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Healthcare Problems

Identifies three problems in the functioning of healthcare and healthcare organizations, identified at any level or regarding any component (management, access, quality of care etc).

Describes these problems and discusses their importance.

Examples of problem areas are: nurse retention and staffing, response time to emergencies, lack of diversity of personnel, training problems, communication problems, staff morale issues, medication errors or other errors, lack of incentives for providing high quality of care, personnel recruitment problems etc.

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RESPONSE:

Let's take a closer look at the following issues.

1. Nurse Shortage, Retention and Staffing.

Healthcare is facing a growing public health crisis because of a shortage of health care workers. The shortage of health care workers affects most fields, including nurses, pharmacists, physicians, medical coders, radiology technologists, laboratory technologists, and health information technicians. The general public appears unaware of this critical situation. However, special emphasis has been placed on the shortage of nurses. The focus on nurses reflects the fact that nurses are by far the largest group of health care providers, and without their immediate presence at the bedside, patients will not receive care. It is significant because it has the potential to devastate access to quality health care as well as challenged the quality of care e.g. fewer nurses is linked to a greater number of medical errors. That is, nurses and other health care professions is the key to good care, nurses and other health care professionals are burned out, struggling, and leaving the profession. Retention is a serious problem in the nursing profession. They are overwhelmed with paperwork because payment cannot happen without meeting onerous documentation requirements. Even with all the stress, they are expected to perform flawlessly in complex human endeavors. For example, a report done in Washington reported:

"Hospitals are the bedrock institutions of Washington State's health care system. They are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 52-weeks-a-year, on holidays, ...

Solution Summary

Identifies three problems in the functioning of healthcare and healthcare organizations, identified at any level or regarding any component (management, access, quality of care etc). Describes these problems and discusses their importance.

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