At a time when trends pertaining to the pace of globalization have increasingly become the central aspect in determining consumerism patterns among various societies across the world, the ability to effectively manage healthcare services is critical. The provision of high-quality healthcare services ensures optimal productivity in the provision of ancillary services. Various studies have cited that the latter is vital due to the crucial role that health care plays in providing custodial, therapeutic, diagnostic and ancillary services It is imperative to mention that the much-needed activities and support for patient’s daily life are largely dependent on the services offered through ancillary operations. Shortell and Kaluzny (2006) are of the view that the ancillary services must assimilate systems that guarantee the highest possible customer value. The latter is contrary to the manner in which some managers in organizations outline their procedures. It is possible for healthcare organizations to operate with lower overtones without gross negative effects especially if the best service options are adopted. The arguments posed by the above authors seem to underscore and emphasize the need for streamlining the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Such organizations are formed with the aim of establishing an effective harmony between internal and external operations of healthcare organizations that offer ancillary services. It is from this consideration that this essay evaluates Accountable Care Organizations’ roles in determining how improved efficiency and quality hospice services delivery can be guaranteed.
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Hospice services coordinated by the ACO have become very critical in providing palliative care. Such services are aimed at alleviating the symptoms and pains of seriously or terminally-ill patients. There are quite a number of studies that indicate that the provision of hospice services creates a better environment for offering therapeutic, custodial and diagnostic care to extremely-ill patients. Besides, hospice care for seriously ill patients is important in saving the overall cost of healthcare. There are myriads of instances when a patient’s family has to pay for the final health care in a hospital setting. This care provides an environment where a patient can be taken care of by the loved ones, close family members as well as the hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT). The purpose of hospice services is centered on ensuring that the spiritual, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of a critically ill patient is attained.
Hospice settings and interdisciplinary team (IDT)
Accountable care organizations are charged with the duty of tailoring a patient’s care plan. These include supplying health equipment, availing necessary medical supplies also offering the much-needed palliative therapies and drugs. It is vital to note that hospice care is provided within a home in most cases. In such a case, the role of the primary caregiver is usually assumed by the immediate members of the affected family. The ACO provides professional medical staff and IDT members who are charged with the role of supervising and providing dietary help, therapeutic massage and additional daily services such as physical and speech therapies.
According to Shortell and Kaluzny (2006), the most outstanding IDT members include a chaplain, a nurse, a hospice physician, a primary physician, a home health aide, and a social worker. These IDTs may provide quite a number of inpatient and respite cares that are required by patients especially in cases of hospital admission. When respite care is adopted, the use of a hospice inpatient facility or even an extended care facility is common bearing in mind that a patient may require hospital admission for medical intervention as well as a healthcare expert or IDT care specialist at all times. On the other hand, respite care eases the intensity of caregiving by family members since it plays the role of a family in several respects. This implies that a family is given time to secure some duration of rest instead of attending to the patient throughout. Additionally, the IDT members also offer bereavement support during the grieving process.
Trends affecting hospice care
As time passes by, various trends have emerged. These trends have positively and negatively impacted the provision of hospice care. According to Shi and Singh (2008), the new trends have become formidable forces that have placed the provision of palliative care under massive transformation. Some of these trends include political changes, technology, demographic shifts, consumer choices as well as economic changes. Studies indicate that even with the rise of reimbursement benefits as well as hospice creation and growth, the services provided have been ineffectively used and underutilized when providing care to patients.
A historical outline of hospice care provision reveals a sharp contrast with the modernistic systems that are dependent on the recent technologies used to manage electronic health records and patient monitoring. Shi and Singh (2008) are of the opinion that initially, most of the healthcare providers employed simplistic hospice care models which were in tandem with the levels of development during the same period. Presently, palliative care services are offered with a strong inclination to modernity in terms of service delivery and mode of operation.
It is evident that consumer choice has emerged as a powerful trend that has put pressure on hospice care since it mainly offers unmatched services. Shortell and Kaluzny (2006) indicate that ACOs must assimilate cultures that put into consideration the need of consumers as the key element in determining better hospice care. Organizational behavior and effective service provision should be factored in all the key platforms used in offering correct directions towards improved levels of health service provision (Rickles, 2010).
In my view, the current trend in healthcare remains to be one of the most critical aspects that affect the perfection of service delivery to consumers who are regularly seeking hospice care. As it emerged from the discussion, health care services must be harmonic and unit-oriented in order to ensure the strong and effective foundation of addressing the emerging healthcare problems. As a result, understanding the trend becomes more critical in taking into consideration the common mistakes committed on the patients’ lives (Danton, 2010). As a result of this consideration, all the main and auxiliary factors of healthcare service providers must operate in tandem with the main objectives and also be harmonic with the stakeholders’ demands.
To sum up, a clear balance between the critical factors of health services provision and the availability of resources should properly be addressed so that the smooth running of their operations are guaranteed. In addition, it is equally necessary to align all healthcare aspects with adequate consultations and effective application of professionalism. When such precautions are taken, it will be possible to enhance the relevance, competitive advantage, best practices, and overall health of society.
Danton, G. (2010). Radiology reporting: Changes worth making are never easy. Applied Radiology, 39(5), 19-25.
Rickles, N., Noland, C., Tramontozzi, A., & Vinci, M. (2010). Pharmacy student knowledge and communication of medication errors. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 74(1), 1-10.
Shi, L. & Singh, D. A. (2008). Delivering health care in America: A systems approach (4th Ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Shortell, S. & Kaluzny, A. (2006). Health care management: Organization Design and Behavior. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.