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Healthcare Administration Research

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Part I: Lesson 6- Electronic Health Records Case Study

As the administrator of Sierra Vista Hospital, I would be a leader that will champion the use of the electronic health records. I would be aware of skepticism about its usage by physicians and staff. To address this I will thoroughly explain why it is important to shift to EHR.  I will try to buy each staff members into this platform from a personal level, convincing them patiently as opposed to forcing them. I will outline a plan, communicate to them in time and avail the training so that everyone fully understands how different tasks will be handled to achieve the same common goals. For instance, I will bring in different specialists to show and demonstrate how to use the systems, while at the same time encouraging participation and feedback (Battista, 2016). It implies that the transition will be hands-on, as I would encourage open-communication, especially for suggestions to improve processes and offering helpful tips for those who seem to struggle. I will patiently guide older staff to who may not be tech-savvy.

On the EHR benefits, Sierra Vista Hospital will encounter many milestones. First, there would a reduction in medical errors as there would be computerized prescription entries; computer-assisted reconciling of patient medications, and prediction of drug interactions among others (Alpert, 2016). The patient data would be stored sequentially, and retrieved fast and efficiently.  Apart from reduced billing and coding errors, the cost will be minimized as well. There would be more accountability as audit trails will be well laid out. There would be ease of information as patient portals will be easily accessed for them to view, and print various documentation such as invoices, radiology reports, laboratory results, as well as physician/ nurse notes (Campanella et al., 2016: Hoover, 2017). In essence, the staff-patient relations will improve due to better management of records will result in efficiency of service delivery. For instance, the medical history of a patient will be easily and timely accessible improving the quality of subsequent treatments.

Further on, the staff and physicians may be concerned several objections to the EHR implementation. For some, the shift may be quite cumbersome as they are used to traditional ways of handling tasks. As such they may not be comfortable with the usage of computers. Some could not be well skilled, and others fear that with EHR systems there would less communication at the workplace (Reece, 2011). Others may be distracted and spend more time on machines. Some may feel like data entry clerks and face data entry/retrieval frustrations (Cocchi, 2014). Others would raise privacy concerns saying that the computers could be hacked or accessed by unauthorized persons. So, with the cumbersome nature of usage, there could be time wastage, more costs and a reduction in the productivity gains.

Nonetheless, most of these problems can be well handled with proper planning, training, induction and post EHR-implementation follow-ups. For the skepticism on the cumbersome nature of usage of the systems, I will assure the staff for adequate training on the usage of the systems.  I will appeal for more peer-to-peer communication so that knowledgeable staff helps others in the usage of the EHR systems.  My training and induction will also involve attitude management so that physicians and nurses feel part of processes as opposed to feeling like ‘data entry clerks.' The end result is to argue the staff to feel comfortable while using the systems to maximize the benefits. In the course of training, the issues of privacy and unauthorized access will be well handled so that patient data and other records to avoid any data leakages or confusion in retrievals.

Part II: Importance of Course Objectives for hospital administrators

1. Describe how the essential activities of healthcare administration such as workplace safety, compliance plans, strategic planning, risk management, and crisis management influence the success of a healthcare organization.

Healthcare entities are organizations that should be guided towards the desired goals. Hospital administrators are at the helm formulating and guiding every step towards the vision and mission (Speziale, 2015). As such, main areas of points such as compliance, risk management, workplace safety and crisis management matter a lot in the sustained journey toward sustainable future where goals and objectives are met. But before that, strategic planning is integral for every administrator to provide a roadmap of where the entity is headed.  When an administrator scores well on these different areas, the organization is best placed to forge ahead and meet its goals for the benefits of its diverse clients.

2. Explain how the use of administrative and clinical technology can enhance healthcare operations.

First, Campanella et al., (2016) recognize that the modern healthcare environment is getting increasingly dependent on technology, both in clinical processes and even in executive leadership. It is not just a mere trend but evidence reveals that technology implementation creates high levels of efficiency both to hospital staff and the clients they serve. Use of technologies cut bureaucratic process (automation), save time and costs and better serve the people than ever before. With administrative technology, the leaders have been keen to adopt evidence-based practices, exercise open-mindedness and involving everyone in the effective management of the institutions.  

