“The Life of a Grad Student…..Again”

Good evening everyone! Hope everyone had an awesome, and blessed Turkey Day, I apologize for my absence lately. As I admitted before, my life has been beyond hectic lately and shows no real signs of slowing down. Nevertheless, I have been required to submit a grad assignment via my blog…perhaps for proof of my social skills 🙂 So here it is, the review of a Healthcare Strategic Plan. Also let me say that I am literally one assignment away from completing my MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Administration….yay me 🙂 I promise that I’ll return with non-educational information soon!

Til’s next time…

-Me

 Healthcare Organization’s Strategic Planning: A Crucial Component

            Effective strategic planning is an important element for the success of any business and/or organization, healthcare-based or otherwise. The method of strategic planning not only encompasses the mission and vision of the organization, but also illustrates where the senior management team of the organization would like to direct the HCO to go, professionally. Regardless of the purpose of the company, healthcare, communications, etc., no company can execute a particular strategy, or technique, without formulating a sound strategic plan. Simply defined, an effective strategic plan allows an organization the opportunity to develop a plan that focuses the energy and efforts of everyone in that organization (Bradley, Dawson & Montard, 2013).

In order to gain a clearer understanding of not only the importance of effective strategic planning, but also the role that strategic planning has in healthcare organizations as a whole, we will review the strategic plan of a current healthcare organization, and identify their mission, their vision, long-term goals, and actions that are required in order to implement the plan successfully. For the purpose of this paper, we will evaluate the strategic plan of Atlantic General Hospital.

Five-Year Strategic Plan-Atlantic General Hospital

Mission and Vision of an Organization

            Establishing the mission and vision of an organization is crucial identify the direction in which the organizations hopes to go, in addition to explaining the organization’s reason for existing. The mission and vision of an organization is not to be confused with a ‘sales pitch’ or a ‘motto’, but rather should be looked at as the specific intentions and objectives of the company; as the company grows and improves in their service, the mission and vision should be updated accordingly. As we begin our evaluation of Atlantic General’s strategic plan, we start with their mission and vision statements below:

Mission of AGH

The mission of Atlantic General Hospital is both simple and clear-“to create a coordinated care delivery system that will provide access to quality care, personalized service, and education to improve individual and community health” (Atlantic General Hospital, 2013).

Vision of AGH

The Vision of Atlantic General lines up perfectly with their intended mission; according to mission statement of AGH (2013), they define their vision as the following: “to be the leader in caring for people and advancing health for the members of and visitors to our community”.

As we will illustrate further in the paper, Atlantic General does a superb job of upholding both the mission and vision that senior management has for their organization.

The Future State of AGH

With the numerous changes and reforms that the healthcare industry has experienced over the years, and will undoubtedly experience in the future, Atlantic General Hospital formulated this five-year strategic plan not only to guide them presently, but also to pave the way for their company in the future. With current regulatory and market mandates, AGH are implementing a new strategic plan that will primarily focus on developing more efficient and effective healthcare delivery models. This goal involves both the gain of new information technology, as well as the achievement of the various integration goals that are set in place by our federal government (Atlantic General Hospital, 2013).

In order to keep up with the future of healthcare, plans on implementing something referred to as their “E” strategy over the course of their five-year plan. There are various components to this strategy including the following:

  • Integration of electronic medical records
  • Error-free delivery of healthcare services
  • Ethical conduct
  • Excellence
  • Efficiency

By employing this particular strategy, Atlantic General plans to achieve, over the next several years, to utilize various information technology systems to improve both the delivery of healthcare, as well as the coordination and efficiency of care services.

Benchmarks of Atlantic General Hospital

Over the course of their previous five-year strategic plan, AGH hit many milestones including building service lines in the following areas:

  • Cancer care
  • Wound care
  • Diabetes
  • Women’s Health
  • Orthopedics

The above listed areas of Atlantic General Healthcare are just a few of the milestones that were achieved by AGH and are only a start to the great achievements to come for their company.

