Cases in Health Services Management: Mercy Hospital

Cases in Health Services Management: Mercy Hospital

General overview and analysis of data

The Mercy Hospital in its present condition looks good because of its innovative management approach which is highly regarded in the industry. The hospital has 300 beds and just recently, it undertook an advertising program “highlighting the quality of its professional staff and extolling the virtues of patient-care program… (Rakich, Longest, & Darr, par. 1). The hospital’s affiliation with the medical school of the local university provided Mercy with medical resources as well as training site and some cost advantages as part of the salaries of the physician involve in teaching are shouldered by the medical school. Outwardly, the Mercy hospital has strategic advantage in view of the benefits of their partnership with medical school.
 However, closer analysis of internal condition reveals that the hospital management is laden with problems that led to the resignation of the current Vice President for nursing. The problem lies in the administrative level involving the vice president for nursing Helene Swanson, associate vice president Michael Ryan, and the vice president for dietary and house keeping.
 What is the situation at hand?
The Situation at hand at the Mercy hospital is much worse given the impact of the problem stated above, among the personnel. There was conflict between physicians and nurses causing mutual hostility and mistrust among them and everything in the nursing department is problematic. There are no clearly defined duties and responsibilities among administrative level management, and there is no professional discipline among the health care professionals. The hospital is also facing acute shortage of competent nurses and lacks educational activities that will introduce innovations in nursing practice.
What are the environmental factors influencing the overview?
            The environmental factor influencing the overview could be the hospital’s innovative management approach because they are highly regarded for this in the industry. It gives an impression that Mercy hospital is in better shape. Aside from this however, nothing more could be consider as environmental factor influencing the hospital’s overview.
Is there a need for a competitive or SWOT analysis for the organization? If so, illustrate.
There is certainly a need for the Mercy hospital for SWOT analysis in order for them to determine their strength and weaknesses. Looking from data, it appears that the problem of Mercy hospital has to do with miscommunication and misconception of the duties and responsibilities, which seemed to suggest the top management, have nothing to do with it. In the principle of accountability however, the top management have greater accountability for the failures or success. Thus, top management cannot be detached from the problem. SWOT analysis could help determine where the problem really is and it could help enhanced the management strength, and work on to improved the weaknesses. According to an internet article, SWOT analysis is divided between internal and external analysis. Internal analysis is a wide-ranging evaluation of the internal environment’s possible strengths and weaknesses while external analysis are the threats brought by changes and new opportunities that arises (Strategic Management).
What types of strategies can we look at (for example, vertical integration) for the organization as a whole?
I would suggest that Mercy hospital should use intensive strategies because of potential benefits it can contribute to growth and improvement of the hospital. This grand strategy fits the situation of the Mercy hospital in view of its defined purpose. Goldman and Niewenhuizen (2006) stated,
“Intensive strategies are used to improve small business’s competitive position with regard to existing products and attempts to improve sales or profitability by getting more out of resources currently available within the small business. These strategies allow a small business to develop heightened expertise in its products and services by specialization” (Goldman & Nieuwenhuizen, p. 82)

II. Financial Analysis
It was not really clear whether the Mercy hospital is a charitable institution or a semi government hospital, nevertheless, it appears that there is no integration of indigent care and paying patient’s care. Indeed this one of the problems faced by Swenson as vice president for nursing. She points out “certainly tea and a piece of toast couldn’t hurt anyone who is not going to be anesthesized shortly. And it would be a way of saying to patients that they were being cared for and welcomed” (Rakich, Longest, & Darr, p. 342) in reference to the in hospitable dietary treatment to patients by the hospital.
Are there ways to demonstrate cost reduction and/or revenue enhancement?
Given the present situation, there seems to be no way the hospital can have justifiable cost reduction except in the salaries of personnel who also work part time at the medical school. Revenue enhancement could be perhaps next to impossibility, unless the hospital effectively address all the problems and implement strategies that would poster growth and development. The strategies suggested could greatly help in this aspect.
What is the financial integrity of the health care organization?

            The financial integrity of the hospital is in bad light not because it is on brink of bankruptcy but because it is not well managed. The hospital should also practice the reward system in order to boast the morale of its personnel by acknowledging their hard efforts with financial rewards through salary adjustment. This is one way of saying “keep up the good works” and it could effectively encourage employees to give their best. However, this not done and there seems to have no plans to do it but spend much on expensive but doubtful undertakings thereby reflecting a bad financial integrity of the hospital.

Goldman, G. & Nieuwenhuizen, C. (2006) Strategy: Sustaining Competitive Advantage in a Global Context South Africa: Juta and Company Ltd
Rakich, J.S., Longest, B. B. & Darr, K. Cases in Health Services Management (Fourth Edition)
“SWOT Analysis” Strategic Management 2002-2007

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