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Healthcare Experimental Analysis Paper

Essay by   •  May 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,491 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,179 Views

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What is meant by "Patient Experience"? Patient experience refers to all that happens to a patient. According to Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (2009), "a patients experience begins with the initial phone call to the doctor's office to schedule an appointment and it also includes the entire time a patient is at the doctor's appointment and any follow-up contact that may happen afterwards."

Healthcare starts with the belief that high quality, safe, efficient and effective care is not a luxury or an option but should be a right for every American citizen to have (MHQP, 2009). I have had the opportunity to visit Southside Medical Care, family practice clinic in Union City, Ga. Upon entering the facility and even before I spoke to a staff member I immediately felt comfortable. The atmosphere was warm, inviting, pleasant, and calm and the environment itself was very clean. What I was really impressed in was the organizational structure and procedures that had been implemented by the doctors and staff so that work can be performed to the highest expectations and all goals can be met. First and foremost, there were two different waiting rooms; a sick waiting room for patients with contagious illnesses, such as, flu, viruses, common cold, conjunctivitis, etc. Across the hall was a well waiting room for patients with routine visits, lab work, and paper work and so on. Within both carpeted rooms was a sign in window, readable magazines and newspapers, a television and a table filled with refreshments like coffee, bottled water, orange juice, doughnuts and muffins. Secondly, each patient was instructed to sign in at the perspective windows within their designated waiting areas. This structural design was perfect because the sick patients and the well patients were never in the same area and the staff's work was separated and divided by which area they worked that day. The organizational structure was departmentalized by their functionality of duties that are performed for certain jobs. For example, there were two separate back halls, one led from the sick waiting area and the other from the well waiting area and there were separate doctors and medical assistants for each hall. All insurance, accounting and billing clerks were grouped in a separate suite attached to the doctor's office. The receptionist, medical records clerk and office assistant was designated to take care of front office responsibilities and duties. Also, there was a laboratory department that was contracted out with the doctor for all lab purposes. Through observation and interviewing, I noted that all lab tests were done at that facility, however, they we sent out for testing and results. Throughout the clinic managerial authority was distributed and delegated for decision making purposes, for instance, there was a front office manager that was in charge of the front office and a clinical manager that was in charge of back office.

In my opinion, per my analysis and observation, the major factors that seem to impact the patients experience while at the doctor's office was the pleasant and supportive staff, the patients physical comfort throughout the whole process from signing in, to waiting, to finally being seen by the physician, the patients having a preference as to which primary care physician they wanted to see out of the four that were housed under one facility and lastly, a negative impact on the patients experience would have to be that some had to wait a long time to be seen, especially walk-ins. In any business, especially healthcare, there is always going to be a need for change and improvements. Why? Because in order for businesses to survive they must continue to meet the needs and expectations of all patients, clients, and consumers so each visit will be a pleasant experience. "Improvements and changes are the basis for competitive advantage (Dragan, 2010). Dragan (2010) also said that "most successful businesses are businesses that are different today from yesterday.

Through my internal analysis of the facility as a whole, there were some organizational changes that could be implemented to improve the overall patients experience and lessen the stress of the employees. Some of the conditions recognized and observed were; 1) Medical records clerk not being able to find a document in the patients chart that was requested by the patients cardiologist, as a result, the patient was not happy 2) Overcrowding in both waiting rooms caused by an abundance of walk-ins made the wait times long for many patients that had appointments 3) Lack of staff 4) Patients right to privacy was violated at the check-in window because front desk clerk was asking personal questions and everyone in waiting area could hear her 5) Access to care in regards to limited services for specific types of patients.

Wartman (2007) found that "ultimately the type of organizational models that exist within a facility and or institution boils down to and reflects a combination of the business history, politics and economical surroundings. With the different

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