Theneed for organizations to observe ethics has gained significance inthe modern business environment, following an increase in theconsumers’ awareness about their rights. However, it will be moreprudent for the hospitals to develop strategies that will help themoperate while observing moral standards, instead of waiting forreaction from customers (Obaidullah & Farooq, 2015). This paperwill provide a discussion on an organizational ethics plan thataddresses the components of patient safety and health care access.
Thekey protocols of service access as well as patient safety affect thepatient care in different ways. They benefit the clients by enhancingthe level of consistency. Protocols ensure that patients receive thesame type of care when they suffer from similar medical conditions(Obaidullah & Farooq, 2015). In addition, procedures that aredesigned in a way that encourages the healthcare professionals toavoid the wrong interventions have been shown to enhance the level ofsafety and treatment outcome (Obaidullah & Farooq, 2015).
Effectiveprotocols also have significant impacts on health care professionals.Guidelines that are properly designed improve the level of quality ofclinical decisions. Moreover, professionals who are supported bypre-determined procedures are able to make choices faster, which makea significant contribution towards a timely and effective delivery ofpatient care (Obaidullah & Farooq, 2015). Additionally, theprocess of developing protocols gives providers the opportunity todetermine the necessary quality improvement tools. The existence ofclearly defined procedures enables the health care professionals toestablish weaknesses in the current patient care delivery practices.They make it possible for the stakeholders to embark on a continuousimprovement since protocols can be reviewed and enhanced on a regularbasis.
Althoughthere is sufficient evidence to show that protocols go a long way inenhancing the standardization and patient care, there are some thingsthat need to be changed (Obaidullah & Farooq, 2015). For example,predetermined guidelines are inflexible and limit the capacity of thedoctors to deliver services that match the specific needs of theirclients. The stakeholders who are responsible for the development ofthese guidelines should create room for the health care professionalsto exercise their autonomy when dealing with unique medicalconditions. A high level of flexibility will benefit the patients anddoctors. In addition, some protocols encourage utilization, whichreduces operating efficiency. To this end, individuals given theresponsibility of developing these procedures should ensure that theyguide the health care system towards the delivery of patient care inthe most cost-effective way.
HealthCare Access Concerns
Theability of the government to ensure that all citizens can accessquality health care is among the most debated issues. The discussionhas been guided by the ideas of legal protection and the ability ofindividuals to finance the services. The WHO and the constitution ofthe U.S. classify the access to health care as one of the key rightsthat should be guaranteed by the government (Wheeler, 2013). Theselaws subject the hospitals to significant challenges since there manyclients, especially those who cannot afford services, but theorganization needs to balance its cash flow in order to maintain itsgoing concern and the capacity to serve more customers. This is acommon challenge that is attributed to the lack of insurance coverageamong a significant proportion of patients who seek medical care on adaily basis.
Thereare two key strategies that the health care facility should use inorder to avoid turning away patients who are unable to pay for healthcare services. The first strategy is to establish partnership withwell-wishers, including the NGOs. The administrator should look forthe organizations that are willing to guarantee that all patients whofail to pay for services due to the lack insurance or money to takecare of the out-of-pocket payment will be reimbursed (Wheeler, 2013).This strategy will enable clients from poor backgrounds to accesscare and empower the health care facilities ensure that it deliverscare to all clients, irrespective of their social classes.
Thesecond strategy can involve the advocacy role. The health careadministrator can use the data on the number of patients who areunable to pay for the services and write reports to relevant agenciesin order to ensure that the hospital receive adequate funding fromthe government (Wheeler, 2013). The two approaches will go a long wayin ensuring that the right of all citizens to access care isprotected.
Thereare many patient safety concerns that affect the health care systems,but three of them are more significant than others. The first oneencompasses the medical errors, which are attributed to improperdispensing of drugs. It is estimated that about five percent of allhospitalized clients suffer from adverse drug events every year(Barnet, Green & Punke, 2016). The second challenge is thediagnosis errors. A failure on the part of the health care providersto discover the exact problem affecting their patients leads to theadministration of the wrong drugs. This challenge accounts for about6-17 % of all patient safety concerns (Barnet, Green & Punke,2016).
Thethree types of errors can be reduced by adopting the standardprotocols. Although the establishment of procedures that limit thecapacity of the healthcare providers to exercise autonomy, itincreases the level of client safety. According to U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services (2016) the development of standardprotocols enhances the survival rate of patients by four times. Theadministrator should spearhead the process of establishing proceduresthat will be followed by all health care providers in dispensingdrugs, diagnosing different diseases, and discharging thehospitalized clients.
