Healthcare Value Addition Strategies
The health care system has for long been characterized by high costs and various gaps in safety, quality, access and equity. The state and federal policy makers are actively involved in finding ways to tackle the issue. The process includes cutting on waste, increasing healthcare delivery efficiency and allocating more resources. The aim is to improve the service value of health care in hospitals (Porter, 2010). One of the most important factors a hospital administrator has to consider before making a decision concerning the type of program for quality improvement that a hospital may implement is to access the gains the hospital could achieve through the aspect of inefficiency reduction. The paper will, therefore, articulate on various reasons as to the importance of value-added services for patients. Furthermore, the paper will dig into various methodologies that have been successfully tested and proven to increase the value of the healthcare delivery system.
The term value-added in the literal term refers to the type of enhancement that a corporation or company gives to its services or products before eventually offering them to its customers. In the aspect of patient services, value-added amenities are meant to provide the health planners and employers with different choices, such as patient support and education, management of patient lifestyle and management of disease programs (Porter, 2010). For the proper management of healthcare value, it is important to measure or gauge the cost and the outcome of every healthcare system at patient level. The measured cost and outcome must at all times lead to covering the whole cycle of patient care.
For any medical or patient population, the outcome can always be gauged along many dimensions. They include survival, functional ability, care duration and recovery sustainability. Measuring these outcomes in a better way will further lead to the improved value of healthcare (Porter, 2010). This aspect arises because the incentives of providers will often move away from engaging in high levels of reimbursement towards improving patients’ health status.
On the other hand, less emphasis has been placed on the second component of the equation, which is cost. In the framework of value, it defines all the expenditures on available resources. The health care resources in this instance include the administrative and clinical personnel, drugs, equipment and other supplies used in the entire patient care cycle. The aspect of achieving high service value for patients has become the major goal of every healthcare delivery system (Epstein, Fiscella, Lesser, & Stange, 2010). These objectives have become the most important matters for the patients. In the case where service value improves, it is crucial to note that even patients are likely to gain, and there will be an increase in the economic sustainability of the given healthcare institution. The aspect of adding value to patient services has various benefits. In the first instance, adding value to patient service is vital for driving up the improvement of services, which to a further extent acts as a performance lever (Epstein et al., 2010).
Furthermore, the improvement of value enhances various aspects of healthcare delivery, such as patient recovery, and provides the necessary ground for patients to make informed choices. Another aspect is the improvement of proper patient recovery while ensuring there are low rates of absenteeism and staff turnover. Through the better value of healthcare, patients are likely to benefit more, as much emphasis will be placed on medical aspects that are essential for their well-being (Epstein et al., 2010). Such factors include prevention of diseases, early detection in patients, right diagnoses and other proper actions that might improve the health of the sick.
System of Functional Identification
Hospital service value addition is a very critical component in the day-to-day running of the health sector. Although, it is a greater challenge to identify the specific functional areas in which changes might be made to achieve these necessary improvements. Furthermore, it is important to pay attention to the appropriate systems that are to be employed for the identification or screening. These functional areas may include the improvement of hospital management, health sector assessment, drug safety and quality, medical errors, healthcare acquired conditions, information system constraints as well as recommendation (McClellan, McKethan, Lewis, Roski, & Fisher, 2010).
The most feasible system of identification would be the use of quantitative research techniques. Quantitative research may be defined as a structure of examination that analyzes the sequence of data conveyed through language and actions in natural settings. Therefore, as the technique pertains to healthcare provisions, it captures or provides content necessary to comprehend quantitative result by identifying variables that are vital for prospective scientific studies. Based on this technique, one learns straight from the groups that are of importance and capable of providing the insight concerning the necessary content. The system clears to a larger extent any uncertainty of changes anticipated by hospital workers and patients. For instance, if a given healthcare service provider wishes to improve patient care programs and managerial effectiveness, it would be objective to optimize the transition for all the parties involved. It is true that the parties may have a good understanding of the required changes, but there will still be some skepticism about the success of the mentioned changes (McClellan, McKethan, Lewis, Roski, & Fisher, 2010). Therefore, there is always the need to help patients accept facts. Therefore, this aspect becomes the hardest one to crack. Theoretically, the changes may be achievable, but they need to be backed up by some findings of an actual study that leads us to the use of the quantitative research techniques. Truly, there is no better system that the proposed methodology.