CONCLUSION

            The action that needs to be taken leadership by the management team of Atlantic General Hospital is simple-maintain the original objectives of their mission and vision. This is the first step in ensuring that the goals discussed here will be achieved through proper training, implementation, and of course motivation. Successful implementation of this strategic plan will be recognize by the achievements and goals of AGH-improve relationships among employees and staff at AGH, continued improvement of rating scores by the community, deliverance of quality care to all patients, and the maintaining of pride and satisfaction among staff.

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“The world does not require so much to be informed as to be reminded”-Hannah More

What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

“Look! This is something new?”

It was here already long ago;

it was here before our time.

-Ecclesiastes I:9-10

LANGUAGESo as I mentioned before, my life recently has been a whirlwind of working from home, working to build my personal empire, as well as that of my family, figuring out things about my life and self that I didn’t even know I was confused about, and on top of it all being a 24/7 mommy. In the midst of the “hectic-ness” that is my life, I am also attempting to read several books, one of which is ‘POSITIVE WORDS, POWERFUL RESULTS: SIMPLE WAYS TO HONOR, AFFIRM, AND CELEBRATE LIFE’ by Hal Urban. I have been taught over the last couple of years the power that not only feelings, but actual words can have over life, situation(s), and overall well-being, but I never truly grasped it until I began reading this book (I’ll provide a link at the end of this post for anyone who may be interested). Although I thought I had a fairly good idea on the impact that my words have now, and have had in the past, the words within the pages of this book made me realized otherwise.WORDS

The purpose of this post was not meant to be lengthy, or intellectually deep, but, as my title says, I just wanted to remind everyone out there of the power that your words, both positive and negative, can have on not only your life, but the lives of others as well. With all the harshness that is already in our world, do a kindness…spread some positivity and happiness to others, including yourself. Share a compliment, tell yourself that you’re beautiful…that you’re awesome. I don’t really think that’s something that we do enough…Lord knows I don’t..so enjoy your Saturday, and remember that everyday we have the COMPLETE choice to be happy and share that happiness with others 🙂

Positive Words, Powerful Results: Simple Ways to Honor, Affirm, and Celebrate Life

Til’ next time….

-Me

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world”- Lucille Ball

Happy Wednesday ladies and gents!! I know, I know, long time no see, right? You would NOT believe the whirlwind my life has been for the last few weeks (including the removal of 4 wisdom teeth, which I am just now recovering from), and currently still is, although I have a somewhat better grip on my day-to-day happenings. So with that being said, the little one is sleep for a couple of hours (let us pray) and I have a moment to breathe (kinda) and much blogging to do….download (4)

I am taking a page from a blog post that I follow, The Daily Post (GREAT blog by the way), and decided to write about one of my many firsts…and for those that may want to use this particular idea for their own blog, you can write about ANY firsts…your first love, your first day at a particular job, the first time you had sushi, or made out in public (to each his own, right?). Whatever “first” that you have in mind, go for it! Me personally, I decided to write on the first day that I became a parent….not when I became pregnant, but when I actually had the little ball of snot and bodily fluids that was my daughter (and I say that with the most loving tone).

I cried. I mean of course I did the few, cute little tears of joy when she was first born, but that night, after all the hoopla died down, the in-laws had left, and the nurses were done prodding at me, it truly hit me that I was now 100% responsible for someone else’s life (other than my own obviously) and I cried like there was no tomorrow. I was scared, excited (but still more scared), and anxious about the future (but still even more scared). Lord knows I didn’t have the perfect parents growing up, and really, who did? But I was terrified that I would fail this little girl somehow and she wasn’t even a day old. So I cried, and I cried some more, then I had like 8 cans of Pepsi, and I cried even more. I never knew you could experience postpartum so soon after having a child, I thought it was a grace period of at least a month…

429437_10151231028185157_927462826_n

 

My first day being a parent put my mind in a perspective that I didn’t think I would ever experience…a sense of determination that was not there before. And to be quite honest its this sense of determination that scares me sometimes. I’m so determined to be a great parent that I’m terrified that I’m going to fail at it; I experienced that whole array of emotions over the last couple of weeks. I made some mistakes (like we all do, I know) that at first made me question my ability to be a great model for my daughter…a woman that she will want to look up to and be proud of. And I am still fighting with the negative aspects of these feelings, but I have to remind myself to do the best that I can everyday and that’s the most that anyone can ask for.

