“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.

“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…

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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 🙂

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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.

Surviving Motherhood: things to get excited about, right now

Onward, Curiosity!

A friend’s dad, visiting from the UK, told me he thought that women made better stay-at-home parents.  This was within the context of my friend, his son, taking 6 weeks off in-between jobs, and going on and on about how great he would be at stay-at-home-dad-ness.  His father didn’t agree.

“It’s just natural [for women to stay home to take care of kids],” he kept saying.  “It’s biological.  It comes naturally to you.”  (By “you”, he apparently meant “all women, everywhere.”)

Really?  Because I don’t know that it comes naturally to me, let alone to most women I know.  Sure, we can give birth, and breastfeed, and all those hormones can make us superhuman, especially when it comes to getting up in the middle of the night.  But being a full-time parent is hard, people!  It’s not the running-about-after, cooking-for, cleaning-up-after a toddler that does me in; it’s the mental…

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“We used to want it all…now we just want to pee alone”- Motherhood

supermomOk so before I begin let me throw this out there: with this post I am in NO way taking the spotlight off all the superdads out there…I know a few personally…however as I do not have a penis, I can only speak from the role of mothers (although I guess to be truthful, having a penis doesn’t automatically mean fatherhood, does it?). The inspiration for this post came out of nowhere the other day…like literally out of the blue. It was just one of those days where I felt like I was doing EVERYTHING…cooking…homework…putting the little one down for a nap…loading the dishwasher…walking the dog…unloading the dishwasher…you get the point; now, before I go on let me say that I have been blessed to have my daughter’s father in my life…I know that there are a ton of single moms out there (and I have MUCH respect for ALL of you) and to be fortunate enough to have him here…I can’t fathom otherwise, he is an amazing man and father. However, I still have my days where I feel like I am taking on the whole world….while trying to keep up with Burn Notice on Netflix at the same time…

I have to be honest and say that I was never much of a multi-tasker or even someone who FELT like she could handle a million tasks at once. Once I crossed into the beautiful, and slightly insane, world of motherhood, however, I discovered just how many hats I am capable of wearing. Girlfriend, student, mother, daughter, housekeeper, entrepreneur, sister, yada, yada, yada…

Although I have been a mom for a whopping two years now, it didn’t really hit me until recently just how super us moms are. We carry on a lot throughout the day…raising a family, being an awesome girlfriend and/or wife, while maintaining our sanity, and pursuing our dreams/goals at the same time. (Once again, kudos to all my single moms!) I struggled quite a bit to find myself once I became a mother (and Lord knows I still have my days of confusion). This probably had a lot to do with the fact that I wasn’t a 100% sure of who I was even before I brought my daughter into this world. Either way, it took some time, some patience, and quite a few frustrating/tearful moments fro me to discover who I was outside of my “standard” hats, and to this day I still discover something new. 0871-mom-doesnt-care-funny-talk-bubbles-mothers-day-card

I am sure not every woman doesn’t experience this “absolutely clueless” feeling once becoming a mother, however for those that do, (1) you are not alone, and (2) don’t lose hope! While being a supportive mother and spouse, dutiful daughter, or whatever else your “duties” may be, it is also crucial for yourself, and you family, not to lose sight of who you are and what your purpose is here on this beautiful earth. If your goal is to be a successful, stay-at-home mom, AWESOME! Just put your all into it! But if you have other dreams as well…starting your own business…going back to school…moving up in your career…whatever it may be, don’t lose sight of it! I mentioned this in a few posts already, but just as a refresher, something that I currently make a habit of doing…I write down all my goals (financial freedom, starting my own wellness center, just to name a couple) on index cards and I tape those cards (in an organized fashion…I am slightly OCD after all) on our bathroom mirror so that I see these goals every single day. By doing this they remain fresh in my mind and makes me remember that I am more than a mom and girlfriend…we were ALL put on this earth for a reason, although that reason may not be clear at times. Whether its to be a great mom, CEO, alligator wrestler…whatever….we all are here for a reason!

Being a mom is a blessing….more women than you think aren’t able to get this opportunity…even so my fellow ladies, remember that your identity and self-worth does not stop at motherhood. You are beautiful..you are smart…you are 100% awesome…remember that:-)

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Til’ next time…..

-Me

Remembrance & Celebrations….

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Happy Wednesday beautiful people!!! So first and foremost, we all must take a minute and remember this day…thousands of innocent lives were lost…no day is a guarantee and it is for this reason that we must cherish each and every day…I mean come on people, life is way too short…appreciate it and be positive, even through the worst of circumstances!!

happybirthdayiphonemobilephone254661 And last, but not its…..its MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I truly want to thank God for allowing me to see yet another year…unfortunately I know of too many people that did not make it to the age of 27…life is truly a gift and one that must be cherished day after day…

This will be a short post because..I mean hey, it is my birthday…festivities are in the very near future!

Have a blessed day and evening everyone!!!!

Til’ next time…..

-Me