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Long-Term Care Administration Project, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Executive Summary

At HCR ManorCare, the highest quality, long-term care is provided to patients who require assistance for their medical conditions on a long-term basis. Furthermore, the departments in the organization itself work together to ensure the efficient and effective provision of these services, as this report shows. The relationship between departments, patients and staff is examined in line with the quality of long-term care provided by the organization at large.

The many departments that work together within long-term care organizations, such as the business, information technology, human resources and administrator’s department often focus their collective efforts on delivering the highest quality patient care.

Long-term care has continued to change from one service to multi-faceted services, including general health, mental health, and social health services. Furthermore, these services are offered to all ages, depending on each patient’s particular needs and the level of long-term care needed. The newer forms of health-care still focus on the patient at the receiving end of long-term care, but also utilize various departments that work together within the organization to provide a more holistic approach to healthcare, as seen in HCR ManorCare.

There are many roles and functions that apply to the information technology department; nevertheless, all rely on each other and work together to provide a higher quality, long-term care service behind-the-scenes. In such an environment as HCR ManorCare, information technology has remained an important investment in the organization inherently, especially in regards to facility coordinators, equipment supervisors, and technical specialists’ functions.

A number of external forces impact the human resources department in such a long-term care organization as HCR ManorCare, including government regulations and policies, legislation, competition, the economy, technology, and of course, finances; which are all taken care of by staff working together in the organization itself.

Often, administrator’s have many important responsibilities, one of which is ensuring that the organization is employing the best practices available, in order to provide high quality long-term care to their patients. HCR ManorCare has three best practices that highlight their dedication to high quality service and qualified, experienced staff, which are outlined herein.

HCR ManorCare strives to provide the highest quality, long-term care to patients that require assistance and services for their health and wellbeing. By utilizing the strength and expertise of staff in the business, information technology, human resources and administrator’s departments, the organization is able to maintain their position at the forefront of the healthcare market. In the organization, it is important that patients receive the best quality service unparalleled by similar organizations, or even the public health system.

As a result, HCR ManorCare continues to receive recognition from the government and many independent bodies, as well as important patients and family, who attribute the highest quality, long-term care to the staff within the organization itself. It is the organization’s competitive advantage that allows the many staff to work together efficiently and effectively, in such a way that the organization continues to provide its high quality, long-term care and services as a leader in the market.

Introduction

The healthcare sector has relied heavily upon the services of long-term care as an integral part of its operations. However, many people in society do not utilize these services or mistrust those who are part of this healthcare service for a myriad of reasons. The many departments that work together within long-term care organizations, such as the business, information technology, human resources and administrator’s department often focus their collective efforts on delivering the highest quality patient care. One such organization, known as HCR ManorCare, is the focus of this report, which analyses and discusses the organizational structure of each department, their relationship to others, and how staff work to provide quality, long-term care to patients.

Business Department

Long-term care has continued to change from one service to multi-faceted services, including general health, mental health, and social health services. Furthermore, these services are offered to all ages, depending on each patient’s particular needs and the level of long-term care needed. The newer forms of health-care still focus on the patient at the receiving end of long-term care, but also utilize various departments that work together within the organization to provide a more holistic approach to healthcare.

The role of the organization HCR ManorCare is to provide rehabilitation and additional services, such as long-term care, to assist patients with complete recovery (HCR Healthcare, 2013). By focusing on the patients, not just the organization, HCR ManorCare is able to provide high quality service over a continued period of time. As a result, patients are well-aware of the beneficial services provided to them, and are more satisfied and inclined to continue with the long-term care provided to them.

Of these services, the business department focuses on three strategic practices in terms of long-term care: cultural change; service integration, both medically and socially; and community residential care (Lehning and Austin, 2009). Firstly, cultural change allows staff to break down any potential barriers the patient may have to long-term care, therefore strengthening the staff-patient relationship. Secondly, service integration combines medical and social care into long-term care to provide more of a holistic approach. Thirdly, community residential care brings together housing and services into a caring, family-friendly environment.

Information Technology Department

There are many roles and functions that apply to the information technology department; nevertheless, all rely on each other and work together to provide a higher quality, long-term care service behind-the-scenes. In such an environment as HCR ManorCare, information technology has remained an important investment, especially in regards to facility coordinators, equipment supervisors, and technical specialists’ functions. A recent organization quality report shows that more than $100 million annually is invested in new construction, renovation, and expansion of existing facilities, new equipment and information technology hardware and software (HCR Healthcare, 2013).

These investments are also important in the function of other departments. Staff rely on information technology to provide critical health monitoring and additional services to patients, corporate functions for business endeavours, and internet capabilities for family and friends. This has benefits across the organization in regards to long-term care. Research shows that perceived usefulness, ease and computer skills had significant positive impact on caregivers’ intentions to use information technology in healthcare environments (Yu, Li and Gagnon, 2009).

Amongst the other departments, the administrator’s department also heavily relies on information technology for its day-to-day operations. It is therefore critical that when the relationship between departments is closely tied, both departments and the staff operating these departments work together for the benefit of the organization at large. At HCR ManorCare, this is clearly evident by the feedback provided by patients, which will be discussed below.

Human Resources Department

A number of external forces impact the human resources department in such a long-term care organization as HCR ManorCare, including government regulations and policies, legislation, competition, the economy, technology, and of course, finances.

Firstly, government regulations and policies are adhered to by HCR ManorCare, who abide by ethical standards and the highest quality care provided to patients by caring staff. As a result of this continued long-term care, the organization has been awarded the Five-Star Quality Rating, which is the highest rating attainable in healthcare (HCR Healthcare, 2013).

