The health system has performed well thus far, but similarly to other organizations, it needs improvement. The three main dimensions that the healthcare performance is measured against include care quality, cost, and access. In order to achieve this, using conventional methods or approaches that have existed for a long time should be avoided. The aim of this paper is to provide innovative ideas that can help the health system improve its performance if implemented.
Five Innovative Ideas to Implement to Improve Cost, Quality and Access
Developing Standards and Guidelines
Developing or customizing standard operating procedures is the first step in guaranteeing care quality. Creating an institutional SOP requires involvement of staff, mentoring, and continuous support. Ensuring that standard practices as well as adherence to them, alter individuals’ behavior and attitude is not an easy job (Shanafelt et al., 2020). It will need rigorous tracking tools, engagement and ownership of the staff at the facility. A quality-oriented approach aids in the identification of gaps in service delivery and traces the roots by connecting them with organizational processes (Shanafelt et al., 2020). The procedures proposed will serve as a tool for measuring performance, which will enable corrective actions and, thus, better quality.
Aligning Responsibility and Authority in Each Role
Health professionals are important in ensuring improvement of quality and access to healthcare for the people in the community. They offer critical services to promote health, prevent illnesses, and deliver healthcare services based on the primary healthcare strategy (Jagadeeswari et al., 2018). Methods for optimizing the strengths as well as capabilities of different individuals will be crucial to accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals. A health delivery system is a complex setup that operates in a dynamic policy as well as regulatory surroundings. The coordination and delivery of high-quality care is dependent on teamwork and collaboration within the organizational boundaries.
Pre-service training is essential in the acquisition of skills by healthcare professionals. However, the staff need additional in-service training and supportive supervision to work effectively in different tasks. Constant capacity building and development in data-management competencies such as information gathering, analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and use should be strengthened at every level of the health system (Jagadeeswari et al., 2018). This would ensure that the quality of care offered at the organization is great. There is proof that even though pre-service training is vital, it does not prepare the staff adequately, particularly clinicians, with necessary skills (Jagadeeswari et al., 2018). This is due to numerous reasons, including the inadequacies of the training curricula, which are not responsive to current needs.
Technology and Tool Development
The main objective of technological advancement is to improve the quality of life of people in society. When it comes to healthcare, new innovative ideas can benefit patients and the industry as a whole. In 2013, telemedicine was a $25 billion market and it was anticipated to grow eighteen percent every year through 2025 (Shanafelt et al., 2020). It was a key development that helped individuals remain in touch with their physicians during the 2020 pandemic (Shanafelt et al., 2020). It would be beneficial for the health system to adopt the technology as it would enable the achievement of its goals. Virtual care assists in decreasing the cost of care in two different ways. The first way virtual care reduces healthcare costs is by giving patients flexible and easily accessible clinical care. Secondly, physicians can provide primary care and decrease the unnecessary and expensive use of emergency room visits. Additionally, a patient will not have to bear the transportation expenses. Telemedicine has proven to be important and is among the key technologies sought to improve healthcare in terms of controlling costs.
Establish Leadership/Management Roles in Health Facilities
Effective leadership is an important part when implementing reforms and shaping the corporate culture in the healthcare industry. In order to guarantee the institute’s success and objectives or goals, effectively communicating with stakeholders, managers as well as employees, is crucial (Gramlich et al., 2020). It does not matter how professional or the organization leaders’ strictness. What will be important is the capacity to innovate and motivate the staff to perform at their best. Thus, health system’ functioning and improvement in terms of care quality, costs, and access will highly depend on the type of leaders available.
Most Critical Innovative Idea to Ensure the Health System Achieves Its Goals
Having innovative leaders is the most critical idea to ensure that the health system achieves its goals. Leadership serves various functions to the success of an organization. Among the most vital is providing a vision (Gramlich et al., 2020). The leader is responsible of explaining the vision and what others stakeholders may have to do to attain it. Whereas an organization may have individuals with different talents, skills, or capabilities, it is leadership that will harness personal efforts toward a certain goal. By motivating teams and coordinating individual actions for the accomplishment of a shared objective, leaders aid firms or institutions to reach excellence (Gramlich et al., 2020). Teams usually consist of multi-faceted persons who have the needed skills and experience to inspire the desired outcome.
However, the majority of organizations still choose team leaders to direct the energy of the staff for more effectiveness. Individuals have a natural disposition to follow their leader (Gramlich et al., 2020). Irrespective of the knowledge and experience level in a specific field, one can accomplish more if there is a higher authority to which to report. This is since a leader offers guidance and assists to minimize possible threats that can negatively impact organizations. They do not have to be a senior person, but can still improve the chances of success through accountability, effective mentorship, and delegating duties.
Most Difficult Innovation to Achieve
Whereas using telemedicine in the United States had been minimal before the pandemic, interest and implementation have increased during the crisis, as health systems search for ways to deliver care to patients in their homes. With the increasing demand, various changes have happened with regard to telehealth policy, coverage, and implementation, to make the approach to healthcare delivery more accessible. Restrictions by both federal and state governments threaten the implementation of this idea at the health system, and thus, it would be difficult to achieve this idea.
However, the federal government has focused on loosening restrictions on telehealth in the Medicare program, including enabling beneficiaries from any geographic location to access services from their homes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has waived enforcement of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for telemedicine, whereas the DEA has loosened requirements on prescription of controlled substances. On the state level, several governments are focusing on expanding telehealth in their Medicaid initiatives and reducing limitations regarding provider licensing, written consent, and online prescribing. Many are mandating fully-insured private plans to cover as well as reimburse for telemedicine services equally to the way they would for in-person care.
Justification (why) of the Implementation of the Innovative Ideas Improving Health System Performance
The most common dimensions used in measuring health system performance include cost, quality, and access. By ensuring that the organization reduces its expenses, increases availability of healthcare services to the people in the community, and improves the quality of care, the firm will show improvement. The innovative ideas mentioned earlier aim to achieve all this in different ways (Jagadeeswari et al., 2018). For instance, it has been seen that it is beneficial for the firm to adopt telemedicine technology since virtual care aids in lowering the expenses incurred during service delivery. This can be by giving the patient flexible and easily accessible care or a physician providing primary care and avoid unnecessary usage of emergency rooms.
Apart from that, an idea such as developing standards and guidance can help to improve the organization’s quality. A quality-focused approach will help to identify gaps in the delivery of services (Jagadeeswari et al., 2018). The procedures will act as performance measuring tool, which enables taking the corrective actions. Lastly, establishing leadership and management roles increases the availability or access to services for the people of the community, thus, improving its performance. Understanding the different roles all stakeholders play in the running of the firm is important in ensuring that there is no lacking in any area (Gramlich et al., 2020). Additionally, leaders help to encourage and inspire other staff to work toward a particular goal.
The paper has provided innovative ideas that can help the health system improve its performance if implemented. For example, in-service training which aims to keep the skills and capabilities of the staff updated. Even though pre-service education is vital in acquiring the skills, it is beneficial to receive more training and supportive supervision to perform effectively. Continuous capacity building as well as development in an area such as data-management will help in better performance of different roles.
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Jagadeeswari, V., Subramaniyaswamy, V., Logesh, R., & Vijayakumar, V. (2018). A study on medical Internet of Things and Big Data in personalized healthcare system. Health information science and systems, 6(1), 1-20.
Shanafelt, T., Ripp, J., & Trockel, M. (2020). Understanding and addressing sources of anxiety among health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jama, 323(21), 2133-2134. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5893