Sample Essay On Health Care Management - Mid Term Examination
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Mid Term Examination
Question 1 Understanding the General and Health Care Environments
What are some of the external issues that will require responses from health care organizations? What are some of the changes that have influenced our world in general and specifically in health care since 2000? What is likely to take place from today to the year 2030? List your observations and future suggestions in the grid below.
Choose a health care provider you are familiar with. Briefly describe it and discuss how the changes from 2000 to 2011 have influenced its operational decisions. Then discuss how the future change through 2030 may impact its strategic momentum.
My family doctor has changed a great deal between 2000 and 2011. Back in 2000 he always used the paper charts, he wrote paper prescriptions and ordered blood work using a pen and paper. By 2011 he had invested in a computerized system. He used a computer to write prescriptions and blood work and prints them out. His nurse opens my file at the beginning of my appointment and he adds to my health record as the appointment progresses. My doctor’s office has moved into a building with other family physicians and together they share the after-hours health clinic. There’s a pharmacy located in the same building. I see my doctor continuing down the path of improved technology in the future. The costs associated with the advanced technology will mean more partners to the medical office. I can almost predict an advanced tele health option to help improve patient priorities and handle the increased demands for family physicians.
Question 2: Processes of Environmental Analysis
What four processes are involved in environmental analysis? What are their sub-processes? Tufts-NEMC
According to Exhibit 2-3 Strategic Thinking Map of the Environmental Analysis Process the four processes involved in environmental analysis are scanning, monitoring forecasting and assessing. The list below illustrates the four processes along with their corresponding sub-processes.
View data on the external environment
Organize the information into categories
Highlight key factors in the external environment
List the sources of data
Confirm of deny issues
Determine the rate the issues change
Predict the future of the issues
Identify the interrelationship between the issues
Evaluate the significance of the issues
Identify external forces that impacts the mission, vision, internal analysis, and strategic planning
Increased costs of providing health care
Quality incentives gaining popularity
Decreased insured patients
Less employers providing health insurance
Doctor and nurse shortage
Difficulty recruiting new doctors and nurses
The key issues identified are the financial worries stemming from increased costs to providing health services, decreases in insured patients and a shortage of doctors and nurses.
Sources of Data
Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, www.state.ma.us/dhcfp
Boston Community Reports, http://www.hschange.org
Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Revenue Bonds, Partners HealthCare System, www.mehfa.org
The Boston Dispensary archived records, simmons.edu/resources/libraries//archives/char_coll/char_coll_027.htm
Boston Business Journal, http://boston.bixjournals.com
Modern Healthcare, http://proquest.umi.com
The Boston Globe, www.boston.com/news/bostonglobearchives
The identified issues are often factually reported about on a quarterly basis where the qualitative aspects of the issues are reported at random. The issues identified are long term issues affecting the nation as a whole. With similar issues being widespread there are often success stories that may offer possible solutions to the issues affecting Tufts-NEMC.
The increased costs of providing health care will continue. Programs and creative solutions will be required in the future of health care providers. Currently quality incentives are gaining popularity however other programs will be required in order for health care providers to balance their budgets in the future. Increase costs of health care delivery will continue to rise. As technology continues to evolve the need for life saving new technology will increase. As programs continue to develop fewer employers will provide traditional health insurance. The doctor and nurse shortage is linked with the aging population, extended life expectancies, and the baby boomer generation. In time the difficulty recruiting new doctors and nurses should balance out as the next generation of professionals moves towards filling the need.
The issues of increased costs of providing health care, decreased employers providing health insurance and the doctor and nurse shortage will be of critical significance to the future of Tufts in both the near and distant future. The combination of the issues needs to be reflected in both internal/external analysis and in strategic planning in order to mitigate the impact these issues have on the organization. Should the strategic plan conflict with the vision or mission statement then the statements require revision. The strategic analysis should take into consideration the current mission and vision and the need for change in order to secure Tufts fiscal future.
Describe the health care environment in Massachusetts in the 1990s.
What were the driving forces for change that were pushing the industry?
During the 90’s the hospital had more fiscal resources, technology began to evolve, the internet started the hopes of digital records management. Since the 90’s the number of acute care hospital beds has only decreased from just under 25,000 to 20,000 in 2001. In the same timeframe the number of acute care hospitals has also squandered away from 90 down to 60. There have been drastic changes in the way patients pay for health services. In 1990, 28% of hospitals acute care revenue in Massachusetts came from private employers where in 2001 only 11% of hospitals acute care revenue came from insurance providers. Managed health care filled the gap. In 1990, managed health care accounted for 12% of hospitals acute care revenue where in 2001, 30% of hospitals acute care revenue came from managed health care.
What impact did these forces have on New England Medical Center?
These factors along with others caused a fiscal strain on New England Medical Center’s (NEMC) resources. The closing of many acute care facilities has caused an increase in patients looking for acute health care leaving NEMC with limited resources to manage the department. Meanwhile the decrease in patients with health insurance has compounded the strain on NEMC’s fiscal resources.
What happens within Tufts/NEMC as the external environment gyrates with change?
As the external environment gyrates with change the changes are reflected inside the walls of Tufts/NEMC. Within the hospitals walls the changes affecting the nations health care system are illustrated in the day to day operations of the organization. The staff shortage is visible as you walk down the halls, tired and overworked doctors and nurses and desperately trying to handle the overload. The financial worries is seen and heard in the administrative offices.
What data in the case supports your claim?
The case said “The hospital had fallen prey to the same negative market forces that had taken their toll on other non - affiliated hospitals in the 1990s” (p. 549). The case describes the same patterns of issues both in its report of the health care environment and in the issues present at Tufts. The hospital is being affected by the same staff shortage and financial struggles as the rest of the health care environment. The quote above sums up the situation where inside the hospital walls is an illustration of the issues affecting the nation’s health care system.
