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Critical Thinking Case Study: Let It Pour - My First Assignment as Executive Assistant

Essay by   •  April 12, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,200 Words (9 Pages)  •  2,166 Views

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Let It Pour: My First Assignment as Executive Assistant

Hospitals are a necessary part of every individual's life. When one thinks of hospitals, help comes to mind (Hospitals Struggle to Keep Their Promises). Neither a person's age, ethnicity, nor economic background should matter when it relates to access to healthcare. Everyone will need hospital care at one point in their lives, no matter how healthy one may think he or she is. That is the reality. Unfortunately, many of these organizations are in danger. "Hospitals are experiencing a period of financial duress unprecedented in recent history. The number of hospitals that have closed their doors is at an all-time high, and many more might close within the next few years" (Moore et al, 1999). It is ironic to think that the institutions such as Faith Community Hospital that provide healthcare and even save lives, face severe problems. Problems that must be addressed early to avoid jeopardizing an individual's access to healthcare should those same problems lead to the hospital's demise.

Faith Community Hospital presently faces a variety of issues that are caused by a couple of problems. The first problem is the mission statement that is established at Faith Community Hospital. It is instilled in every member who works at the facility. The staff has gone so far as to include it on the back of everyone's business cards so that anyone who receives a card reads it as well. It is a mission statement that when it was implemented was well intended and supposed to unify everyone at Faith Community Hospital but has caused problems instead. The second problem is the lack of concrete organizational policies or guidelines involving certain practices at the hospital. In some cases, both the misinterpretation of the mission statement and the lack of concrete organizational policies and/or guidelines are the reasons behind certain actions by personnel, which in turn jeopardizes the institution.

The mission statement reads, "With the foundation and commitment of our spiritual heritage and values, our mission is to promote the health and well-being of the people in the communities we serve through a comprehensive continuum of services provided in collaboration with the partners who share the same vision and values" (rEsource). The mission statement is too broad and the way that it is written opens up the opportunity for a wide variety of interpretations. Which is what is occurring and causing a number of problems within different departments at Faith Community Hospital. Although, Faith Community Hospital is a not-for-profit organization, its financial strength is significant to its livelihood. The mission statement lacks mentioning the financial aspect, which causes issues as well. Everyone agrees that it is important that a health care institution's mission and values are embodied in all its programs, services, and activities (Ethical Conduct for Health Care Institutions). The institution should be careful that its mission statement is written in a clear and concise manner avoiding different interpretations of such statement.

The stakeholders who makeup Faith Community Hospital include the Board of Directors of the Faith Foundation, management, physicians, employees, and patients are all affected in one way or another by the issues that exist at the facility. The stakeholders makeup a very diverse group of people who have different views and beliefs. It is an advantage that the community is aware of Faith Community Hospital's religious heritage and commitment to the public because that same openness is what attracts the wide variety of believers (resource). Unfortunately that is also the reason why the mission statement is being interpreted differently. The portion of the mission statement that reads, "With the foundation and commitment of our spiritual heritage and values, our mission is to promote the health and well-being of the people in the communities we serve" (resource) is the part that is the understood differently by many. The varying interpretation by a hospital pharmacist is what is causing him or her to fill uninsured prescriptions by accepting payment in installments, two counselors treating some clients pro bono and a resident ordering unnecessary exams for the terminally ill in hopes that something will save their lives.

The lack of concrete policies and guidelines at Faith Community Hospital is a problem that is causing personnel to take certain actions that puts the future of the hospital in danger. For example, the present case involving Child Protective Services, where it is alleged that the hospital failed to provide services due to abiding by the parents' wishes. Another scenario where the lack of policies and guidelines affect the situation is the way that staff has handled Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) directives. In one case the DNR directives were executed without any written orders in existence. On the, other hand written orders were existence for DNR directives to be executed and they were not followed due to the staff taking it upon themselves to make that decision by either following the patient's family wishes or driven by their own moral or religious beliefs .

Both the diverse interpretation of the mission statement and the problem with the lack of concrete policies and guidelines are causing problems with the situation where doctors are putting patients first regardless of the consequences. To complicate matters, doctors also have different interpretations of the Hippocratic oath that they all, as physicians have to abide by, and firmly believe in. Unfortunately, even when doctors ethically abide by the Hippocratic Oath, there may be legal repercussions that they personally or Faith Community Hospital may face. There are also times when patients refuse to take certain medical services or on the, other hand staff members refuse to provide certain services. Both cases are as a cause of the individual's religious beliefs or convictions (resource). The legal repercussions that a hospital could face are endless in this day in age when the existence of lawsuits within the medical community is abundant. That in itself puts the hospital in danger of going out of business all together.

Another issue that Faith Community Hospital is facing is the increase in cost of caring for patients compared to last year from $ 217 to $ 240 per patient per day. The cost of health care keeps rising yet the amount of money that HMOs, PPOs and government agencies such as Medicare and Medicaid reimburse hospitals seem to keep getting lower. It is difficult for hospitals such as Faith Community Center to survive if changes that will affect its financial stability are not made. In every aspect of business when one thinks of making financial decisions, one word that

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