Predicting the future of healthcare in America is not a very possible exercise as there are several challenges that have the potential to define the future of strategic healthcare. This paper will discuss five of these challenges including proposed healthcare reform, advancements in information technology (EMR/HER), access to healthcare, public entities, and pay for performance.
Proposed Health Care Reform and Legislation
The proposed healthcare system has some flaws that its critics argue that it infringes on the rights of the American citizens. This is because the legislation is a contravention the 2nd amendment of the constitution of America. Although the reforms are not intended to harm any American citizen, the constitution is superior and overrides all other laws and any law that may contravene it is deemed null and void. As a result, if implemented the healthcare reform and legislation may be very expensive for the government as not all the people can benefit as some are not on government welfare. This is also coupled by the fact that the American economy has not been doing very well and thus there is the risk of failure to fully implement the system (National Research Council, 2000).
Access to Health Care Including the Uninsured and Those in the Poverty Levels
Healthcare is an important aspect for every country in the world. To address the issue of access and provision of healthcare to all its citizens, the US ought to involve all stakeholders in the healthcare industry who can try to come up with practical solutions. Healthcare industry stakeholders are faced with the problem of either reducing number of healthcare services as covered by Medicaid or Medicare or to reduce the money provided to healthcare providers. The different states of America have different Medicare or Medicaid programs that have strict eligibility rules for its citizens and as a result most people do not qualify (National Research Council, 2000).
Economics, Including Third Party Payers, Future Funding, Rising Costs, the Medicare and Medicaid Programs
Medicare as an insurance program is designed to benefit many people especially the disabled and the old who may not be in a position to afford their own payments. However, Medicaid and Medicare are faced with financial challenges on future financing. This is because of the current state of the economy and thus a challenge on coming up with long-term methods of raising funds. Rising costs of supplies has also raised the alarm over the introduction of prescription drugs into Medicaid and Medicare. This is also because policy makers fear burdening taxpayers for other people to benefit. As a result, other stakeholders feel that the federal government should come up with means and ways of supporting the program but not burdening taxpayers as a result (National Research Council, 2000).
Accreditation, Quality of Healthcare, And Organizational Compliance
Equipments used in hospitals need to be calibrated and this has posed a big challenge for healthcare organizations. The standards in our hospitals differ because not all organizations have the same equipments. However, there is need to have organizational compliance to the laid down policies and rules like the need to install expensive equipments or software systems that an organization may not be in a positing to afford. This may even result to some organizations run into debt. For organization to be compliant to organizational accreditation they may be required to give private and sensitive information and clients may not like it that way (National Research Council, 2000).
Information Technology Advancements Including the Electronic Medical, Or Health, Record (EMR/EHR)
Although advancements in information technology like the use of health record or electronic medical is a benefit to all Americans, such advancements pose challenges to doctors who may feel that putting clients’ information on the electronic media may equalize healthcare. Other medical practices do not auger well for example those that are reserved for janitor clients. Critics point out that electronic medical records may have a negative impact on the physicians as they may spend a lot of time entering data instead of attending to patients (National Research Council, 2000).
2. Describe how an organization can adapt its direction and strategies accordingly.
It is important that an organization adapts its strategies and direction in view of that implementing and managing necessary changes into the organization are possible. It is therefore important that the organization is resilient when it is faced with myriad of challenges such that it remains relevant and competitive in the market. The organization should also be in a position to achieve its goals according to its mission and vision.
Many of the healthcare organizations are today faced with undertaking to adapt to changes that have been brought with the advancement of the internet. The internet has been seen to have the prospective of making the services of healthcare organizations to be more accessible to healthcare organizations and thus enable faster and easier flow of information. A survey by the National Research Council (NRC) found out that the internet enables healthcare organizations to be in a position of reaching more clients and can also reduce costs as a result. When an organization is in a position to directly reach a client, it as a result eliminates intermediary costs. Also, partner organizations can also be reached by healthcare organization and thus eliminates middlemen costs. This as a result enables cheaper prices on drugs for the end users. This is one strategy for cost reduction as used by many healthcare organizations (National Research Council, 2000).
An example to the above is from some two non-profit healthcare organizations in Pennsylvania that had to make some necessary changes that the donor had introduced. A study was done to identify the differences and similarities between the two organizations and the others. Analysis showed that leaders of the two institutions were seen to be analytical and hands-off in running the organization. Other employees were genuine and were dedicated to the mission and vision of the organizations and followed the organizations’ strict accountability policies Witmer, 2006).