I am determined to provide the best for my daughter…and not just in the cliche way that every parent wants the best for their child, but I want to offer her the things that I didn’t even know existed up until 3 years ago. I want to offer her the awareness of the power that she will have within herself, the confidence in her own abilities, and the knowledge that she can succeed at whatever she puts her thoughts and mind to. These are all things that I thought about my first day/night as a parent, and all things that I still think about till this day….I do not have a clear path on how exactly I am going to accomplish the things that I want..both as a mom and as a woman, but I have the passion and drive to take the first step 🙂

download (5)

Thanks for listening all! Til’ next time…

-Me

“I am too busy to be organized….”

Happy Monday all! I just had to pop in and say hi and tell you guys to not forget about me 🙂 I have recently taken on an additional role (as well as another stream of income) in life and I am still in the process of getting it all together in a semi-neat package so my blogging has been a bit limited. Even so, I am still around and blessed….had an awesome time at my alma mater this pass weekend for Homecoming (GO GREEN!!!!!) and my daughter and I are currently back in the freezing cold state that is Michigan visiting family for a couple of weeks, so as I said…life has been a tad bit hectic…busy

I hope all has been going well with everyone out there in the world of WordPress, Google +, Facebook, and Tumblr 🙂 Don’t miss me too much…I’ll be returning soon!!!

Til’ next time….

-Me

MSU14

 

Michigan-State-University-Logo

A Glimpse into My Life as a Grad Student….

*Hey all! Happy Tuesday!! So I have been BEYOND busy lately so I apologize for my absence, however I wanted to bring you guys in on my Grad school journey. For our last assignment we had to write a blog entry on Quality Circles and Feedback Loops within Healthcare (yes, its exciting as it sounds 🙂 ) So I thought, “Why not put it on my personal blog?? Hope you guys enjoy!!*

Quality Circles and Feedback Loops: What Are They?

            We have previously discussed various components of risk adjustment, as well as effective feedback within healthcare organizations. However, there are a couple of areas that have not been discussed, which are quality circles and feedback loops. Quality circles are defined as, “a small group of employees in the same work-area, or doing a similar type of work, who voluntarily meet regularly to identify, analyze, and resolve works, ultimately leading to improvement in their performance and work-life (Final Quality Circle, 2012). On the other hand, images (4)feedback loops, within the healthcare industry, are an optimal tool when achieving goals/objectives that are declared by healthcare professionals (Institute of Medicine, 2013). When used cohesively, quality circles and feedback loops can provide a significant amount of support for collaborations within healthcare teams, as well as provide an opportunity to determine the various components of care and treatment options through “quality based initiatives” (Institute of Medicine, 2013).

According to Final Quality Circles (212), when examining quality circles, whether in healthcare or another industry, there are typically three major attributes, which are (1) problem solving technique, (2) form of participation management, and (3) a human resource development technique. Quality circles are implemented for the purpose of encouraging employee participation, as well as to formulate ideas for improvements in quality management initiatives. Over recent decades, the idea of quality circles has evolved as an instrument to not only establish, but also to promote the potential of employees for the improvement of both quality and productivity in their workplace.

History of Quality Circles

            Before we can move on to the role that quality circles and feedback loops play in healthcare, we must first illustrate the origins of quality circles.

Quality circles were initially associated with the manufacturing and management techniques of the Japanese, inspired by the ideas of W. Edwards Deming (Final Quality Circles, 2012). Deming (1900-1993) was a statistician for the U.S. government; his proposals were based on the idea that the roles between line managers/engineering and the line workers of factories (which at the time meant that the responsibility of quality control primarily fell on the line managers) should be reversed. Deming asserted that by redesigning production processes to enable line workers to be more accountable regarding quality control, would ultimately result in the continuous education of all employees. Quality circles were a way to ensure that this is achieved, in addition to taking the place for production workers (Final Quality Circle, 2012).images (3)