The data necessary for identifying specific functional areas that require change can be retrieved by various methods, both primary and secondary. The use of acquired data from patients’ databases is one of the possible ways, which is a common approach that has yielded very outstanding results in the past, even though the data is secondary. This method involves tracing backward patients’ health patterns for a given time from different administrative, laboratory, clinical or electronic health records (EHR) systems (Epstein et al., 2010). In a particular circumstance, the hospital in need of explanation of why patients die of different complications rather than the ones they are admitted for, could attempt to find out whether these complications are a result of mistakes of their medical personnel or not. This kind of finding may only be possible if there is some past data on which the arguments are based. As such, it would be more advisable for the health sector players to ensure the existence of current and up-to-date data.
The necessary information can still be discovered by simply involving or questioning the target group. Such data is primary and more likely to provide the intended results (McClellan, 2010). However, the primary method of data collection has its challenges. It is sometimes time-consuming, and getting one to give accounts of his or her life experience has not always proved successful. Carrying out clinical trials in the case of medical condition has always been a fruitful method, but it calls for more transparency. All these methods necessitate the implementation of guidelines for data usage as well as consideration of ethics and guiding principles of consistency in the contents.
The first area that might add value within Paradise Hospital is the improvement of technology. The aspect of adding value to technology is a very important factor in the healthcare system. The proliferation of medical technology has brought various benefits that have further led to major improvements in the health care delivery system for both diagnosis and treatment (Kellermann & Jones, 2013). In the first instance, the aspect of cardiac imaging on patients by cardiologists has improved over time with the introduction of Computed Tomography Scan. The machine has been essential in terms of early detection of diseases and provision of clear images of end scan results. In Paradise Hospital, poor machines and scanning equipment have lowered the patient attendance rate by 25% in the last two years. This reduction happened due to poor quality images and scan pictures, which have made it difficult to detect diseases at early stages and produce clear scan results. Improving in this area will be beneficial for the patients in terms of better managing mortality rate and improving healthcare.
Another fundamental area that requires the addition of value is the general medical quality of the hospital. For the past decade, much focus has been on the quantity, and not the quality of services that the patient receives. The current emphasis now on shifting from quantity to quality, whereby such aspects as better payment to health workers, the supply of valuable and proper medical equipment and patient needs, are prioritized.
The research department is another area that requires the administrator to add value. Investing in such aspects as the Comparative Effectiveness Research holds a fundamental promise in terms of improving health care value over a long period. The initiative would have a large impact on improving the value of healthcare within the hospital if it focuses broadly on certain factors. These aspects include risk comparison, revision and evaluation of policies and development of strategies that target certain practices to particular patients.
Finally, the last sphere in which there is a need for more value is important within the hospital is the data area. The most vital way of tracking a patient’s progress is through the evaluation of medical information. The patient’s data gives a detailed record of the past medical conditions and the general trend up to current status (Kellermann & Jones, 2013). Therefore, it is vital to move from the traditional style of keeping this data and acquire modern tools and methods for data storage and analysis. The more contemporary method enables easy retrieval of data about the patient.
There are various challenges that the healthcare system has faced over time. The most vital factor has been the continued effort of different stakeholders and policy makers to overcome these challenges through adding value both to the system and patient services. Certain methodologies, such as improving the competitive strategy of health care system to increase economic value, and focusing on cutting cost and improving quality, have been the ways of tackling the challenge (Porter, 2010). In general, adding value to patient services provides them with more safety in terms of medical care, which should be the chief objective of every healthcare system.