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Currently, there are rapid changes in health care systems as opposed to the old days. These changes call for a better management system, a system that will ensure that the goals of health care systems are adequately and timely met. The model of health care delivery has changed, this encompasses how, where and who is offering health care services to the patients. Managers in the health care system should have the capacity to cope with these changes without compromising the quality of health services delivered to the patients. Decentralization of different departments in hospitals is important as it helps in the close management of each department. Management in a particular department is done by individuals who are well familiar with it as opposed to top management heads who may not be familiar with everything that runs in all departments. Lack of adequate health care providers is one of the most recorded problems experienced in the health care sector. Poor retention strategies and an unconducive working environment result in frequent transfer of physicians from one hospital to another (Wong, 2009, 71). The essay seeks to explore how Banner medical center addressed the problem of physician retention. It describes the role played by the manager to resolve the issue.
The banner medical center suffered from a lack of enough physicians on many occasions. Physicians who posted to banner medical center only remained there for a short time and were later transferred to other medical centers. This adversely affected the patients because they lacked adequate medical attention which increased the mortality rate in the medical center. Health care providers were frustrated by the lack of job satisfaction; physicians were overworked in an attempt to meet the medical needs of the high patients’ population. Reimbursement given to cater for extra hours that the physicians worked was low, this increased the frustrations further (Stubblefield, 2005, p.56). The rapid change in health care systems also contributed to frustrations experienced by the physicians. They are unable to cope with changing health-seeking behavior of many patients and conflict resolution. These frustrations resulted in psychological stress and increased clinical errors. These problems are a clear indication that physicians are taught how to practice medicine and not how to live as medical practitioners (Cohn & Harlow, 2009, p. 153)
On several occasions, patients were left unattended and the number of deaths as a result of negligence increased. Physicians would fail to report for duties when supposed to or report late without prior notice. The rate of physician transfer continued to increase with some physicians leaving without giving notice to the hospital administration. There was a communication breakdown between the management team and physicians in the medical center. Running of day-to-day activities was done without any consultation. Quality of health care delivery continued to decline and transfer of patients to better medical centers also increased. The public preferred to seek medical care from other centers, patients flow decreased considerably because of bad experiences experienced by patients who sought medical care from banner. The banner management team noted this problem and embarked on resolving it (Atchison, 2009, p. 19).
The management board surveyed to investigate why physicians left the medical center. Analysis of the information collected indicated that it was mostly due to poor working conditions in the medical center. Doctors and other health care providers felt they were being misused. The banner management team introduced a system that promoted good working conditions for the physicians. This was done by increasing the amount of reimbursement given to physicians in the medical center. This motivated them to work for long hours and also encouraged them to remain in the medical center for long (Cohn, 2009, p 84). The medical care management team also reduced the number of inpatients temporarily in order to reduce the workload for the physicians. A system that allowed constant dialogue between physicians and the management board was introduced. This was achieved through a local networking system that allowed physicians to present any arising problem to the management board. The hospital also introduced weekly offs for the physicians in order to give them adequate time to rest. The hospital promoted recognition and award of physicians who did exemplary work by the introduction of a co-mentoring program, this enables both parties to learn from each other. A team to orient newly recruited physicians was introduced, new staff members were well integrated into the system. Family concerns for health care providers were promoted by the hospital by introducing housing for the physicians, those who wanted to be close to their families were permitted to put up with them within the hospital staff quarters. More support was given to health care providers by the introduction of a social system that gave physicians a chance to seek guidance counseling. Employee motivation theory was employed in addressing the problem of physician retention in the banner medical center. The motivation was identified as a key factor to physician retention (Caldwell, 2007, p.5).
Role of the manager
In addressing the problem of physician retention managers had an obligation of steering the medical center through the problem. They are expected to maintain a close communication link with the physicians to be able to identify any underlying problem in the center. They are also charged with overseeing that the recruitment process of staff is done professionally and select a team to integrate new staff members into the system. They are also charged with financial obligations notably reimbursement of physicians. A budget that ensures that all financial requirements of all departments are met should be drawn and implemented (Cohn, 2009, p. 39).
The success of medical service delivery is greatly determined by the proper management of physician needs. Lack of adequate health care providers is one of the most recorded problems experienced in the health care sector. Poor retention strategies and an unconducive working environment result in frequent transfer of physicians from one hospital to another Conducive working conditions motivate physicians to remind in the medical center for a long time and deliver quality medical services. Patients get adequate medical attention; this minimizes mortality cases as a result of neglect. Banner medical center improved physician retention by increasing reimbursement cost, temporally reduction of inpatient population, and introducing physician-friendly services such as housing provision of the physician and his family members. Managers are charged with the responsibility of steering the medical center through an efficient physician retention program. This is done by overseeing proper management of both human and financial and human resources. Managers are also expected to maintain constant communication with health care providers to capture any problem that may arise. Employee motivation theory was employed by the banner management team.
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Cohn, K.H. (2009).Changing Physician Behavior Through Involvement and Collaboration. Journal of Healthcare Management. 54(2):80-86.Health Administration Press, Chicago.
Stubblefield, A. (2005). The Baptist Health Care Journey to Excellence: Creating A Culture that WOWs! Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Wong, B.( 2009). A Prescription for Physician Reengagement. In Future scan 2009: Healthcare Trends and Implications, 2009-2014. Chicago: Health Administration Press.