usable information. Derived information covering needs and analysis of reports compiled will help the hospital improve access to care, evaluate clinical initiatives and programs to gain an understanding of effects of the hospital’s intervention.

Why quality of care adds value and competitive advantage

In a competitive business world, organizations are constantly evaluating their policies and service delivery to maintain relevance in respective industries (Gamble et al., 2018). In the health industry, care quality is crucial in adding value to service providers as well as creating competitive advantage. Research has shown that quality based competitive advantage is more sustainable than advantage resulting from economies of scale. The following factors add value to the quality of care and create health service provider with an advantage over other providers in the industry.

Customer satisfaction

Service quality can be indicated by the levels of satisfaction by patients after receiving required medical attention. A study by Gamble et al. (2018) shows that provision of quality is one element of customer satisfaction. Quality care builds confidence and trust between patients and care providers. Such confidence helps in retaining customers and preventing them from being lured to seek care services from other providers.

Customer loyalty

Whenever patients are satisfied by health care quality provided in a given facility, they tend to build a form of loyalty to the facility. Their word of mouth will be positive and become integral in attracting other patients into the specific healthcare provider. A quality care provider gains more benefit than just financial gain from loyal customers.

Good business performance

Quality of service accorded to consumers highly determines an organization’s performance. A health facility providing quality care will not only perform well financially, but also staff will be motivated to be part of a winning team. Motivating staff through recognition and rewarding, investing in staff development and appraisal yields a successful delivery team given that human resource is the engine and center of quality service (Dowling, 2016).

Employee satisfaction

Working in a service delivery sensitive environment has a link to satisfaction created by employees. When employees are satisfied with a healthcare facility, it will be guaranteed to retain staff. Such result emanates from increasing job pride, experience, and knowledge as well as productivity (Dowling, 2016). Employees who have been in a health facility for long terms tend to serve customers better in comparison to new staff and thus boosting customer loyalty.

Conclusion

Quality of healthcare should form core priorities and policies of any healthcare provider. It is necessary to develop frameworks that will guarantee satisfactory healthcare service delivery. To gain this, the patient ought to be the center of service provision. Without clear designs to ensure excellent care provision, most patients may end up switching loyalty to other care providers. Providing quality service will make a healthcare facility more competitive and add value to its general operations.

References

Dowling, G. R. (2016). Winning the reputation game: Creating stakeholder value and competitive advantage.

Gamble, J., Thompson, A. A., & Peteraf, M. A. (2018). Essentials of strategic management: the quest for competitive advantage.

In Oster, C., In Braaten, J., & Sigma Theta Tau International. (2016). High-reliability organizations: A healthcare handbook for patient safety & quality.

Muha, T. M. (2017). PROPEL to Quality Healthcare: Six Steps to Improve Patient Care, Staff Engagement, and the Bottom Line.

Ratzliff, A., Unützer, J., Katon, W., & Stephens, K. A. (2016). Integrated care: Creating effective mental and primary health care teams.

 

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