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Applying Critical Thinking

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Applying Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is an important way of thinking in a business setting. This type of thinking involves decision-making and thinking of all elements of a specific decision. When all of the elements of the decision are explored, and different alternatives are presented, the individual or group involved in the decision the best possible alternative is chosen (Natale & Ricci, 2006). The health insurance field uses critical thinking in all aspects of business decisions. Critical thinking includes understanding the concept of using critical thought and knowing the direction that thought is going to take the group or individual (Natale & Ricci, 2006).
Thinking happens every second of every day, the best type of thinkers are the thinkers who think about what an individual is thinking (Paul & Elder, 2006). These thinkers think about what their thinking and may ponder on what one is thinking and then these thinkers act upon that thought (Paul & Elder, 2006). The best thinkers use critical thought in the workplace and create many solutions to different issues or problems within an organization. In organizations, it is important for an organization to develop employee’s critical thinking skills. Employees who think about what the individual is thinking and come up with the best alternative solutions can hold a competitive advantage over competitors (mindtools.com, 2010).
Blue Shield of California (BSC) is a leading health insurance company in the state of California. There are many departments within this organization and one department is known as the Blue Card Department. There are two sides to this department; one is called the Host side who deals with California providers who render services to other Blue plans members. The other part of this department is the Home department. The Home department handles BSC members who receive medical services outside of the state of California. This paper will focus on the Home side of the Blue Card department and the decision making process which includes critical thinking when created and updated operational processes.
Each Blue Cross Blue Shield plan has rules and regulations enforced by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). When BCBSA communicates a new or updated operational process and how to handle the process between Blue plans, processes must be created or updated. BCBSA can revoke any blue plans name (license to use the Blue Cross Blue Shield name and brand) if guidelines and procedures are not followed according to the Inter-Plan Processing manual.
Recently the BCBSA implemented a new process in accepting provider disputes and/or appeals on the Home side of the Blue Card department. The Home department used critical thinking when implementing the new operational process that must be followed. The first part of finding an operational process that will work with BSC systems and other processes for the new regulated process is to find the problem with the current process to ensure the new process was implemented by the next shared operational update release date.
Defining the criteria needing to be met by the association’s guidelines and coming up with goals and objectives for the operating system and current processes allow the team to discuss and evaluate the issues that may arise and alternate solutions. The team evaluates all aspects of the different alternatives and measures the impacts that these changes will have on other processes that would be impacted. Once the team decides on the best alternative, the writing of workflows begins and then implementation occurs. The final outcome and the release date was smooth because of the teams ability to use critical thinking throughout the decision making process.
Critical thinking is extremely important in the decision making process in the business world. Organizations who uses critical thinking with business and process decisions have a competitive advantage as utilizing the different individual talents and when all employees are using critical thought the best possible outcome is met. When a company has critical thinkers the dynamics and operations are ran smoother and the most efficient.

References
Sam Natale; Frederick, R. (n.d). Critical thinking in organizations. Team Performance
Management, 12(7/8), Retrieved from Emerald Full-text database.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). Critical Thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life. (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Mind Tools: Essential skills for an excellent career, (2010). Critical Thinking: Developing the skills for successful thinking. Retrieved from: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_95.htm

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