The case study material presents the challenges experienced in healthcare institutions. The case presented in the case study material represents the challenges facing most of the healthcare institutions across the country. Some of the challenges presented in the case study material include shortage of medicine stock in several rooms in the hospital; for example, there was shortage reported on 6 East and the same problem is also presented on 6 west. Nurses are left with a huge responsibility in administering the medications to patients because there is shortage with the supply unit, pharmacy. The authors presents the kinds of trouble and inconveniencies that the nurses go through when administering medications to patients; for example, sometimes they could not find the medicine in the medications drawers and they are forced to take another shifts medication to administer to the patient. The nurses blame the pharmacy that is responsible with the stocking and supplying the medicine throughout the hospital. On the other hand, the pharmacy also shifts the blame to the nurses that they do not work because they are frequently on the phone calling for medication shortage. Another key issue presented in the case study is the inefficient healthcare provision. The case presents that sometimes the nurses lack medication to administer because the dose that they were supposed to administer has been used on another patient or at a different time. The case depicts that the problem comes from the pharmacy. The shift routine had changed and yet the pharmacy had not adapted to the changes. Therefore, the main problem with the hospital is lack of proper coordination and integration of information from one department to the other.
Role to play
I would choose to play the role of outside consultant to the institution. As a consultant, I would not be directly related to the institution; this can help in decision making as opinions or choices would not be influenced by the factors within the premises of the institution. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with the consultancy. Some of the advantages of consultancy include the ability to look at things from different point of view. When one is a member of the organization it is difficult to look at issues from various point of view and one is most likely to make a mistake. Again, as an outside consultant one does not get influenced with other peoples opinions. Although the information has to come from the institution, but the influence might not be too high as if one was a member of the organization. On the other hand, this role has some disadvantages as well like the blames for the decisions made. As presented in the case study material, every department is used to blaming the other for the problem that they all have contributed. Instead of finding a solution together they point the blame on the other department while the patients suffer because their medications are not administered on time as expected or prescribed.
Identification of the diversity issues and their impacts in this case
The case has presented the diversity issues in various ways and how they impact the performance of the hospital. For example, disability has been successfully presented in the case through the patients. The patients are sick and they depend on the medications scheduled to be administered by the nurses so that they can get better. However, they are not given the medications on time as prescribed. Although the case study material has not presented this disability issue directly, but with the challenges experienced on both 6 east and west we can be able to depict the disability concept here. A disabled person is someone who cannot properly do something because he/she is either mentally or physically challenged. These patients are not capable of taking care of themselves and that is the reason why the nurses are there to ensure that they are assisted to take their medications. However, when patients cannot get their medications on time it means that the institution is ineffective and its performance can significantly reduce. Healthcare institutions are also business organizations just like other businesses that we have seen; therefore, they also compete for market share just like the other businesses (Leggat, 2007). When the performance reduces or decreases, it reflects on the market share as well; people will move to other institutions that offer better services. Therefore, the institution needs to examine the problems and strategize on how to improve them.
The issue of gender has also been explored in the case study. Although the case has not presented the case directly as well, but through the people in the case we can be able to understand the issue of gender in the hospital. Level 6 East is managed by Katie who is a female and the other side; level 6 West is managed by Marcus who is a male. The case indicates that the hospital considers gender equality issue. Research shows that proper management of the human resource in the hospital can significantly assist the institution improve its performance (Townsend et al., 2012). Policies developed in the institution regarding the human resource can determine whether the institution will provide high quality services or not (Townsend et al., 2012). As we have seen in the case, the institution has an effective gender policy. After the meeting the board picks two people, Katie and Marcus to lead the investigation on the causes of medicine stock shortage.
Major problems and secondary issue
The case presents various issues, both primary and secondary. The major or primary issues are the factors that directly affect the institution that can be directly related with the challenges faced in the hospital; for example, medicine shortage in the medication rooms. Another major problem is the conflict and disagreement between the departments, the pharmacy blames the nurses for calling them frequently arguing that they do not have time to work. On the other hand, the nurses blame the pharmacy for delaying or failing to stock the medication rooms with enough medicine.
Secondary issues are the problems or factors that affect the performance of the institution indirectly and contribute to the major issues. Some of the secondary issues presented in the case include poor communication between the departments. The pharmacy does not have any idea that the schedule had changed and the medicine is now administered two times; between 10.00 AM and 10.00 PM. This shows that there is no effective communication between the two departments. Another secondary issue is lack of coordination and integration of resources within the institution. As presented in the case study, it seems that when a problem emerges in the institution no one is ready to take responsibility. Each of the sides wants to keep away from the problem and shifts it to the other department.
Organization strengths and weaknesses
The institution has both strengths and weaknesses that have been presented either directly or indirectly in the case study material. Some of the strengths include the gender equality issue. The institution seems to understand the importance of human resource in the healthcare organizations; for example, each of the sides of level 6 is managed by either male or female gender which increases the HR initiative to eradicate gender disparity issue in the health sector. On the other hand, there are also some weaknesses that the organization needs to improve; for example, poor performance due to delay in medication administration. The case presents that patients are not given their medications on the right time because of the problems that can be managed. Again, the institution lacks proper coordination and communication channel; the pharmacy is located underground but they cannot be able to get right or reliable information from the nursing rooms located in level 6. Therefore, the institution needs to improve its communication so that every department can get the right information. Proper communication also assists in ensuring that any change made in the organization is effectively supplied throughout all the departments.
Alternatives and Resolution
The problems that the organization experiences are controllable and can be managed with proper and effective management strategies. Success in healthcare organization can be greatly influenced by teamwork (Leggat, 2007). Therefore, the nurse managers need to focus on building an effective teamwork; where information is proper delivered from one department to the other. Again, to achieve high quality service provision and also safe patient care the organization needs to invest in teamwork.
Again, the organization needs to improve its communication system. Technology has been a determining factor of success in the world of business in terms of improve and efficient communication. Therefore, the management needs to invest also in communication by improving the technical resources that can enhance the coordination, sharing and integration of information and other resources in each department (Sutter et al., 2009).
Effective managing change strategy can also help the institution improve its performance. If the pharmacy had the right information at the right time about the change in stock schedule there would be no problem in the administration of medication to patients. Therefore, the organization needs to draft a protocol of how each department can be informed of changes that affect their operations. Effective managing change protocol can assist enhance the patients care because every medication will be delivered on time as prescribed; and this will be reflected on the improved health conditions of patients.
Organization cannot operate in a vacuum; there must be personnel that ensure that every activity is carried out as planned. Therefore, the organization needs to come up with the monitor and control protocol to ensure that the changes suggested are efficiently implemented. The organization needs to establish an effective and active communication sector headed by IT competent personnel that will ensure that information flows from one department to another. Effective teamwork can be monitored and controlled by a supervisor; therefore, the organization needs to choose an overall supervisor who will oversee that all the organizational operations are carried out effectively. Such a supervisor will monitor the performance of both departments. The supervisor has to ensure that the right medication is administered to the patient at the right time at both schedules set by the hospital. He/she will further ensure that the pharmacy delivers the medications on time.
Leggat, S. G. (2007). Effective healthcare teams require effective team members: defining teamwork competencies. BMC Health Services Research,7(1), 1.Suter, E., Oelke, N. D., Adair, C. E., & Armitage, G. D. (2009). Ten key principles for successful health systems integration. Healthcare quarterly (Toronto, Ont.), 13(Spec No), 16.Townsend, K., Wilkinson, A., Allan, C., & Bamber, G. (2012). Mixed signals in HRM: the HRM role of hospital line managers1. Human Resource Management Journal, 22(3), 267-282.
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