HealthCare Reform Bill
Theprimary focus of the bill was to increase the number of citizenscovered by different health insurance plans. The developers of thislegislation introduced innovative payment methods that could enablethe stakeholders adopt effective delivery methods of care delivery(The Commonwealth Fund, 2016). These reforms introduced protocolsthat were intended to increase the number of patients who couldaccess health care services. It is estimated that over 20 millionpeople were able to purchase insurance coverage after the passage ofthe Affordable Care Act (U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices, 2016).
Thebill also addressed the issue of patient safety through the componentof “National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care”(HSS, 2016). The purpose of introducing this element was to ensurethat both the doctors and the government pursue the same goals. Theseobjectives include enabling the two parties to increase the qualityof care as well as the level of safety without a significant rise inthe cost of delivering services (HSS, 2016). It is estimated thatthat application of the protocols brought about by the bill resultedin a decline in the number of medical errors by 17 %, cases ofhospital acquired infection by 1.3 million, and avoidable deaths by50,000 (HSS, 2016).
Thebill also introduced procedures that could boost the delivery ofprimary health care. The aim of these protocols was to increase thefocus on the stakeholders in the prevention of the occurrence ofillnesses, instead of spending more resources in the treatment ofchronic diseases (HSS, 2016). These procedures were expected toreduce the cost of care, thus increasing the ability of all citizensto afford and access it.
Thedata confirm that the changes brought about by the bill managed toincrease the level of safety and access to care in a significant way.However, there are some gaps that could not be filled by the act. Forexample, it has been reported that over 20 % of individuals whoenrolled for different insurance programs could not pay the requiredpremiums, which is an indication that the reforms failed to addressthe underlying challenges that limit access to care (HSS, 2016). Tothis end, a strategy that will require the government sponsoredprograms to provide full payment for all citizens below the povertylevels is necessary. The insurance plans should be progressive innature, where the rich people will pay more premiums in order tocover the charges for the poor.
Benefitsand Disadvantages of Public Health Plans
Publichealth plans are associated with two benefits. First, these plans areself-sustaining, which is attributed to the fact that they arefinanced by the money paid by individuals who have subscribed to them(Torrey, 2016). In addition, the public plans are non-profit makingprograms, which imply that the total amount that is contributed bymembers is used to reimburse the services that they receive.Secondly, they are subsidized by the government. The amount paid bythe government to support the public plans reduces the premium thateach subscriber is supposed to contribute. However, they serve anextremely large number of people. Although this is considered as abenefit, it introduces a new challenge, where the programs supportedby the government fail to provide adequate funds to cover all membersof poor households.
Althoughthe public health plans have some disadvantages, they have numerousbenefits to the public. They should be supported because they helpmany poor citizens to access care, which would be difficult in theirabsence. The existing limitations should be addressed progressivelyin order to strengthen these plans and ensure that they can reachmore people.
Healthcare plans are significant tools that enhance patient safety andaccess to medical services. Effective protocols are used in hospitalsbecause they reduce frustration and facilitate the standardization ofdifferent operations. Although they limit the autonomy of thehealthcare providers, they enhance efficiency and lead to a declinein the risk of medical errors. In addition, patient safety, cost, andaccess to care are the key issues that the government has been tryingto address. The Health Care Reform Bill addressed the three issues,but there is still a room for improvement.
Barnet,S., Green, M. & Punke, H. (2016). Ten top patient safety issuesfor 2016. Becker’sHealth Care.Retrieved January 4, 2017, fromhttp://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/10-top-patient-safety-issues-for-2016.html
Obaidullah,A. & Farooq, S. (2015). Clinical protocols: Introduction to auseful strategy in clinical practice. Journalof Pakistan Medical Association,1, 1-8.
TheCommonwealth Fund (2016). TheAffordable Care Act’s payment and delivery system reforms: Aprogressive report at five years.New York, NY: The Commonwealth Fund.
Torrey,T. (2016). Public option health insurance pros and cons. PatientEmpowerment.Retrieved January 4, 2017, fromhttps://www.verywell.com/public-option-health-insurance-pros-and-cons-2615248
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (2016). Reducing errors inhealth care. HHS.Retrieved January 4, 2017, fromhttps://archive.ahrq.gov/qual/errors.htm
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (2016). 20 million peoplehave gained health insurance coverage because of the Affordable CareAct, new estimates show. HHS.Retrieved January 4, 2016, fromhttps://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2016/03/03/20-million-people-have-gained-health-insurance-coverage-because-affordable-care-act-new-estimates
Wheeler,M. (2013). A constitutional right to health care. UCLA.Retrieved January 4, 2017, fromhttp://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/a-constitutional-right-to-health-247449