Benchmarks and realignments in policies within an organization or sector are an essential contributor to successful addressing of underperformance or shortfalls that affect service delivery. One of the factors identified under assignment one was the underperformance of the healthcare sector with a number of policies developed to steer efficiency and improvement in performance. A law and regulation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) have provided a significant indication of the commitment the government has on improving delivery of healthcare and enhancing affordability that has been an issue for decades. However, such an Act and others targeted at this sector have not sufficiently addressed the problem as a number of issues still exist in the healthcare sector. Service delivery is affected by these with heightened possibilities of the poor quality of service provided to patients. The above creates a gap for another policy that focuses on addressing the patients and employees' issues and others related to the affordability of health care seen to affect the quality of services provided. The proposal and implementation guideline below focuses on the Affordable Reliable Income Limit (ARIL) as a policy that would lead to the improvement of quality and performance associated with the benchmark metric.
Affordable Reliable Income Limit (ARIL) Policy and Implementation
The proposed policy is targeted at ensuring the affordability of health care for the patients and the presence of sufficient motivation for the workers to deliver quality healthcare services. The rights of every citizen within the country include the access to quality healthcare with the inclusion of emergency services. One of the responsibilities of the government is ensuring sufficient social security for individuals including those considered vulnerable to increase their ability to access healthcare services. The government alone does not provide sufficient cover for the populations and their dependents. The implementation of the ARIL policy will ensure the patients have some significant contribution directed towards their healthcare insurance streamlining the services as sufficient insurance is provided. The presence of a reliable income limit for the patients will not only improve their ability to afford the insurance covers but will also provide significant motivation to those working in the healthcare sector. The policy will further provide for sufficient income for the workers in the healthcare field to provide support and motivation for them as well.
The ARIL policy is also targeted at addressing the difficulties those below the poverty levels have in meeting their healthcare needs. Healthcare needs to remain universally affordable for all people in the population irrespective of their income abilities. Introducing the ARIL policy also needs to note the federal poverty levels allowing for the surplus provided by the government to cover this population. The collaboration of the ARIL policy and the Medicaid policy will provide stability and improved abilities to cover those below the federal poverty levels. Expansion of Medicaid in all states will advance its stability and support efficiency in the healthcare sector. The US Supreme Court decision in the NFIB v. Sebelius case added that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) supports the inclusion of documented residents whose incomes are 138% below the federal poverty levels (Glied & Jackson, 2017). Such a development was an indication of the commitment of the government and its supportive institutions towards addressing the problem of affordability on healthcare.
The implementation of the ARIL policy would also take into account issues of qualification of professionals and their ability to execute their roles effectively. Providing adequate motivation to the workers in the healthcare sector means they are delivering quality to the patients. The ARIL policy will include channels and requirements for the professionals to improve their service abilities. The presence of continuous skills development will also enhance the ability of the staff to remain up to date with their service requirements. Part of the ARIL policy is a staff training approach for in-house development as well that will ensure the patients are provided with quality services. In addition to the above, opportunities frequently presenting the staff with sharing of best practices in treatments, coordination and management as proposed by Strehlenert, Richter-Sundberg, Nystrom and Hasson (2015) will inform the operations of the policy. In addition to the above, the ARIL policy is also charged with ensuring that all healthcare organizations function efficiently and strictly follow the federal health policies in place as emphasized by Agich and Forster, (2014). Reliance on subsidiary laws and regulations on the implementation of the ARIL policy will promote its ability to achieve long-lasting effects on the delivery of healthcare including supporting the motivation of staff and affordability attribute in patients.
Parties Involved in the Implementation Process
A number of parties are involved in the implementation of the ARIL policy in order to influence a positive development and effect in the healthcare sector. The association between these stakeholders is essential in improving the ability of the policy to attain its desired objectives that include providing quality improvement, affordability for healthcare besides providing motivation for the workers in this field. At the forefront, top managers, department heads, middle-level workers, junior employees and the shareholders serve the relevant responsibility in implementing the policy within the healthcare facilities. Other stakeholders directly involved in the implementation of ARIL include the patients, the community within which the facilities operate, the government charged with providing regulatory and support systems, and suppliers that provide items used. Effective communication between these stakeholders is essential in improving success. Furthermore, creating a synergy between the departments including nursing, pharmacy, telecommunications, information technology, and procurement is another attribute of collective working that will enhance the ability of the ARIL policy to attain its set objectives. The collaboration between the departments and all stakeholders involved will contribute significantly as a strategy that will improve the quality of healthcare delivery reducing the shortfalls.
