Health Care and Transparency Issues Essay

Total Length: 1468 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

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Standardization and Priorities of Healthcare Organizations

Introduction

As Leotsakos et al. (2014) note, standardization of patient safety in healthcare organizations has not proceeded with a great deal of progress in recent years though monumental steps have been made to increase patient safety in the industry. For that reason the World Health Organization (2018) has made it a priority to address standardization by initiating the High 5s project “to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) within to achieve measurable, significant and sustainable reductions in a number of challenging patient safety problems.” These developments are still needed and to improve safety, Gandalf and Merlino (n.d.) have discussed how transparency, healthcare reform, and critical issues such as market share play a role in the advancement of patient safety standardization in the industry. This paper will examine the points made by Gandalf and Merlino in their podcast “The State of Patient Experience” and show how standardization and priorities of healthcare organizations relate to one another.

Transparency

Transparency is an area where improvements can stand to be made in healthcare organizations to facilitate the enhancement of patient safety policies. How so? Transparency opens up the window on care practice and shines a light in on exactly how well prepared care providers actually are. Gandalf and Moreno give the example, for instance, of the University hospital in Utah: At the University of Utah, “when doctors’ scores and comments were published on their website, several things happened. First, the scores improved. Second, the doctors had many, many more positive comments than negative comments; and they liked seeing their positive comments out there. And third, it had a significant impact on their brand because it changed the search dynamics on a site like Google” (Gandalf & Merlino, n.d.). This shows that transparency not only inspires more confidence in consumers and patients but also gives more incentive to care providers to be at their best so that they can both impress and give confidence to their patients.

Improvements in transparency still need to be made, however, as Greenfield and Braithwaite (2009) note. They call for more transparency regarding continuous education of care providers.
In the healthcare industry, care providers earn their degrees and then obtain positions in a healthcare organization where they are able to treat patients. However, as the science of medicine is continuously advancing and bringing new information to light that can help improve quality care for patients, care providers are constantly advised to engage in continuous care so that the field does not leave them behind.

To bring more transparency to the healthcare organization, the continuous education performance of care providers could be published letting patients and colleagues know who is doing their continuous education and who is not. Like with the publication of test scores, this would likely improve the rate of continuous education among care providers, and it would likely improve the confidence levels of patients as well.

Healthcare Reform

Healthcare reform is another area addressed by Gandalf and Merlino in their podcast. Reforms like the Affordable Care Act have helped to introduce metrics into the healthcare industry that can measure “safety, equality, the service experience—and it has linked provider performance to reimbursement. And that is driving significant attention and change in healthcare” (Gandalf & Merlino, n.d.). The ability of healthcare reform to drive changes in the industry by bringing about a standardized approach to measuring performance and rewarding achievements is an essential part of prioritizing patient safety. Simply by measuring, for instance, the number of hospital-acquired infections, or the number of readmissions, the healthcare organization and the government can come together to see how well patient safety is being addressed and whether subsidies need to be withheld until the facility is able to get its performance up to speed.

Transparency Changes Healthcare

Transparency changes healthcare by ensuring that care providers are held accountable to stakeholders. It ensures that maximum information is made available to the public, to patients, to colleagues and administrators—which is helpful with bringing about changes in healthcare pertaining to prioritizing patient safety because the more information….....

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References

Gandalf, S. & Merlino, J. (n.d.). The state of patient experience. Retrieved from https://www.healthcaresuccess.com/blog/healthcare-marketing/perspective-the-state-of-patient-experience.html

Greenfield, D., & Braithwaite, J. (2009). Developing the evidence base for accreditation of healthcare organisations: a call for transparency and innovation. Qual Saf Health Care, 18(3), 162.

Leotsakos, A., Zheng, H., Croteau, R., Loeb, J. M., Sherman, H., Hoffman, C., ... & Duguid, M. (2014). Standardization in patient safety: the WHO High 5s project. International journal for quality in health care, 26(2), 109-116.

World Health Organization. (2018). High 5s: Standard operating procedures. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/patientsafety/topics/high-5s/en/

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