3. Describe how food operations are handled in the health care industry.

First, Edwards and Hartwell (2006) classify foodservice operations into integrated foodservice systems, food manufacturing systems, and food delivery systems. Therefore, the hospital workplace also relies on the interplay between the three. There are operations directed to the staff as well as those to the patients. Reading from the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities by the CDC, the provision of food should be healthy, meet environmentally responsible practices and follow food safety practices. At the hospital, wellness, safety, and nutrition are closely tied and food operations need to be sensitive to achieve these goals. For instance, operations should be done to minimize food-borne illness by following plans and policies to ensure safe foods. Often, specialized nutrition foods are in demand to a section of patients and thus suppliers need to heed to these dietary provisions. In addition to that, food manufacturers and suppliers follow the additional regulatory requirements such as delivery schedules, quantities, labeling and nutrition content among many others (Purdy-Reilly, Elder, and Contois, 2018).

4. Describe how internal and external activities of healthcare operations such as performance improvement, audits and inspections, legal and ethical issues, and healthcare marketing, advertising, and public relations improve healthcare operations overall.

Healthcare operations are a term referring to a wide range of activities across many sectors. Therefore, the operations internally and externally are part of a system that works together to achieve overall results. A healthcare administrator, therefore, needs to be a keen focus on each of these areas to ensure that healthcare institutions work towards the effectiveness of operations. For instance, performance improvement looks at improving accountability in tasks, audits and inspects for compliance and marketing and public relations to inform, persuade and link with the clients and stakeholders. Administrators focusing on internal operations improve the working environment while at the same time, liaising with the external stakeholders to ensure seamless operations that comply with policy, legal and stakeholder requirements (Mosadeghrad, 2014). Administrators thus have a critical role in guiding institutions, internally and externally to continually improve their performance and quality on the overall.

List of References

Alpert, S. (2018). The Electronic Medical Record in 2016: Advantages and disadvantages. Digit Med Vol 2:Pp. 48-51

Battista, P. (2016). How to Get Your Staff On Board the EHR Revolution. Dovetail. Retrieved on 23 May 2018 from https://dovetail.co/how-to-get-your-staff-on-board-the-ehr-revolution/

Campanella, P., Lovato, E., Marone, C., Fallacara, L, Mancuso , A, Ricciardi, W, and Specchia, M. (2016). The impact of electronic health records on healthcare quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Public Health, Vol 26 (1) Pp.  60–64, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckv122

CDC (2018). Healthy Food Service Guidelines. Retrieved on 23 May 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/strategies/food-serv-guide.html

Cocchi, R. (2014). Physician resistance to EHR systems and how to overcome it. Healthcare Business & technology. Retrieved on 23 May 2018 from http://www.healthcarebusinesstech.com/ehr-systems-resistance/

Edwards, J., and Hartwell, A, (2006).  Hospital foodservice: a comparative analysis of systems and introducing the ‘Steamplicity' concept.  The Worshipful Company of Cooks Research Centre, Bournemouth University Pp. 1-29

Hoover, R. (2017). Benefits of using an electronic health record. Nursing Critical Care Vol 12 (1) Pp. 9–10 Doi: 10.1097/01.CCN.0000508631.93151.8d

Mosadeghrad, A. (2014). Factors influencing healthcare service quality. Int J Health Policy Manag. Vol 3(2): 77–89 Doi:  10.15171/ijhpm.2014.65

Purdy-Reilly, K, Elder, J., and Contois, E. (2018). Health Care Food Services. Pearson Higher Education. Retrieved on 23 May 2018 from https://www.pearsonhighered.com/hmods/modules/special-segments-and-operations/health-care-food-services/index.html

Reece, R. (2011). Why Doctors Don't Like Electronic Health Records. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved on 23 May 2018 from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/425550/why-doctors-dont-like-electronic-health-records/

Speziale, G. (2015). Strategic management of a healthcare organization: engagement, behavioral indicators, and clinical performance. European Heart Journal Supplements, Volume 17, Issue suppl_A, Pp.  A3–A7, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suv003

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