Ethical, Evidence-based Strategies to Handle Performance Issues
A number of performance issues were highlighted in assignment one discussing the benchmarking problem that needed policy solution. There exist a number of ethical, evidence-based strategies applicable to handling the performance issues highlighted. The most outstanding aspect of evidence-based practice and strategies is that they are well researched and informed by experience. Resolving performance issues require an explicit evaluation of the organizational performance and the associated factors. Ethical conflicts are part of the contemporary healthcare environment. As organizations struggle to do more with less, medical advancements and life-extending treatment requirements seem to affect the operations of many facilities. Many nurses and medical practitioners face moral distress when they fail to perform according to the set standards and expectations of clients and healthcare organizations (Titler, 2016).
Regarding the performance, the objectives of the organization must be clear. The organization must explain what it desires its clients to achieve. Essentially, the outcome measures in the hospital such as the mortality rates, misdiagnosis rates, and readmission rates among others must reduce significantly. Additionally, the organization must work to maintain the accepted codes of conduct among its employees always (Brown and McIntyre, 2014).
The hospital should get its staff and different departments to work together for a common objective. During this practice, the employees must consider ethical requirements among them and maintain seamless operations among the different departments. Collaboration is key since it targets only the best among the professionals and delivers it as an input towards achieving the organizational goals (Stetler, 2013).
The hospital can question to check the level of satisfaction among the patients served. This will enable the organization to obtain feedback and crucial information about the views of its clientele. Consequently, the facility can make the necessary adjustments to fit the requirements of the patients and realize an overall improvement.
The facility should ensure continuous practice among its staff to align with the benchmark requirements. Consequently, this would lead to perfection and improvement of performance in the organization (Brown and McIntyre, 2014).
To solve the performance issues related to healthcare policy, service providers must work according to the ethical evidence-based strategies such as supporting the nursing code of ethics, providing continuous on-job training, establishing an environment that recognizes nurses' contributions, combining various disciplines to come up with on functional unit, and working through the support of ethics experts and unit-based ethics mentors. All of these strategies are meant to increase employees' knowledge, boost their confidence, and enhance the relationship between nurses and clients (Titler, 2016). It is true that very few healthcare institutions have successfully implemented these strategies. However, those organizations that do not embrace these ethical practices cite lack of willingness on the side of the management and high costs of implementation. They fail to understand that the action plan can only be financed ones but have long-term impacts on the performance workers.
An organizational policy can be essential in creating uniformity in the employee operations, rights, and the overall responsibilities. A shortfall may occur due to a lack of uniformity since there is no clear policy direction, and this can result in different standards among the employees. An organizational metric benchmark is meant to align business strategies with factors of production. The metric also reveals the best strategies that human resource teams can use during benchmarking to compare employees' performance outcomes to industry measures and prescribed milestones (Titler, 2016). Where there is a shortfall in the capacity of the organization to meet the prescribed metric benchmark, management must come up with appropriate organizational policies. While some of these policies may target individual performances, they mainly focus on improved the overall business outcome.
When there is a shortfall in attaining an organization's prescribed benchmark, this can also show that there is the need to implement the best practices. Benchmarks identify the best practices and decisions that can lead to the best results in the organization. The organization policy can direct the interprofessional teams to act according to the practices that fit their organizations or departments.
At the time when the organization is endeavoring to attain an utmost improvement in all departments and realize all the goals, organization policy becomes the most appropriate tool for assessing the current scorecards and planning new or a means to achieve the metric benchmark. Management must have the organization's strategy at fingertips so as to plan according to the business goals (Agich & Forster, 2014).
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