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Changes in Healthcare

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sdrm123
Words 790
Pages 4
Change is the pervasive element of society, of today’s health care environment, and of life. Change is inevitable in healthcare. Many changes can be seen in the perspicacity of patients, changes in practice models and skills, evidenced-based practice, and even educational requirement (Huber, pg 5). For example, between the years 1750 and 2000, healthcare in the United States evolved from a simple system of home remedies and traveling doctors with little training to a complex, scientific, technological, and organizational system (Randolph, pg. 336).
Prior to 1800, medicine in the United States was a "family affair." Women were expected to take care of illnesses within the family and only on those occasions of very serious, life threatening illnesses were doctors summoned. The practice of midwifery (attending women in childbirth and delivering babies) was a common profession for women, since most births took place at home. Until the mid-18th century, Western medicine was based on the ancient Greek principle of "four humors"; blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. Balance among the humors was the key to health. Disease was thought to be caused by too much or too little of the fluids. The healing power of hot, cold, dry, and wet preparations, and a variety of plants and herbs, was also highly regarded. When needed, people called on "bone-setters" and surgeons, most of whom had no formal training (Randolph, pg. 337). Based on these simple practices, we have been able to develop and change to the contemporary medicine we practice today. Change occurs continuously around us. We may want to support it, be indifferent to it, and be passive or participate in it. The pace of change has increased dramatically.
Managing change is a complex, dynamic and challenging process. It is about evaluating, planning and implementing operations, tactics and strategies and making sure that the change is worthwhile and relevant. It is a blend of technological and people-oriented solutions. Effective change has been characterized as unfreezing old behaviors, introducing new ones, and re-freezing them. Change may be continuous, sporadic, occasional, or rare. Predictable change allows time for preparation, whereas unpredictable change is more difficult to respond to effectively (Mark). Since changes in healthcare occur so rapidly, they are less likely to be predictable.
Failure rates are associated to a number of different factors such as lack of vision and commitment from senior management, limited integration with other systems and processes in the organization, and ill-conceived implementation plans. If organizations are to experience a greater level of success in their development efforts, managers and executives need to have a better framework for thinking about change and an understanding of the key issues which accompany change management. If change is sanctioned, employees want to understand why change is happening and how they will be affected. Layoffs or other organizational changes can lead to distrust, misunderstanding, anger and uncertainties under the auspices of change.
Promoting change can be challenging and wearing. Bringing about change requires the manager/employer to challenge the known pattern, and requires perseverance against the habits and customs of established behaviors. Bringing about change takes time and requires the commitment of time on the part of the employer. The employer must know the values that matter and focus on changing those as opposed to reacting to every invitation for change. They must be clear about what is important and develop responses and proactive actions accordingly (Riekert).
Establishing a clear vision about the direction of the change process is another key element for assuring successful change. Measuring and monitoring outcomes of the change process is essential for recognizing whether or not the change process has fulfilled its purposes. Since change is consistently occurring in facilities and associated modifications are taking place, it is important for those who are in charge of the change process to record and focus on the emerging problems due to change. This will help to avoid them in the future so that the new administration system will help to manage the change in the proper and best manner.
To conclude, there are universal changes happening, which drive individual health care systems to change accordingly in order to proceed ahead. Solutions are required to overcome any developing complications due to the change that are continuing to happen. And in order to keep the facility functioning according to plan, the entire staff’s knowledge and skills should be progressed. Necessary training on the changes in technology must be provided. Individuals who are in charge of the change process should record all emerging problems and design an ultimate solution for better future of organization. Changes in healthcare practice are welcome if they can save money or ultimately the improve quality and safety of the patients.

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