Question 3: Competitor Analysis
List the obstacles and mistakes to performing an effective competitor analysis by any organization. Think of a health care provider you are most familiar with. What are some of the obstacles and mistakes that this organization encountered in assessing the competition? (Not familiar with a health care provider? Then use Case-15, “So, Doctor, Can you Fix This?” A Case Involving a Medical Spa (attached), as your health care provider for this question.
Some of the obstacles encountered when assessing the competition include a rapidly growing industry and assessing the wants and needs of medical spa customers. The industry of medical spas recently doubled from $450 million of revenue in 2004 to $1 billion of revenue in 2006. Mistakes made when assessing the competition include not finding success models offering medical spa services in similar neighbourhoods. Doctor Goyzueta made the mistake of not researching the psychographics of his targeted consumer prior to opening the medi spa. The upper middle class neighbourhood with no direct competitors seems like a good place to open a medical spa but there are other factors they need consideration. What are the patterns of behavior in the local residents? Is there a local salon or ethics office? Would the local salon or ethics office partner up in an advertising exchange? How are the local residents dressed? Does their religion or social norms affect or limit their use of beauty products? What are the local residents spending their luxury money on? The mistakes made in the competitor analysis is the lack of in-depth behavioral information available on the targeted competitors and consumers.
Question 4: Internal Environmental Analysis and Competitive Advantage
Value creation is the underlying basis for successful competition in all industries. Although value creation is talked about more today, it has always been the key to success in competitive industries. The old saying “people will pay for value” is no less true in health care than in any other industry. Price, of course, is important; however, other factors affect a consumer’s perception of price. For example, when given a choice, people often select a more expensive health insurance plan because they are willing to pay more to be able to choose a physician, for convenience of providers, and numerous other factors. Within health care organizations, all employees are involved in value creation, and leadership should assist them in determining numerous ways to create value for consumers.
How does your healthcare employer create value? How is it communicated to employees and patients, clients, or customers?
A healthcare employer creates value by placing their focus on health. When a healthcare employer values good health it becomes transparent. Employees and front line staff become ambassadors for the business. When employers hire staff they share the same values as the company it becomes transparent to the consumer. In the case of the medical spa the nurses and receptionist need to value medical spa treatments, relaxation and aesthetics. A healthcare employer who gives their employees free services and discounts creates loyal and well informed company ambassadors. By giving the receptionist a few units of Botox and some laser treatments the receptionist becomes much more informed of the services being offered by the business and can also give positive referrals to possible customers. Value is better communicated by emotional appeals rather than numbers. Customers want to feel as though they are younger, more relaxed and more beautiful as they walk out the door of the medical spa. The best advertising the Doctor could have bought would be paying a model to visit the spa regularly and promote the services being offered at the medical spa. The value of a medical spa is the improvements the spa can make for potential customers image either real or perceived. Front line staffs that are loyal users of the services being offered by the spa are priceless. Satisfied customers, referral incentives and customer loyalty programs offer the best value communication tools. By selling an emotional appeal of satisfaction the value of the service becomes more than a figure. Customers looking to spend money on medical spa services want confidence in their image and if past customers are satisfied and bragging future customers are more likely to want the same services.
Question 5: Directional Strategies
Mission is an enduring statement that distinguishes or differentiates one organization from all others of its type. It is a superordinate goal that assists top management in navigating through periods of turbulence and change. Mission statements are broadly defined statements of purpose that are enduring and underscore the uniqueness of the organization as well as identifying the scope of operations.
A mission statement can:
Target customers and markets.
Indicate the principal services delivered by the organization.
Specify geographic domain within which the organization tends to concentrate (service area).
Identify organizational philosophy.
Confirm the organization’s preferred self-image.
Vision is an intangible expression of hope. It describes what the organization will be like when it is fulfilling its purpose. Visions, unlike directional strategies, should be inspiring, not just quantitative goals to be achieved in the next performance period. Vision is acquired from an appreciation of the history of the organization, a perception of the opportunities present in the environment, and an understanding of the capacity of the organization to capitalize on these opportunities.
Characteristics of organizational vision:
Visions should be inspiring.
Visions should be clear, challenging, and about excellence.
Visions must make sense in the relevant community, be flexible, and stand the test of time.
Visions should be stable, but constantly challenged and changed when necessary.
Visions are beacons and controls when everything else seems up for grabs.
Visions empower employees first and then clients, patients, and others the organization serves.
Visions prepare for the future while honoring the past.
Think of an organization that you know relatively well and attempt to construct a mission and vision statements in light of the components of missions and visions indicate above and in Chapter-5 of the Swayne text.
What components did you choose to emphasize in these statements? Why?
I choose to emphasize the targeted customers and markets along with the key services provided. By doing so the mission statement becomes a statement of the company’s goals. It provides clarity telling employees and customers what the organization is about in a concise way. It gives guidance to management as they strive to make every moment count towards the achievement of the organizations top level goals.
What components do you think really embodies the distinctiveness of the organization?
Describing the organization’s philosophy and desired public image embodies the distinct characteristics of the organization. Often it is the organization’s philosophy that provides customers with the unique selling point that organization strives to provide. The organization’s desired public image will describe the unique values that organization offers that differentiates itself from its competitors.
Johnson, J. P., Lenartowicz, T., & Apud, S. (2006). Cross-cultural competence in international business: Toward a definition and a model. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(4), 525-543.
Thomas, D. C., & Inkson, K. (2004). Cultural intelligence: People skills for global business. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
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