Quality Circles and Feedback Loops within Healthcare Organizations

            Perhaps one of the greatest challenges within the healthcare industry is the goal of improving the quality of care received by patients, while reducing the cost to society at the same time. It is for this reason that we will discuss several ways in which quality circles, as well as feedback loops, can be used within healthcare organizations for the purpose of strengthening both quality management initiatives and activities. We will begin with the following:

  1. Implementation of quality circles and feedback loops can be used to compare the risks and/or benefits of certain prescription drugs for patients. Discovering treatment options that will not only improve the quality of care received by patients, but that is also economical, is a critical goal for any healthcare organization. In regards to prescription drugs, quality circles can analyze the following to strengthen quality management and ensure cost efficiency (WHO, 2013).
  • Rheumatism, muscle pain, and prevention of undesirable effects of anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Generic substitutions
  • Therapeutic innovations
  • Drug interactions
  • Prescribing antibiotics for common infections in out-patient treatment

Physicians and pharmacists within the healthcare community can come together as a quality circle and determine the economic and scientific data from the topics listed above in order to expand their general knowledge before passing the data on to the doctors who service patients. By implementing a procedure such as this, healthcare professional have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care that patients receive in the area of prescription drugs.

  1. Identify the criteria needed for change

As with any organization, change is inevitable, especially in the healthcare field; quality circles and feedback loops can be incredibly useful in determining what is needed to facilitate positive change within the organization. Both quality circles and feedbacks loops are also a crucial component in identifying what barriers there are, if any, that may hinder whatever change is necessary (Lamb & Zimring, 2010).

  1. Determine what components are needed for the appropriate care of patients

Quality circles and feedback loops can play a critical role in determining the appropriate area of care for patients that are in the same population, health wise (Lamb & Zimring, 2010). By obtaining significant data in this area, healthcare providers can better serve those patients that have similar, or alike, illnesses. Implementing this procedure also has the potential of improving the communication between healthcare providers and patients since they will be collaborating on the best treatment methods for the patients, as well as any goals that they hope to receive, both on the ends of the provider offering the best care and the patient getting the treatment that him/her deserves.

Conclusion

The quality and efficiency of healthcare can only be continued when methods used to improve quality management are implemented. The purpose of quality circles are to work on the continuous improvement of quality care for patients and by identifying the best course of care, or the best prescription plan for a patient can help accomplish this. As we have learned from the beginning of this course, total quality management is a necessary and critical component of any healthcare organization, by implementing various methods such as risk adjustment, quality circles, and feedback loops, healthcare professionals are ensuring that they are doing their best to uphold the entire mission of their job: to provide the best medical care possible to all individuals in need.

feedback loops, within the healthcare industry, are an optimal tool when achieving goals/objectives that are declared by healthcare professionals (Institute of Medicine, 2013). When used cohesively, quality circles and feedback loops can provide a significant amount of support for collaborations within healthcare teams, as well as provide an opportunity to determine the various components of care and treatment options through “quality based initiatives” (Institute of Medicine, 2013).

According to Final Quality Circles (212), when examining quality circles, whether in healthcare or another industry, there are typically three major attributes, which are (1) problem solving technique, (2) form of participation management, and (3) a human resource development technique. Quality circles are implemented for the purpose of encouraging employee participation, as well as to formulate ideas for improvements in quality management initiatives. Over recent decades, the idea of quality circles has evolved as an instrument to not only establish, but also to promote the potential of employees for the improvement of both quality and productivity in their workplace.

History of Quality Circles

            Before we can move on to the role that quality circles and feedback loops play in healthcare, we must first illustrate the origins of quality circles.

Quality circles were initially associated with the manufacturing and management techniques of the Japanese, inspired by the ideas of W. Edwards Deming (Final Quality Circles, 2012). Deming (1900-1993) was a statistician for the U.S. government; his proposals were based on the idea that the roles between line managers/engineering and the line workers of factories (which at the time meant that the responsibility of quality control primarily fell on the line managers) should be reversed. Deming asserted that by redesigning production processes to enable line workers to be more accountable regarding quality control, would ultimately result in the continuous education of all employees. Quality circles were a way to ensure that this is achieved, in addition to taking the place for production workers (Final Quality Circle, 2012).

