Essay: Future of Healthcare

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[. . .] The corridors should have windows for allowing daylight in and should be inclusive of clocks with the time of day displayed clearly. The light should be filtered so that the hallways are not shadowed so as to confuse someone with cataracts and other vision problems. As well the use of signs that are high in contrast and have a large font will also assist the elderly in finding their way around easily.

Emergency Department Design

The Emergency Department should also accommodate the elderly through having triage areas that are different from the usual triage areas. Instead of overhead lights that glare brightly and open waiting areas the smaller triage areas with walls that absorb sound and that are not as brightly lit are more comforting to the elderly individual who might not see or hear well. The open cubicles in the general triage area of the Emergency Department is stressful to the elderly individual as they alarms, paging system and the sound of other patients and their families creates sensory overload in many elderly patients and they are often ready to leave the Emergency Department before they can receive treatment. In addition, the elderly individual should be placed in a room that is located near the nurses' station and near a bathroom to reduce their fear and their stress while in the Emergency Department.

Private Room Design

Doors in the elderly individual's private room should be equipped with levers rather than knobs since the elderly individual is likely to have problems opening doors with knobs that have to be twisted. The elderly individual's private room should have plenty of space for a family member to stay with them around-the-clock. There should be arm and handgrips on the chairs and the bed in the elderly patient's room. In addition there should be amber light-emitting diode (LED) lights that stay lit at night so that the elderly patient can safely go to the restroom and so that their sleep in not inhibited. The bathrooms in the elderly individual's private room should have handrails. There should be plenty of area in the bathroom for someone to assist the elderly both on the toilet and in the shower and colors on the floors and walls should contrast in the bathroom for the elderly so that they are able to easily locate the support and grip bars and the other fixtures in the bathroom.

Interdisciplinary Teams

The research on elderly acute care hospitalization clearly indicates the possibility for improving the hospitalization outcomes of elderly patients. Included among the interventions which are successfully are such as interdisciplinary teams, therapies that are patient-centered, collaboration, and geriatric assessment that is of a comprehensive natures. Many of the therapies are designed specifically to assist in the prevention of functional decline and for improving the planning for discharge of the elderly patient. Included among the interventions are such as inpatient geriatric evaluation and units for management, acute care for elders (ACE) units, the Geriatric Care Program, the Hospital Elder Life Program, and the use of advanced practice nurses to improve planning for discharge reported to involve coordination of the discharge planning for the patient with their attending physician followed by visit to the patient's home after they have been discharged which serves to bring about a reduction in the rate of readmissions to the hospital.

Community Collaboration

Those in hospital leadership roles should ensure that they meet and collaborate with the community in which the acute care hospital is located to gain input on what is being done well and what needs to be worked on for improvements. The community in which the acute care hospital is situated is key in gaining insight into what the hospital can do to make the organization more functional and effective in its provision of health care to the elderly within that community.

Interagency Collaboration

Interagency collaboration is particularly important in the area of hospital finance since the elderly are typically receiving Medicare or Medicaid which assists in paying for their hospitalization charges. The changes which are presently occurring due to health care reform make it particularly important that the hospital billing department work collaboratively with all agencies so that they understand the changes in health care payment systems. One example of the problems that are likely to occur was reported recently by Forbes in a report relating that Medicare was not paying for diagnostic testing as it had prior to Obamacare and that the process of billing for these tests had changed. Therefore, knowing how to properly bill for services is critical in ensuring that the hospital receives pay for services rendered.

Training and Education for Employees

Training and education for hospital employees should be a critical requirement from the view of any hospital administrator. This is because the field of health care is ever changing and knowledge is always growing. With the changes in health care reform, continuing education and training is vital for all hospital employees and not just those providing health care services.

Part IV. Quality Indicators for Performance Improvement

The principles of selecting performance measures for hospital health care service quality include that the performance measure must be meaningful and as well it must be valid and reliable in nature. Measures utilized for quality indicators must be such that can be adjusted for variability among patients and that can be modified for improvements in the processes of health care provision. The Institute of Medicine recommends six objectives for improving quality of healthcare including those of: (1) safety; (2) effectiveness; (3) patient-centered care; (4) care provided in a timely nature; (5) efficient care; and (6) equitable care. (2007, paraphrased) The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a toolkit for hospitals use in assessing quality indicators for services rendered. Inpatient Quality Indicators are a set of measures that make provision of a view on quality of care provided by a hospital through use of hospital administrative data. The indicators are used in assessing quality of care based on inpatient mortality along with procedures and specific medical conditions. Questions related to such as misuse, under- and over-use, procedures used, and volume of use. Patient Safety Indicators are those which assess information on hospital complications as well as adverse events relating to surgeries and other procedures.

Part V. Strategies for Improvement Action

Becoming a Geriatric Center of Excellence

Strategies that would be utilized in health care quality improvement would be geared toward becoming a geriatric center of excellence in that the improvements sought would be in adherence with the principles and quality set out for hospitals that are deemed as a geriatric center of excellence. This would require comparison between those objectives and the hospital's present level of performance and then setting goals to align with where the hospital needs to be in terms of performance as compared to where the hospital presently is in terms of performance on quality indicators.

Development of a Geriatric Emergency Department and In-Patient Units

The hospital upon conducting assessment on quality indicators on performance would set aims toward developing an emergency department that was designed and full staffed by health care providers that are educated and trained properly in providing geriatric care as well as ensuring that the hospital was staffed by health care providers that were properly educated and trained in geriatric health care provision.

Optimize Hospital Design for Geriatric Patient

The hospital would focus on a design that was optimized for the geriatric patient and their family and would be such that would provide the geriatric patient and their family with an environment that was conducive to healing and that was in an environment characterized by a reduction in stress generally experienced by geriatric patients and their family members.

Conclusion

Hospital administration in today's health care environment has many considerations from hospital design, employee education and training, training of hospital billing employees, patient safety, health care provision quality, conducting quality assessments, collaboration with other hospital staff, board of directors to the community in which the hospital is situated. During the present health care reform process there will be many changes to occur in the way that insurers and Medicare and Medicaid pay for services and there will be an increase exponentially in the future of elderly individuals who are accessing the health care system. This is particularly true of the acute care hospital both in terms of the emergency department and those admitted for inpatient treatment and services. Many of those admitted to the hospital will be in the age 65 years of age and older age group will be nursing home and long-term care residents, which presents a population of frail elderly individuals with special health care complications. Special hospital and emergency room design is needed for elderly individuals requiring that hospitals improve their design… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Future of Healthcare.  (2013, October 19).  Retrieved April 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/future-healthcare/1739924

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"Future of Healthcare."  Essaytown.com.  October 19, 2013.  Accessed April 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/future-healthcare/1739924.