HEALTHCARE ADMIISTRATION 7
Healthcareadministration and management is one of the most complex systems inoperating a healthcare institution. Rather than involving patients assingle units, it includes all those participating in dailyoperations. The healthcare industry is a system comprising ofdifferent units. Each one of them has a different role to play inensuring that things run smoothly, fast and in a manner that putsvery little financial strain on the institution. As a healthcareadministrative supervisor, it is important to understand all theseparts of the hospital system. Subsequently, it is relatively easierto identify which system components need modification. Changingpopulation demographics, prevalent chronic diseases and theincreasing cost of healthcare have prompted the development of thetriple aim which seeks to improve patient experience, reduce percapita health care costs and improve the general public’s health.
Oneof the most important supervisory concepts in health careadministration is effective communication. It is not enough to justconvey a message, but to also to ensure that the message has beenreceived, understood thus, prompting desired feedback. Therefore,he/she has to choose the right medium and the right channels to usethat will allow the receiver to decode them. Research indicates thatthere exists a positive relationship between a health careadministrator’s communication skills and a patient’s motivationto follow through with self-management and medical recommendations aswell as implement preventive behaviors (Institute of HealthcareCommunication, 2011). These behaviors contribute profoundly toimproving the health of populations which consequently reduces percapita cost of health care.
Thehealthcare administrator should, therefore, be adept in communicationas well as be able to train other staff in developing effectivecommunication skills. According to the Institute of HealthcareCommunication (2011), the pat 3 decades of research have demonstratedthat a clinician’s ability to empathize and listen has asignificant effect on functional and biological health outcomes aswell as patient satisfaction. The quality of interactions with thehealthcare team is indicative of the perceived quality of healthcare.
Anadditional role that the healthcare administrator plays is to keepthe patient happy in order to protect the hospital from anymalpractice risks. Health managers play a great role in coachingtheir employees to adopt particular skills that aid their activities(Lindskog,Hemphälä, Eklund & Eriksson, 2016).Effective communication is a critical skill in health care. Decisionmaking in hospitals is aided heavily by information from personnel,given that it is the grapevine that contains hints about possibleareas of modification. Thus, a healthcare administrator has a duty touse informal communication to motivate and improve operations.Choudhary(2012),agrees that decision making processes in hospitals are enriched byinformal networks within the hospital.
Healthinstitutionscannot run effectively without having a blueprint. These are theplans that leaders are obligated to develop and modify. Medicalpersonnel work on providing health care while the administrator worksin the background organizing and planning the next move. This is notrivial task as it forms the framework on which all other operationsare implemented (Institute of Healthcare Communication, 2011).Planning should be done within a proactive framework which enhancesprevention. It is not enough to treat ailments conditions that canbe prevented should be prevented. The health of the world has beenthrough an upward curve that has informed future efforts to improvethe health of populates and reduce per capita cost of health care.
However,planning for better health outcomes should not be done haphazardly.Choudhary(2012),instructs health managers to carefully identify their managementobjectives which will subsequently be used to implement plans. As ahealth administration supervisor, one of the ways that the populationhealth can be improved is through technological and scientificprocesses. Comprehending how these processes influence growth indifferent contexts is the key to successfully implementing them. Whatmay have worked in one context may not work as well in another. Thus,evidence based practice is an important facilitator of improving thehealth of populations. Though finances are important, efforts towardhealth improvement will be futile if the target population does notunderstand and adopt the tools and technologies required. Hence,plans to improve population health should not just be aboutincreasing income but also about helping the population understandwhat they need to do to improve their health (self-management). Inaddition, they should also be aided in understanding the tools thatimprove health such as education, technology and human resources.
Consequently,improvements in health should be planned around technologicalinvestments that generate a positive loop of feedback that favorseconomic development and growth in the said context. Additionally,these plans need to be implemented so that they have the best resultspossible in the health context. This involves isolating the vitalaspects – such as those that are actionable through implementingparticular policies – that have proven effective in the past.
Healthadministration managers need to keep the work place organized so thatpeople have their roles clearly defined. Departmentalization isimportant in health institutions first of all because there arealready different departments in hospitals. In essence, hospitalscannot function effectively without division of work. Choudhary(2012), stateda number of advantages to decentralization which are applicable toreducing the per capita cost of health care. Decentralizationreducestime wasted by helping individuals focus on particular unit tasks(Choudhary,2012).In addition, it reduces focus on irrelevant tasks for certaindepartments by ensuring that only relevant information istransmitted. It also increases the speed at which operations arecarried out and reinforces allegiance and motivation.
Giventhe benefits of departmentalization, it has a direct line to savingcosts. Of course, it is not the only strategy that helps reduce percapita costs. For instance, effective communication skills reducemalpractice suits which in turn save costs. This in turn allows themto reduce the cost of health care services. A separate departmentdealing with financial planning and budget has ample time to developstrategies to offer the best care with the least expense. Lindskog,Hemphälä, Eklund and Eriksson (2016),suggest that there is need to spell out expectations and roles whichin turn enhance accountability and higher world standards. Qualityhealth care helps ease both hospital and patient expenses.
Researchhas found that lack of coordination in health care provisioncontributes to overtreatment and duplicate care (Choudhary,2012).Health administrators are instrumental in coordination since theirmanagement positions allow them to decentralize and organizeoperations. Lacking coordination results in higher health costs owingto additional payments required to compensate physicians for eachtime they consult with and treat patients. Hence, coordinationreduces per capita health costs.
Anadditional proposal that may be less popular is encouraging healthinstitutions to adopt the best practices with cheaper technologiesand tools. Progress in health technologies has resulted in thedevelopment of cutting edge processes that may be effective, but areextremely expensive for some populations (Choudhary,2012).Reducing costs will, therefore, require reverting to cheaper methodsthat are just as effective. This also includes the choice ofmaterials. For instance, rather than use newer models of gauze thatare more expensive, the patient can be given cheaper options thatwill not put their health at risk. This can be implemented in publichospitals because they deal with more individuals who are consideredfinancially unstable.
Overusingexpensive medical materials and technologies should not beencouraged. However, it is important to note that convincing thehospital about this may not be an easy feat. Hence, the managementshould work toward encouraging other personnel within the hospital toembrace this practice. This may require redesigning part of thesystem. Redesign should be done using staff friendly processes sincea successful implementation process correlates with higher incidencesof job positivity (Lindskog,Hemphälä, Eklund & Eriksson, 2016).
Healthcarein the United States has gradually become the most expensive in theworld. This trend has shown no signs of changing as newertechnologies and new methods take root in the healthcare industry.These advancements come with additional responsibility and pressureto ensure that this wonderful care is made available to a majority ofthe population. After all, what good is having one of the advancedhealthcare services if the majority of the population cannot accessit? Management tools such as effective communication skills,managerial planning and departmentalization are instrumental inmeeting the requirements set forth by triple aims of the Institute ofHealth Improvement.
Choudhary,A. (2012). Community hospital healthcare system: A strategicmanagement case
study.Journalof the International Academy for CaseStudies,18(2),p.7.
Instituteof Healthcare Communication. (2011). Impactof Communication in Healthcare.
Lindskog, P., Hemphälä, J., Eklund, J., & Eriksson, A. (2016). Leanin healthcare: Engagementin development, job satisfaction or exhaustion? Journalof Hospital Administration.5(5), 91-105