Pour Faith Community Hospital Has Become Sick Term Paper

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Faith Community Hospital has become sick and is currently in need of support and care. We currently face two significant problems that, if not addressed immediately, could undermine our work and could threaten our ability to offer quality care to the people in our community. The problems we face include the following main issues. First, our costs are increasing while our patient population is decreasing. In short, Faith is losing money. Although our mission revolves around healing, we cannot escape the fact that we must run an efficient organization. We must take care not to go into debt, even as patient care costs, insurance premiums and fixed costs rise. Our staff and employees as well as our patients depend on the smooth operations of a well-run health care organization.

Second, Faith serves the community by offering the best possible health care services to the greatest number of people at the most affordable prices we can provide. However, Faith Community Hospital has failed to clarify its ethical policies, the core guidelines that form the foundation of our medical care. We have also neglected to clearly outline hospital policy, rules, and regulations regarding potentially controversial medical and legal issues. Although we are united in a commitment to the core values of Faith Community Hospital, it seems that our diverse body of health care workers lacks a set of unifying principles by which we can work efficiently, ethically, and within the law. As executive assistant, I care about the fate of Faith Community Hospital and have outlined in this report a plan that should ensure our success in the future.

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Term Paper on Pour Faith Community Hospital Has Become Sick Assignment

The first problem we will address is outlined in the Faith Community Hospital financial reports. According to our accounting and finance departments, daily patient care costs have risen considerably: from $217 per patient, per day last year to $240 per patient, per day this year. In addition to the ten percent increase in daily patient care costs since last year, our patient population has dropped by seven percent. Faith Community Hospital is losing money and we need to do something as soon as possible. Our financial analyst claimed that we need to reduce our fixed costs by 15% if we want to break even by this time next year. Currently our fixed costs consume 28% of our total budget. However, reducing fixed costs is not the only way to ensure that Faith does not incur unnecessary debt. Some of our financial problems are also due to skyrocketing insurance premiums, a wave of bad press that might be causing a decrease in patient population, and the threat of lawsuits from patients and their families due to the second of our current problems: unclear ethical guidelines. Faith Community Hospital does not promote itself through the media, local schools, and other community organizations. Currently we maintain fixed costs in excess of our abilities, even though our mission statement allows for "collaboration with the partners who share the same vision and values." Many of Faith Community Hospital's costs could easily be shared among our partners.

Faith Community Hospital's Mission Statement reads as follows: "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." Our organization needs to more thoroughly explicate our mission statement to avoid some of the problems that have recently arisen on our hospital floors.

For example, many of our patients refuse treatment on religious grounds, which is fine until the patient happens to be a minor. Recently, we encountered a potentially problematic case in our Neo-Natal Ward. Members of our medical staff cooperated with the parents' wishes and refused to administer treatment to a child. As a result, Child Protective Services stepped in and is currently taking of taking custody of the baby. They are also threatening to file charges against Faith Community Hospital, a lawsuit that we can ill afford.

Doctors and nursing staff need to work on the same page, within the same ethical and legal guidelines. Occasionally, the written wishes of the patient conflict with the express wishes of the patient's family members. When the patient is compromised or unconscious, unable to make a decision regarding course of care, the families often step in and intervene. For example, two related controversies erupted in the ICU wing recently. In one case, three staff members initiated Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) directives in the absence of a written order in light of the family's wishes. In a separate incident, staff members failed to follow the written DNR directives because of a family member's request. Our health care staff is top-notch and offers the best possible care to our patients. Medical decision-making is rarely easy but a clear set of guidelines would make the decision-making process much simpler, more effective, and less contentious.

Evaluation: Possible Courses of Action

Regarding our financial woes, we have the following options before us. Faith Community Hospital could focus on increasing patient population. Since last year our patient population ahs decreased by seven percent. To increase patient population we could market our services more robustly through community groups and institutions including private doctors, schools, community centers, and even using the media to promote Faith Community Hospital.

However, one reason our patient population has declined since last year may be that we have been doing our job. Our mission is "to promote the health and well-being of the people in the communities we serve," and if we see fewer patients it might mean that we have effectively promoted health and well-being. Increasing patient population may therefore not be one of our primary concerns when considering means of raising revenue or cutting costs. We might, for instance, consider decreasing our fixed costs. Decreasing fixed costs could include outsourcing some of our most costly services to local specialty centers. Our mission statement refers to "a comprehensive continuum of services provided in collaboration with the partners." Faith Community Hospital cannot possibly become a leading expert in all areas of health care. A continuum of services means reaching out and working with local area specialty centers, trusting them to provide quality care because, as our mission statement avers, they "share the same vision and values." We can assess our medical staff and choose which departments to maintain strongly, while at the same time decreasing costs by transferring equipment and services from our weakest departments to our partners.

Faith Community Hospital has little control over the cost of insurance premiums. However, one way we might be able to lower our fixed costs is through a comprehensive investigation of available insurance providers. Our analysts may be able to discover lower-cost insurance alternatives that enable us to cover patient needs while maintaining low operation costs. We understand that our dedicated team of professionals sometimes offers patients pro bono care, and that our honorable pharmacy sometimes lets patients pay for their medications in installments. We could put a stop to such charitable activities by mandating that all health care workers employed by us must assume the costs of pro bono work or missed medical payments. Alternatively we could put a stop to off-the-record transactions entirely. However, offering altruistic care maintains our reputation as a faith-based organization that cares more about people than profit.

Finally, cutting costs in the future will also require strict attention to the law. In the face of a pending lawsuit filed by Child Protective Services, we must pay closer attention to our legal obligations to prevent potentially devastating litigation costs. Our financial analyst might be able to offer us advice as to whether or not we should hire a team of retainer attorneys.

Regarding our code of ethics, Faith Community Hospital could revise its policies to provide clearer outlines for doctors and nursing staff. Controversial topics such as euthanasia and refusal to receive care should be included in the revised policy, which would ideally be drafted with the assistance of our medical staff as well as attorneys and experts in medical ethics. Regular staff meetings might also help medical professional navigate through tricky issues that arise in our hospital. We might want to require hospital administration to sign orders for any situation in which patient wishes, family wishes, parent wishes, and the law all seem to conflict. Discussing controversial issues openly is often the most effective means of avoiding misunderstandings and costly mistakes.

Recommendations and Conclusions

The future of Faith Community Hospital depends on our ability to respond to the problems we face today. Those problems are not overwhelming; yet they might be a year or two down the road if we don't take action soon. The two main problems we face here at Faith Community Hospital include financial issues and general agreements on hospital medical ethics policies. In the previous section I outlined possible courses of action we might take to solve current… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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