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In this scenario, the author’s hospital unit has introduced a new care pathway a few years before. However, it has failed to show any improvement in patient outcomes while burdening the staff with additional work. As a result, some of the unit’s workers have begun expressing a desire to return to the old method, which they claim reduces the amount of labor required of the staff. The author has to take a position on one side of the choice or the other and present the others with a compelling argument that supports one of the viewpoints. This essay will present the considerations of the author and the ultimate conclusion.
The information on both pathways is lacking, but the assumption that the new method is more advanced and recent should be safe in most situations. As such, the approach’s nature potentially makes it preferable in the long-term perspective, as new modifications and treatments that integrate into it are more likely to emerge than with the old one. In general, old care pathways will become outdated sooner than new ones, and the hospital will have difficulty adapting to the new standards on short notice. As such, although the new method does not improve patient outcomes, its adoption may prove beneficial in the future. The sustainability perspective supports continuing as the unit is now without reverting the improvements.
On the other hand, the new care pathway is currently proving ineffective and might be abandoned altogether in the future. A new, superior paradigm may emerge and replace both the old and the new approaches. In that case, the unit will have to do similar amounts of work to adapt regardless of the pathway it uses at the time. As such, it may be beneficial to revert and reduce the burden on the staff, which can then redirect its efforts into working with the patients. Overall, the staff’s concerns have merit, but their view stems from a short-term outlook. It bets on a possibility and overlooks the many potential factors that may have caused the pathway to failure.
Before deciding to abandon the new method, the unit’s management should review the reasons why it was adopted and its performance in other settings. There may have been some oversight in the local implementation of the pathway that hinders its operations despite its success in other hospitals. If any such issues emerge, the staff should work to fix them and observe performance again. Additionally, as de Luc (2018) notes, care pathways have to undergo continuous review and improvement. Unit members have to investigate recent scholarly literature on the performance of the method and the modifications that may have emerged. With that information, they may be able to improve the pathway’s performance and achieve improved patient results, eliminating the concern.
Overall, the staff’s concerns may be warranted, but unit members may be overlooking a variety of confounding influences. The purpose of adopting new care pathways is to improve performance and to ensure that it adapts to future standards easily. These systems are based on research and evidence and have proven their efficiency in numerous settings. As such, the unit should first determine whether its results are average for the pathway or an outlier. If the latter is the case, then the staff will have to identify and address the factors that have led to the factor’s failure. Even if the research proves that the new method does not lead to improvement, the staff should weigh the long-term benefits of using modern methods against reducing the workload on the staff in the immediate future.
de Luc, K. (2018). Developing care pathways: The handbook. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Radcliffe Medical Press.