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Healthcare Administration and Management

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Healthcare Administration and Management Final

Sara Fletcher

Colorado Christian University

The full range of healthcare management and administration is comprised of a vast amount of competencies including leadership, management, motivation, strategic planning and marketing, disparities with relation to cultural proficiency and healthcare fraud and abuse. While this is not an inclusive list of the roles, responsibilities and competencies a healthcare manager must possess, it is an inclusive place to begin to understand what it takes to move into a career direction of an effective healthcare administrators regardless of the organizational type. Personal experiences from my time as a healthcare manager so far have given me insight of the basic functions, however this course and many others I have already taken have allowed me to expand my knowledge base to become more effective in future roles as I move on within my career.

As Buchbinder and Shanks, 2017, point out there is a very distinct difference between leaders and managers; “Leaders usually take a focus that is more external, whereas the focus of managers is more internal” (pg. 24). The top leaders of a healthcare organization work not only with the stakeholders of the business but communicate and align with vendors, community partners and other healthcare organizations to bring value and opportunities to the business. Effective leaders have competencies that span many areas that are developed through lifelong learning, characteristic traits such as honesty and integrity, critical thinking skills to make quality decisions, effective communication skills with all levels, the ability to develop and nurture others’ skills as well as conflict management and negotiations. Within the healthcare organization I currently work we could not have been any luckier to have our practice administrator leading our organization. She builds a culture of accountability, high performers purposeful work, with the help of a Quint Studer book “Hardwiring Excellence” that lays down the foundation of her development of others and what we strive to be as an organization. The encouragement and continuous development of our manager group as well as staff that comes from our practice administrator shows her leadership skills that she has developed over the past fifteen years of her career in healthcare administration. She always has an open door for anyone who needs to utilize her skills to make decisions, assistance with staff management, customer service to our patients and even motivation in achieving our personal goals.

Managers have an extraordinary task of motivating the employees they supervise in their health organization, we are always asking them to do more with less and this causes fatigue and frustrations. There are a whole host of ways to motivate people in general however there are some techniques that can be applied within the workplace to align the organizational mission, values and goals with those of the employees. In our organization we have an employee of the month who is given an extra PTO day as a reward, and is chosen by their peers. In our leadership meetings each manager points out an employee “star” for the month highlighting something specific that they did to go above and beyond their job duties. Each manager also furthers the acknowledgement of the star employees by telling them thank you in person and what they were nominated for as a star employee. There is a very transparent level of communication in our organization, so staff know what our priorities are and what the leadership group is currently working on. We also encourage staff to present ideas for improvements they see as weaknesses within the organization or added value that can be given to developing new service lines; we have a very “open door” policy and will implement any ideas that have possibilities to improve the organization. By allowing such involvement of the front-line staff we create a culture of owners versus renters and Quint Studer calls it. They have a level of commitment that is much greater than someone who works in a job just to collect a paycheck. By valuing their input, it gives them a sense of purpose and increases their level of performance as well. When we show our employees that their ideas and goals are important to the organization is becomes a win/win situation for all, improvement in efficiencies, processes, growth and long-term goal achievement.

The use of a long-term strategic and marketing plan are key attributes of a healthcare manager while remaining compliant with governmental regulations. While the strategic plan process simplified includes the development of the strategic plan and execution of the organizational strategy,” it is in no way just a straightforward process (pg. 108). Analyzing the organization internally and externally through the SWOT analysis in conjunction with a market assessment identify the key strategies to allow for the development of the plan to grow the organization. More importantly than the identification and planning strategies is the execution of the plan. At that time is where the real work begins, applying the strategies and by this trial and error or success the plan must continuously be monitored or adjusted to achieve the desired long-term goals of the organization. Just as the strategic plan of a healthcare organization is consistently changing the long-term goals, the marketing plan focuses on “specific tactical activities which are more short-term in nature” (Buchbinder & Shanks, 2017 pg. 137). Annually the practice I work in budgets marketing in TV, radio, internet ads as well as hospital foundation sponsorships that are all tailored to networking and highlighting the services we offer specifically new service lines. Most recently we have begun an Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinic to facilitate pathways designed for metastatic prevention as well as quality of life. To accompany this clinic, we have begun a wives of prostate cancer support group which services those in which their husbands are still battling or have lost their life to the disease. This marketing strategy took extensive data mining, creation of a pathway nurse, marketing materials and extensive communication through all levels of the organization extending to patients and the community.

Within our community on the Western Slope of Colorado we have an organization, Quality Health Network which is the health information exchange, a repository of health records from multiple healthcare organization types such as hospitals, physician practices, home-health agencies and many others. Just this last week they hosted their Annual Summit locally in Grand Junction, CO and the theme was connecting the social, cultural and healthcare aspect of those who live in our community. It was an extraordinary experience to network, collaborate and discuss how different types of agencies can commit to address the disparities of healthcare in our own backyard. One of the major impacting factors that was pointed out causing some of the disparities in our community was the separation and lack of communication of social services clients receive or need that become barriers to their healthcare needs. If we are able to tie these two divisions together for the people in our area, giving them enhanced access to the services they need and improve communication between the resources it could vastly improve the overall life for those in our community. A panel discussion in one of the breakout sessions opened up the lines of communication between physicians, healthcare administrators, home-health workers and human services agencies regarding the needs of the community and how they can help each other provide access to each other for those in need. Each side had helpful information for the other in terms of improved assessments for patients, for example; a patient who frequents the ER for insulin may know how to keep their blood sugars regulated with the insulin but is unable to fill a 30 or 90 day supply of it because they do not have a refrigerator to store it in. By evaluating the frequency of this patient in the ER, the physician may want to ask this patient if their basic needs are being met and if they have the tools and resources needed to properly manage their diabetes. If they do not, the physician would have the ability to refer the patient directly to a human services agent who can then assist the patient with those needs. QHN intends to create a connection to accomplish this goal. It already houses healthcare information, however, the challenge now becomes how to create and connect a repository of social services while still maintain privacy of the patients.



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