Quality Circles and Feedback Loops within Healthcare Organizations

            Perhaps one of the greatest challenges within the healthcare industry is the goal of improving the quality of care received by patients, while reducing the cost to society at the same time. It is for this reason that we will discuss several ways in which quality circles, as well as feedback loops, can be used within healthcare organizations for the purpose of strengthening both quality management initiatives and activities. We will begin with the following:

  1. Implementation of quality circles and feedback loops can be used to compare the risks and/or benefits of certain prescription drugs for patients. Discovering treatment options that will not only improve the quality of care received by patients, but that is also economical, is a critical goal for any healthcare organization. In regards to prescription drugs, quality circles can analyze the following to strengthen quality management and ensure cost efficiency (WHO, 2013).
  • Rheumatism, muscle pain, and prevention of undesirable effects of anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Generic substitutions
  • Therapeutic innovations
  • Drug interactions
  • Prescribing antibiotics for common infections in out-patient treatment

Physicians and pharmacists within the healthcare community can come together as a quality circle and determine the economic and scientific data from the topics listed above in order to expand their general knowledge before passing the data on to the doctors who service patients. By implementing a procedure such as this, healthcare professional have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care that patients receive in the area of prescription drugs.

  1. Identify the criteria needed for change

As with any organization, change is inevitable, especially in the healthcare field; quality circles and feedback loops can be incredibly useful in determining what is needed to facilitate positive change within the organization. Both quality circles and feedbacks loops are also a crucial component in identifying what barriers there are, if any, that may hinder whatever change is necessary (Lamb & Zimring, 2010).

  1. Determine what components are needed for the appropriate care of patients

Quality circles and feedback loops can play a critical role in determining the appropriate area of care for patients that are in the same population, health wise (Lamb & Zimring, 2010). By obtaining significant data in this area, healthcare providers can better serve those patients that have similar, or alike, illnesses. Implementing this procedure also has the potential of improving the communication between healthcare providers and patients since they will be collaborating on the best treatment methods for the patients, as well as any goals that they hope to receive, both on the ends of the provider offering the best care and the patient getting the treatment that him/her deserves.

Conclusion

The quality and efficiency of healthcare can only be continued when methods used to improve quality management are implemented. The purpose of quality circles are to work on the continuous improvement of quality care for patients and by identifying the best course of care, or the best prescription plan for a patient can help accomplish this. As we have learned from the beginning of this course, total quality management is a necessary and critical component of any healthcare organization, by implementing various methods such as risk adjustment, quality circles, and feedback loops, healthcare professionals are ensuring that they are doing their best to uphold the entire mission of their job: to provide the best medical care possible to all individuals in need.

” I thought I was promiscuous, but it turns out I was just thorough”- Russell Brand

Happy Baby

Love in the 21st Century

Love. One word that can already be confusing as hell. When you throw in today’s age of texting, social media, online dating, long-distance relationships, and who knows what else, the idea of love can seem like an even more complex, and unfamiliar, area. Let me start by saying that this is my own personal opinion on what I think love in the 21st century means to me, at the end of the day, however, I believe that love should be whatever you define it as. Whether its between two men, two women, a husband and wife, or high school sweethearts….love is not something that can be defined by society.

So, I am 27 years old…not that its time to send me out to pasture or anything, but I have to admit that the idea of love and relationships has seemed to evolve into a whole nother’ thing in today’s age, and especially since I have been that naive, bright-eyed highschooler madly in puppy love. And I am not just speaking from my own perceptions of today’s “love”, I also have a younger brother, who is 17 going on 30, that gives me the daily scoop on his “relationships” and “boos”, in addition to the various rules that apparently teen dating consists of. In regards to love and all this technology that has popped over the last few years, it seems that, from my experience, “relationships” (and I used that term loosely) have evolved from chirping your girlfriend/boyfriend on the latest Nextel (and that was after the phase of calling your sweetheart on their house phone, get into a good convo, then have their parents, or yours, come onto the line and say they need to use the phone) to commenting on their pictures/statuses via Facebook and/or Instagram…things that didn’t exist a decade ago. What can one do though? Times will keep a-changing…I’m confident that love will keep up however 🙂BW_Flatt_Brain