Secondly, there is certain legislation applicable to all healthcare organizations, especially in light of long-term care. This is used in legal practices whenever staff are inducted, and also serve as healthcare rules and policies when working with other staff and particularly patients. The legislation, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be discussed below.

Thirdly, competition can often be more of a benefit than a rivalry in healthcare, especially when liaising with hospitals and short-term care facilities. At HCR ManorCare, most patients are referred to by family, friends and hospitals. The organization then ensures that the highest quality, long-term care is provided for the recovery and comfort of all patients.

Fourthly, the economy often bears the weight of elderly and disabled care patients who do not wish to live dependent on others, especially healthcare organizations or retirement homes. Therefore, resources such as time and money are often spent mostly by close family and friends on those who require long-term care, but who do not accept it. HCR ManorCare ensures that the same home-style caring and comfort is available and provided to patients who wish to live independently, but at the same time in the security and assistance of the organization and staff when needed. Research shows that the focus on the important relationship between residents and direct care staff is important to the improvement of long-term care (Chu et. al., 2009).

HCR ManorCare has a long-standing tradition of growing talent, developing skills, and preparing staff for their roles as providers of quality health care. Primary research shows that employees ‘the quality of constant support is superb, the caring culture and in-services are great, and the staff work wonderfully together, are very caring and assist when needed’ (HCR Healthcare, 2013). Therefore, the staff are able to exceed patient’s expectations, and provide high quality care on a long-term basis.

Fifthly, technology impact the human resources department in appositive way, by allowing staff to communicate with patient’s relatives, refer patients to HCR ManorCare, and also keep the system updated with patient’ records and important organizational documentation. Without these technological resources, it would be harder to keep patients and executives satisfied with the quality of long-term care available.

Sixthly, finances are often needed to fund redevelopment and maintenance of facilities and services that are integral to the organization. As aforementioned, the HCR ManorCare invests hundreds of millions of dollars in ensuring that the best resources and services are available to patients, that staff are able to utilize equipment, and that resources are adequately distributed throughout the organization.

Currently, the trend in healthcare indicates that the number of patients is set to increase at an alarming rate, and it is proving more difficult for the public healthcare system to handle such an increase. Therefore, private healthcare organizations are often referred to patients, in order to ease the burden on public hospitals and respite centres.  HCR ManorCare has a unique system that ensures that patients are well rested and provided for during their time at the organization, and when they are ready, to return home. Long-term care is still provided to patients, but on an ongoing basis at the home of the patients, so that those who need to stay at the organization are provided for until such a time as they can live independently.

Administrator’s Department

Often, administrator’s have many important responsibilities, one of which is ensuring that the organization is employing the best practices available, in order to provide high quality long-term care to their patients. HCR ManorCare has three best practices that highlight their dedication to high quality service and qualified, experienced staff.

Firstly, the Center-Based Nurse Practitioner Program employs qualified nurse practitioners that work in teams across all branches of the organization, who work together for a period of twelve years. During this time, all team members develop their quality skills and medical expertise to such a level that any patient can be cared for and provided for during their time at HCR ManorCare. In addition, the practitioners work with medical doctors and assigned physicians to strengthen their collaborative yet independent relationships.

Secondly, the Circle of Care Program comprises training and exercises designed to strengthen relationships that staff already possess. It also focuses on the motivating aspects of families, patients and guests who use the organization’s services, and how staff can assist and help these people to be more satisfied with the quality, long-term care provided by HCR ManorCare (HCR Healthcare, 2013).

Lastly, ongoing learning and development to ensure that all staff remain at the cutting edge of healthcare and related long-term care service provision is provided by HCR ManorCare’s University, which is an online platform that enables staff to enhance skills conveniently, efficiently and effectively.

In addition, the administrator’s department is also responsible, along with the human resources department, to ensure that the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are carried out throughout the organization.  Quality and affordability of basic healthcare services, insurance coverage, and healthcare provisions are all covered by this Act, and is a federal statute that is to be legally adhered to by all healthcare organizations, including HCR Manorcare.

The impact of this legislation streamlines all associated healthcare costs for patients, so that similar rates are provided equitably across the board for all those involved. Furthermore, the highest quality, long-term care is provided and available for patients regardless of their medical conditions or requirements, so that the organization continues to function and its services are available to the public for many years to come.

Conclusion

HCR ManorCare strives to provide the highest quality, long-term care to patients that require assistance and services for their health and wellbeing. By utilizing the strength and expertise of staff in the business, information technology, human resources and administrator’s departments, the organization is able to maintain their position at the forefront of the healthcare market. As these departments, and especially the staff that make these departments function together effectively, continue to strengthen their relationships within the organization, and also externally with patients’ family and friends, the quality of long-term care continues to be recognized and appreciated by staff and patients alike.

References

Brown, J. and Finkelstein, A. (2009). The Private Market for Long-Term Care Insurance in the United States: A Review of the Evidence. Journal of Risk and Insurance, 76(5), 25-29.

Chu, E., Graves, W., Godfrey, S., Bonner, A., and Sloane, P. (2009). Beyond the Medical Model: The Cultural Change Revolution in Long-Term Care. Journal of the American Medical Doctors Association, 10(6), 370-378.

HCR Healthcare. (2013). Quality Report 2013. HCR ManorCare. Retrieved from http://www.hcr-manorcare.com/media/79468/2013_Quality_Report.pdf

Lehning, A., and Austin, M. (2009). Long-Term Care in the United States: Policy Themes and Promising Practices. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 53(1), 43-63.

Yu, P., Li, H., and Gagnon, M. (2009). Health IT Acceptance Factors in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Cross-Sectional Survey. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 78(4), 219-229.

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