St. James Hospital is a small facility that can accommodate 70-80 patients. Medical staff provide patient treatment, surgery, diagnosis, and first aid for acute conditions, while nurses ensure care and routine procedures such as testing, giving medication, and assisting with hygiene procedures. The hospital administration is responsible for resource allocation, communication with suppliers, and hospital operation’s organizational and technical aspects. The hospital receives part of the funds from patients or their insurance companies and part from government funding and sponsors.
The hospital has two current problems, such as a shortage of nursing staff and frequent patient re-admission, which are interrelated. Older patients most require more attentive and constant care, as, due to the symptoms of aging and their diseases, they are often unable to take care of themselves. For this reason, nurses are forced to pay attention to only the most essential aspects of the patient’s health conditions to have time to provide treatment for all of them. Consequently, some subsequent treatment details, such as medication or diet, may not be sufficiently discussed, understood, and remembered by patients. In addition, the lack of nurses can also force staff to discharge patients earlier to reduce the workload or provide a bed for another patient. Thus, patients are re-admitted to the hospital in less than 30 days due to incomplete treatment in the hospital or self-care mistakes at home due to lack of education.
Re-admission of patients also leads to a reduction in resources and a lack of staff in the hospital. According to the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, funding is received by the best-performing hospitals, while high re-admission rates reduce the institution’s financial assistance (“Hospital Readmissions,” 2020). St. James Hospital is a small institution, so funding cuts are dramatically affecting its resources. Thus, the administration cannot afford to hire more nurses, since the shortage in the labor market forces hospitals to offer better terms and salaries to attract professionals, but St. James Hospital cannot compete with them. Consequently, the problem of re-admission leads to an increase in the problem of staff shortages.
However, introducing changes to the hospital’s work system helps to eliminate these problems. The main actions to improve hospital operations are to pay more attention and time to patient education and create a system of follow-up calls to discharged patients by nurses. It is likely that the introduction of these approaches will affect the operation of the hospital in two stages because the staff will need to adapt to the new conditions.
In the first phase, the workload of nurses and managers will increase as their responsibilities will also include a duty of follow-up calls and provision of patient education. However, if the administration hires or appoints one or two staff members to provide education for patients, it will reduce the burden on the nurse slightly. However, once the goal of reducing readmissions has been achieved, the organization of work in the hospital will change for the better. First, the administration will receive funds to hire more nurses, which will reduce the shortage. Second, the number of patients with worsening conditions due to inappropriate treatment will decrease, which will reduce the workload of staff and allow them to improve the quality of care (Vernon et al., 2019). Better quality of services will also affect the hospital’s profits due to government aid, and higher hospital ratings. and sponsors.
Consequently, while expanding the system with more nursing staff would have been a quicker solution, it is not possible due to limited resources and changing the hospital’s situation only marginally. At the same time, completely replacing the system is counterintuitive, since although it has disadvantages, it works effectively in general. For this reason, the addition of elements such as a follow-up call system and an increased emphasis on education complements and expands the system and help to improve the hospital’s quality of care.
Implementing new changes requires several phases and stages, such as analysis, preparation, implementation, and evaluation. These stages correspond to the system of setting SMART goals and the system of step-by-step implementation of processes in the organization (“Concepts,” n / a). In the first phase, the administration needs to analyze the level of knowledge of its patients, the rates of re-administration, and the resources available for use. In the second phase, managers should hire someone to be responsible for patient education, possibly part-time, schedule follow-up calls, and prepare work phones that nurses can use to communicate with patients.
The third phase involves the implementation of the plan, that is, educational conversations with patients and follow-up calls. The fourth phase includes collecting information about the knowledge of patients, their satisfaction with the service, re-administration and feedback from the staff. In this case, the fourth phase should be carried out to the final deadline for achieving the set goals, and every 3 months to track progress and make changes if necessary. Thus, the organization of work focused exclusively on the necessary physical and psychological needs of patients during their stay in the hospital will be replaced by concern for their health state in general.
Concepts: Implementing a process in an organization. (n.d.). Web.
Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP). (2020). Web.
Vernon, D., Brown, J. E., Griffiths, E., Nevill, A. M., & Pinkney, M. (2019). Reducing readmission rates through a discharge follow-up service. Future Healthcare Journal, 6(2), 114–117. Web.