Healthcare Organization Case Study
Banner Health is a non-profit healthcare system based in Arizona, United States. It operates twenty-nine hospitals and three academic medical centers in seven states (Banner Health, 2015). The organization has evolved rapidly in the recent past to become a fully integrated system. It serves both patients insured by the government and private insurance plans. Because of changes in the healthcare system that influence healthcare providers to change their tactics and strategies to satisfy clients, systems and institutions must be ready to meet the needs of patients in the coming years. For this purpose, Banner Health has elaborated an effective strategic plan to address the requirements of patients in the next decade through resource management, network growth, patient satisfaction, and nurse staffing issues.
One of the most notable challenges that Banner Health and other healthcare organizations face is the increasing number of elderly patients. It is a result of baby boomers getting old and retiring from their work. An estimated three million of such persons will reach retirement age every year for the next 20 years (Anderson & Squires, 2010). Consequently, the need for patient-centered medical homes will emerge. Currently, Banner Health has started using such a strategy, since it is evident from the recognition of its Six Weld County Banner Health Clinics in 2014 by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (Banner Health, 2014). Additionally, Banner Health has plans to increase the number of its health centers using the patient-centered care model. From this analysis, it is evident that the organization is adequately prepared to address health care needs of senior citizens who will need its services in the coming ten years.
Another essential need of Banner Healths clients is the ability to practise self-care, whereby patients prefer home care using self-monitoring technologies. Innovations in the information technology sector have empowered consumers to enjoy self-service in various realms of life. As such, they are likely to demand the same services from their healthcare providers. It requires the latter to have an appropriate infrastructure to respond to such needs. Banner Health does not have such technologies that allow patients to monitor their health conditions and communicate with their caregivers promptly. Such inadequacy is a challenge to companys goal of promoting health and wellness to the population it serves. Competition from other healthcare providers may reduce its market share unless it implements such technologies to align with changing patient preferences.
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The third type of the need that Banner Health patients will have in the next decade is the protection of their medical records from access by the unauthorized personnel. Electronic medical records have improved patient treatment outcomes throughout the United States because of consolidated insights that caregivers get from them. Additionally, such information promotes collaboration among healthcare service providers dealing with patients and enables to avoid the wrong diagnosis that may lead to fatalities. Such benefits and legal requirements imposed by the government make it mandatory for hospitals to have electronic records systems. However, apart from having the latter, Banner Health must protect them through a continuous security improvement. Although the organization has policies and procedures that enhance the privacy of its patients records, advancements in technology in the next decade will challenge the existing strategies and may render them obsolete (Kottke & Isham, 2010). Therefore, Banner Health cannot claim to be ready to assure clients of the protection of their medical records.
Apart from its readiness to meet the needs of its clients, the healthcare organization must address other areas to remain competitive and relevant in the dynamic health environment. These include network growth, resource management, patient satisfaction, and nurse staffing. These aspects are addressed adequately in the strategic plan below.
For Banner Health to address its network growth, it needs to focus on merging with other healthcare facilities with similar missions and visions. One of the current trends for the next ten years is the need to lower costs. In line with this, one of the strategies used by organizations in the healthcare sector is merging to create mega systems to gain economies of scale. Banner Health should implement such a plan to merge with corporations with similar goals and aspirations. Moreover, there has been an increasing demand for healthcare organizations to lower costs while improving the quality of their services (Dahlen & Bailey, 2013). The consolidation of healthcare facilities may create problems because Banner Health may not have control over its affiliate organizations within the merger. As such, mistakes made by individual physicians may become a liability of Banner Health and can lead to lawsuits. The best way to ensure that mergers succeed is to establish a control system that involves a common culture. Having similar operational procedures and oversight approaches can facilitate the growth of the network and promote its long-term success (Hwang, Chang, LaClair, & Paz, 2013).
The resources at the disposal of Banner Health are limited, while the needs it should serve are increasing daily. As such, the best way to manage resources is to maximize their value. The first method to ensure the maximization of resources is to organize the working environment in such a way that the treatment of common diseases affecting organ systems is under control of one department. Specialists dealing with problems facing similar organ systems should cooperate to ensure the best outcome (Huber, 2014). As such, pooling resources together to support such an effort should be a priority for Banner Health.
Since the dynamics of healthcare delivery has shifted drastically, Banner Health should prioritize on patient satisfaction. Traditionally, the performance of the organization was based on the volume of work done. However, the most attractive approach is measuring the outcomes based on the value of services rendered (Kottke & Isham, 2010). It depends on the satisfaction of patients from the start to the end of service delivery. Banner Health should train its staff in the entire organization to ensure that they channel their efforts towards customer satisfaction. The organization should connect its compensation plan to customer satisfaction. As a result, every employee can feel motivated to promote the welfare of clients. When workers receive a reward for the satisfaction of patients, they modify their behaviors to suit customer requirements. Thus, it leads to desirable results (Huber, 2014).
Nurse staffing is a critical aspect for Banner Health because nurses form an essential part of care delivery. There is a reduction in the number of primary care physicians because of a reduced pay in the entire healthcare industry. It has caused the lack of qualified staff and the need for such gap to be filled by nurses. Banner Health should analyze all its facilities, project the shortage of physicians, and match it with the equal number of nurses hired.
In conclusion, Banner Health is ready to deal with baby boomers retirement because it has already adopted the patient-centered medical homes model. However, the organization is not prepared to secure its electronic medical records and does not have technologies to support self-care desired by its clients. Banner Health should merge with organizations with similar goals and objectives to achieve network growth. Organizing the treatment of similar diseases according to organ systems in one department can maximize the usage of resources. The training of the staff on the need to satisfy clients and providing a compensation package for customer satisfaction can promote patients well-being. The analysis of all Banner Health facilities should identify nurses deficiencies and hire them accordingly.