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Strategic Management

Strategic management is an ongoing process that allows an organization to balance the internal organizational culture with the external environment (Hunger & Wheelen, 2007; Ginter, 2004). This process is an essential management tool that allows organizations to respond to external changes as well as to position themselves within the environment in order to gain a competitive edge. Strategic management includes analyzing the internal strengths and weaknesses of an organization while simultaneously assessing the opportunities and threats from the external environment (Hunger & Wheelen, 2007; Preble, 1997; Fottler, Ford & Heaton, 2010). Continue reading »

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Staffing Healthcare Workers Following Expansion

One challenge an organization faces when it expands is maintaining the organizational culture and service quality of the original organization. In order to help control the quality of staff and services delivered, it is important to hire additional employees that have the same personal goals of customer service and excellence that the parent organization has. “Health professional shortages will force healthcare managers to work even harder at building a qualified and service-loving pool of candidates” (Fottler, Ford & Heaton, 2010, pg. 134). Continue reading »

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Mandated HIV Testing

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The first case of HIV/AIDS in the United States was identified in 1981; however a blood sample taken in 1959 confirms the existence of the disease at that time (History of AIDS, 2005; Gorman, 1998; Coughlin & Beauchamp, 1996). Initially, significant negative stigma hindered the public health processes that may have helped to identify and slow the progression of the disease within the society. HIV was viewed as a gay man’s disease, and diagnosis with the virus could have resulted in residential eviction, professional termination, social isolation, and other discriminatory practices (Beauchamp & Steinbock, 1999). The development of testing for HIV had additional negative connotations as some intended the results to identify homosexuals in order to fire them (Beauchamp & Steinbock, 1999). Due to the severe public reaction, public health information was gathered at a cost of extreme confidentiality; identifying the disease but not the individual carrying it. In this manner, the containment of the disease was slowed and transmission of the disease was not adequately countered. Continue reading »

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Ethical and Legal Implications of Autonomy

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Within the healthcare system, it is important for healthcare professionals to maintain ethical standards, including those that govern respect for persons, a primary component of which is autonomy, and beneficence. Continue reading »

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Deontology, Consequentialism and Virtue Reasoning

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You are a paramedic arriving at an emergency scene. A group of scouts has entered a cave that is now filling with water. They were led into the cave by a rather large scoutmaster. Unfortunately, while leading them out of the cave, the scoutmaster somehow managed to get stuck in a narrow opening with only his head and shoulders protruding out. With his upper torso stuck outside the cave, it appears the scoutmaster will survive, but all the boys below will drown if they cannot escape.

After you have checked all possible escape routes and have attempted to extricate the scoutmaster, it becomes clear that the only way to save the boys is to sacrifice the scoutmaster, so he can be removed. This is, unfortunately, not the Winnie the Pooh story where Rabbit has the option of waiting until Pooh loses weight. What is the correct action for this case?

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Basic Service Components of the Healthcare Industry

To gain understanding of the patterns of basic service components, the systematic organization may be identified and the boundaries of the system better understood. By gaining this understanding, each system may be evaluated and improved to better meet the needs of the various demographics for which it serves.

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Is it ethical to use persuasion within medical practice?

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Physicians and caretakers are often faced with difficult dilemmas that require assisting patients and families to choose a specific course of action. Few environments are as demanding on the professional relationship as within medicine; treatment plans, end-of-life decisions and day-to-day recommendations balance risks with the patient’s best interests. Especially in the medical field, providers’ recommendations must maintain ethical standards. Ethical is defined at Dictionary.com (n.d.) as: “being in accordance with the rules or standards for right conduct or practice, esp. the standards of a profession”.

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Psychology and Fraud

Psychology has profound effects on decision making. Within the business world, psychology can explain the processes through which organizations and individuals develop fraudulent and unethical behavior. Through analysis of the psychology behind the decision making and considering examples of corruption within the corporate world, precautions may be made to prevent similar fraudulent practices from occurring within the medical field.

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Improving Medical Decision Making

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To better understand the impact of decision making on the medical field, I have chosen to evaluate an organization whose purpose it is to support and advise healthcare providers, both in policy making and treatment options.

Identification of Company

The Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) is an international organization that assists physicians and other medical professionals in improving healthcare outcomes by promoting efficacious decision making that is based on valuable resources exchanged through academic forums (paraphrased, Society for Medical Decision Making, 2007).  Because of the broad range of members’ expertise, hospitals and physicians are able to draw healthcare information from global resources.  By approaching medical decision making and policy formation from a multi-dimensional perspective, the informed communication will lead to better and more effective outcomes, which may lead to overall health benefits.
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Electronic Patient Health Records

Electronic Patient Health RecordsElectronic Patient Health Records

Having just got back from a series of meetings in Cambridge this week at the “Healthcare Special Interest Group – ‘Meet the Clinic: Personal Health Records‘” seminar, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on electronic patient health records and the technology that is currently available and being developed. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive introduction, but just a summary of my understanding and opinion.

You may or may not have heard of Electronic Patient Health Records, or you may have heard of Electronic Health Records, or Health 2.0, or Health 3.0, or Patient Empowerment or even “the ability to securely and confidentially access your GP-held health” and you weren’t quite sure what that meant! It’s understandable, to be honest.

It’s a bit like Web 2.0, the term was used by every digital company going, every piece of marketing, every sales pitch; yet, when you asked someone to define web 2.0, it would usually follow with a long awful silence and some mumbling about big shiny font. Of course, now it’s ‘social media’, but anyway… that’s another story.

Some of you will probably be frustrated, shouting at the screen “Of course I know what electronic patient health records are! It’s my health record, in an electronic format”. You’re not wrong, but you’re not right either. It is your health record, the one your GP stares at on his/her computer screen–that computer screen that you always wondered what was on it, but the angle just wasn’t quite right for you to be able to see what was written about you; well, electronic patient health records now enable both you, and your doctor to stare into the computer screen and view your health notes, and more…

I’m making this sound really great aren’t I? and you want to know where you sign-up and login, don’t you?

Everything is a bit up in the air at the moment, certain groups are playing the thin line of bureaucracy whilst other are fighting to establish their dominance; and this is just within the NHS! Then we actually come to the digitalising of patient health records, which too is still being established and roles defined. So, for the moment I’m going to talk about where we are right now, today.

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