Hospitals in the United States of America face several interesting and challenging issues. Even though most people think of these issues as being uncertain, this paper looks at these issues and reveals opportunities for growth, change, and innovation in most hospitals in the United States. In his article, “8 Key Issues for Hospitals and Health Systems 2013”, Scott Becker identified several health care issues. They include physician alignment, healthcare reforms, healthcare information technology, leadership issues, and sustainability of independent hospitals among others.
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Physician alignment is considered an issue when it comes to employment because the physician employment strategy is expensive. Additionally, since hospitals are known to enter into co-management strategies and relationships with physicians, hospitals increasingly have financial issues with their key physicians. Nonetheless, most hospitals also suffer physician shortages especially with the changing revenues that hospitals face. Apart from physician alignment, the sustainability of independent hospitals is another issue facing hospitals. Just like any other institution, the hospitals in the United States also face leadership issues in that most hospitals require that the physicians take the leadership roles but most physicians are reluctant to put in the noteworthy non-clinical time towards clinical management and leadership. Finally, another major issue is health care information technology which is assumed to demand a long procedure for tasks that would otherwise take seconds on paper.
As a student dealing in healthcare, I hold the view that these issues are of grave importance for the successful management of hospitals. In my view, physician alignment should be sorted out as fast as possible because it is the physicians who run the hospital. For instance, I would suggest that all hospitals have a specific minimum number of physicians even though it may be expensive. The importance of life cannot be compared to the amount of money it would take for a hospital to employ more physicians. Therefore, the government should ensure that all hospitals have a specific minimum number of physicians depending on the geographical location and the number of people that are served in the hospital per day. This would ensure equitable distribution of physicians in the entire nation and solve the problem of physician shortage.
Furthermore, the hospital should offer service management training to the physicians to motivate them to provide management and leadership services within the hospitals. Since most hospitals have the fear of bankruptcies, the hospitals should ensure that they have watertight measures that would prevent mismanagement. Nonetheless, increased competition can also lead to financial instability. The hospitals should therefore ensure that they offer the best services to their customers to maintain them. Additionally, the government could step in and recommend the number of hospitals that are supposed to be found within a population.
I also hold the view that healthcare technology; despite the disparity about it, should be embraced. Nonetheless, I would advise that the service providers design user-friendly software that does not require a lot of procedures to implement, and one that is affordable so that all hospitals could use it. Additionally, the physicians and any other medical practitioners should be trained and taught how to use the available programs to avoid stagnation. Also, they may be given simplified user-friendly manuals to constantly revise, to get used to the program. In conclusion, the issues that hospitals face are more than the ones discussed in this paper. However, if these are handled well there will be a meaningful improvement in the hospitals and it will be easy to solve any other incoming problems.