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Environmental Analysis and Industry Trends

Executive summary

The following report intends to create a picture of what is happening in our institution and our current position in the provision of quality health care to the sick in our society. As is well known, the utmost challenge facing our health caregivers is in finding and tracking changes that happen in their settings. Also, there is a problem with setting goals to be achieved in the near future so as to cater to the identified changes (Cherry & Jacob, 2005, p.13). It is for these reasons that this report analyses the changes that have occurred in the environment of this hospital. It will tackle issues pertaining to legislative/political changes, the economic changes, the socio-demographic changes in the population being served by the hospital and their effect on health, the technological advancements that we have achieved so far and finally ending with the competitive changes as a result of up cropping of other two health care providers in our neighborhood. Coping with these changes is required in order to have smooth running. The report also shows the current trends in the health care industry. It concludes by urging all the stakeholders in health care to join hands to ensure equitable distribution of health care services to all.

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Background information

This medical center is a non-profit making organization established in the 1990s to provide specialized health care to the increasing number of consumers. It serves a population of up to half a million people, with the higher percentage of them being in their early adulthood. Most of the residents are of middle-level socio-economic class and informal employment. There are three hospitals in our vicinity that compete in offering the most efficient health care services to the residents.

Health care changes

According to the American College of Health Care Executives (2010, p.7), the laws and regulations that have been formulated as a result of health care reforms, bring much uncertainty in the health care sector while at the same time creating opportunities to be exploited in the future. They further state that it is the duty of each organization to find the relevance of each legislation, its timing and the context to which it can best be utilized. Health care professionals are in agreement that organizations providing health care have to deal with the following changes:

  • Legislative/political changes: in the near future there are expectations that with the ongoing health care reforms, the health activities are going to be regulated more. Legislations will be enforced to control abuse in health, the rules of disclosure between the patient and the health care provider, increased privacy of all the records with patient’s medical information among others (Swayne, Duncan& Ginter, 2006, p.50). Some legislative measures are anticipated to reduce or curtail the ever-increasing cost of medical care in our hospitals. With these legislations, political players will be involved in ensuring cost controls in medical care.
  • Economic changes: the cost of accessing health care services is expected to rise consistently as time goes on. With the economic hardship currently straining many people, this will definitely have an impact on the health status of the people. With the lack of health insurance for all in our nation, there will be diminished chances of employers increasing insurance coverage to cater to the rising costs (Shortell, 2008, p.92). The mass movement of patients from one health care provider to the next is anticipated as they will be forced to suit what their employers are able to offer. The hospitals will be forced to embrace strategic initiatives which are meant for cost reduction and improvement of hospital efficiency (Finkelman, 2009, p.63). In addition, they will be forced to result in fundraising procedures in order to offer medical care to the less fortunate in society. Also, we will have to adapt to new methods of cutting costs like moving care to minimal costly outpatient care. Finally, the number of privately sponsored patients will diminish day by day.
  • Socio-demographic changes: with a rising old age population in our country due to an increase in the life span, the demand for health care has been increased and therefore more budget is needed to cater for them. There has been a rise in Hispanic children of late notably one in four Americans is a Hispanic (Swayne, Duncan & Ginter, 2006, p.51). Also, in the future, as more people become literate, a well-educated population will be achieved that is capable of detecting any deviations from the normal about their health status. As a result of increased demand for health care, the ratio of patients to physicians will increase as the demand for physicians will rise as competition with the other institution’s rises.
  • Technological changes: there are ever-changing medical advancements; new drugs, medical technologies in surgery, gene therapy, vaccination among others (Finger, 2009, para.5). These changes have been marked by an increased rise in the cost of acquiring the new technologies to meet the market demand. In the future, much is anticipated in the medical information technology sector (Murray, 2007, p.54). This will involve automation of clinical information, telehealth and the field of medical data analysis.
  • Competitive changes: with the expansion of health care institutions so as to woo more consumers of health, stiff competition is forecasted between the various players. Health organizations will endeavor to acquire a market niche by targeting specific people in the population or by having specialized treatment services in a certain area (Terry, 2010, para.3). Improved care will be recorded in the outpatient department with an aim of winning large numbers of the sick. Public health care will gain more relevance as major public health strategies get to be applied in the areas of disease prevention and control, disease monitoring and surveillance among others. It is expected that the physicians will go on shifting their services to the outpatient sector in the facilities that they claim ownership or are partners (Jessee, 2004, p.50). The hospitals will therefore be better advised to establish a proper mechanism that engages the physicians in the hospital organizations so as to increase their loyalty to the organizations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clearly evident that the health care industry is gradually and continuously changing. These changes are accompanied by major improvements towards the provision of efficient health care to the patient which is the primary goal of health institutions. So as to remain relevant in the modern world, it is of great importance for health institutions to embrace these changes and be in tandem with the rest. With the ongoing health care reforms in our country, much is expected to change. There is every hope that equality in health care provision in the future will be achieved.

Reference List

American College of Health Care Executives (2010). Health Care Trends and Implications 2010-2015. Futurescan. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

Cherry, B. & Jacob, S. (2005). Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends & Management. Lousiana: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Finger, M. (2009). Industry Analysis and Trends. Web.

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Finkelman, A. (2009). Professional Nursing Concepts: Competencies for Quality Leadership. Washington, DC: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Jessee, W. (2004). Physicians: Transitioning from Alignment to Integration. Boston: Mcgraw Hill.

Murray, P. (2007). Nursing Informatics 2020: Towards Defining our Own Future. Virginia: IOS Press.

Shortell, S. (2008). Delivery System Reform: Accountable Care Organizations and Patient-Centered Medical Homes. Lousiana: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Swayne, L., Duncan, W. & Ginter, P. (2006). Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing.

Terry, K. (2010). Physicians and Hospital Battle Over Lucrative Procedures, Well- Insured Patients. Health Care Analysis. Web.

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