The leaders in health care organizations are experiencing challenges from the various issues that are affecting the effectiveness of health care in their delivery of services to patients. Examples of issues faced by leaders in health care include staff shortage, layoffs that result from the decline in revenues, poor performance outcomes that lead to reduced Medicare reimbursement dollars, influx registry, reorganizations as a result of mergers and poor job satisfaction that leads to high turnover rates.
This paper seeks to discuss staff shortage and layoffs as major challenges that the managers in the ancillary service department are experiencing and develop solutions for addressing these issues.
Issues the Organization is Facing
The ancillary service department is experiencing staff shortage and layoffs problems. The department is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses, physicians, and ancillary services. The lack of staff is contributed to by lack of advancement in medical professionals. Despite the expansion of the hospital, in the past years, very few staff members have been added to our department and thus cannot meet the increasing demand for ancillary services. Additionally, staff shortage has been contributed to by the low unemployment and the increased aging population in the healthcare workforce (McKechnie, 2016).
The layoffs problems have resulted from the decline in revenues in the past years. The department and the hospital, in general, are experiencing layoff problems due to the economic crisis that has resulted in the decline of revenue generation. The decrease in revenues has made it difficult for departments to manage the existing employees effectively. The only solution available presently is to conduct layoffs to save enough money for other essential services (Hamad, Modrek & Cullen, 2015).
Impact of the Issues to the Department
Staff shortage has severe impacts on the delivery of ancillary services to patients. It would result in the available staff to work longer hours to cover for the shortage. Long working hours causes the team to experience increased stress. Increased rates of stress, in turn, can lead to lower the patient’s quality because of increased cases of medical errors, poor health outcomes, and reduced ancillary services. Moreover, the increased workload can prompt some staff members to quit their profession thus affecting the quality of care in the department (McKechnie, 2016).
Layoffs would impact negatively on the ancillary department. It would affect the quality of patient’s care and delivery of ancillary services, which will, in turn, have an impact on the economy. Additionally, layoffs would affect the physical and economic well-being of the department. Moreover, it would increase workforce shortages in future. Furthermore, layoffs would result in loss of confidence in leadership among employees due to fear of job insecurity and this, therefore, affects healthy outcomes (Hamad, Modrek & Cullen, 2015).
Impact of Improved Communication on the Department
Improved communication, teamwork and collaboration foster improvement of conditions in the ancillary service department. These aspects promote collective responsibility of working to achieve quality health care. Effective communication improves the delivery of ancillary services because of accurate communication with health care providers. For instance, improved communication minimizes cases of medical errors because information has been communicated clearly and adequately thus not allow room for misinterpretation or lack of critical information. Team collaboration enhances patient’s safety and improves the quality of care in the ancillary department. It fosters sharing of complementary roles and working in cooperation to achieve the desired health outcomes. Additionally, it promotes cooperative decisions making and problem-solving in patient’s care. Similarly, collaboration increases awareness among health care providers thus improving their knowledge and skills that contribute to the delivery of high-quality services. Teamwork promotes respect, trust and facilitates collaboration. It enables the nursing staff to work towards achieving the common goal in healthcare. Effective teams promote integrated interventions that improve the quality of care (Wong, Gang, Szyld & Mahoney, 2016).
Examples that Foster Inclusion and Improve Communication and Collaboration
A study by Rosenstein (2002) indicates that structures such as organizational, relational and social, facilitates failure in communication. Rosenstein points out that failure in communication is a major contributor to negative outcomes and events in the clinical practice. This study thus shows that inclusion and improvement of communication and collaboration are important in contributing to improved conditions in health care system.
A similar study by Rosenstein also shows that inconsistency in verbal communication between staff members adversely affects patient outcome. Poor communication has resulted in conflicting information among staff members, affects staff satisfaction and patient outcomes. Additionally, poor communication contributes to poor quality of care, affects patient safety and increased medical errors. It is evident that ineffective teamwork, collaboration, and communication affect effectiveness in the delivery of care. Therefore, the study shows that inclusion and improved communication and collaboration would promote delivery of quality care (Rosenstein, 2002).
It is evident that healthcare organizations have issues that pose challenges to the leaders. Staff shortage and layoffs have an adverse impact on the delivery of care services. They affect the effectiveness of health care organization by impacting on the delivery of care. Staff shortage results in increased workload and stresses the nursing staff, which affects the quality of care. Layoffs affect the confidence of the staff on leadership thus affecting patient care. Improved communication, collaboration, and teamwork contribute significantly towards improving the conditions in the ancillary department. Improved communication minimizes cases of medical errors, and team collaboration promotes shared responsibility, decision making, and increased awareness thus enhancing patient safety and quality.
Hamad, R., Modrek, S., & Cullen, M. R. (2015). The Effects of Job Insecurity on Health Care Utilization: Findings from a Panel of US Workers. Health services research.
McKechnie, T. (2016). CALL FOR NURSES: The Multi-Dimensional Manifestation of Nursing Shortage on Patient Care. QIHI Journal of Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety, (2).
Rosenstein A. (2002). Original research: nurse-physician relationships: impact on nurse satisfaction and retention.102(6):26–34
Wong, A. H. W., Gang, M., Szyld, D., & Mahoney, H. (2016). Making an “Attitude Adjustment”: Using a Simulation-Enhanced Interprofessional Education Strategy to Improve Attitudes Toward Teamwork and Communication. Simulation in Healthcare, 11(2), 117-125.
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