While we’re on the subject of love in the 21st century, let me steer away from technology and love and just briefly speak on what my own understanding of love is because, regardless of the technological advances that has emerged, I can definitely say my understanding of it is one thing that has evolved over the years. I was a selfish girlfriend. Boom. That’s it. Let me clarify though…I wasn’t a selfish person (well at least no more than the average person, I think we all have a bit of a selfish trait within us, but that’s neither here nor there). Even though I wasn’t a selfish individual (per se 🙂 ), when it came down to relationships….I don’t know…I just had some helluva growing up to do. Unfortunately I didn’t make that realization until years later. As I look back on it, I had my fair share of selfish moments…moments that I’m not going to go into because that’s not necessary, but they got pretty bad. And the messed up thing is I really don’t have a valid reason why…well, at least not one that doesn’t sound like a bucket of crap. I was young, naive, felt like what I wanted and/or needed was the only thing that mattered…take your pick. I didn’t grow up and get over myself until relationships were destroyed and feelings were hurt. Even more specifically, I didn’t TRULY grow up until I became involved with the gentleman I am currently with…the apple of my eye…the thorn in my side…the father of my child…the love of my life…the head in my ache….you get the idea.

It was not until we started our life together that I realized what love really is….for me. I’m not saying some generic definition like I had in the beginning of our relationship. I mean the deep, messy s*** that can sometimes happen in relationships, the stuff that stays between you and your partner because no on else would probably understand. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have loved before and if I were honest with myself I would say that I was in love before….once. My high school sweetheart (yea I was that girl)…we grew away from each other in the end, but we loved each other hard and I will always have a fondness for him. Even so, I don’t think anyone can truly comprehend what love is to them until they REALLY begin to start their life with someone (and let’s not even mention live together…that’s a whole nother’ discussion). My boyfriend has seen all my flaws…the nasty stuff..I mean I hit rock bottom with this man..and yet, he still loves me like its the beginning. And vice versa. Just to be clear, we are not perfect by a long shot…we argue…he annoys me, I annoy him, there are days when we want to shoot each other with rubber bullets…we both make our own mistakes, and we both are still learning each crianças-29other.But even with the crap I can honestly say that it did nothing but strengthen the foundation of our relationship (and trust me, it was real touch and go for a bit). And THAT is what love in the 21st century means for me; when you bring in honesty, communication, trust, and support in your relationship, everything else will fall in place. Oh, and have fun! I don’t think enough couples have fun nowadays…travel…go out…have dates…flirt..all that stuff.

Whether its the 21st century, or centuries ahead, when you are blessed to find the person who is willing to put up with you and vice versa, take care of him/her. And it regards to what love is, create your own definition…there is no right or wrong answer (unless you think love is about ruthless, dominating power or something…that might be a not-so-great answer, but to each their own!).

Til’ next time….

-Me

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”- George Bernard Shaw

A Pinch of You-Inspired by The Daily Postimages (2)

In my previous post I participated in a Weekly Writing Challenge via The Daily Post and I must admit that I now have become addicted. 🙂 I have discovered numerous topics that caught my attention, and of course I just HAD to bookmark a few to write about later on. First, and foremost, I have to give credit where credit is due, the inspiration that I have gained thus far from The Daily Post has made me look at myself more in-depth than ever before. It has allowed me and given me the courage to ask myself the hard questions, which is what led me to write this particular post.

Each and every one of us is made up of our own special “ingredients”…the things that are specific only to us and make us who we are, all of our quirks, antics, and oddities. 😉 Now here’s the recipe me for my yummy goodness!

Main Dish:

2 cups dreamer
3 cups achiever
1 cup fitness freak
2 cups wine lover
3/4 cups traveler
1/2 cup OCD
1/4 tablespoon procrastinator
1/4 teaspoon insecure
a pinch of sarcasm
salt and pepper to taste

To Garnish:

4 tattoos
One pair of sexy specs

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in an over-sized Jacuzzi tub, add the wine last, and stir briskly. Let marinate overnight. Serve on a bed of wisdom.

And that’s it folks! Me in a nutshell! What about you all?? Think about your own recipe! I would love to hear about them! Be blessed everyone 🙂

Til’ next time….