The process of decision making in healthcare management is a process that is particularly awkward since it involves complex diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainties, patient preferences, values and costs. Often, healthcare management has a high considerable level of disagreement due to varying opinions among health practitioners. This thesis seeks to identify the potential causes for the problem and critically analyze the problems with respect to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Moreover, this thesis will provide critical recommendations directed at creating cohesive decision making process.
The causes of the Problem
The PAHO health organization is essentially an international health care organization, and its management system is expected to form credible and reliable decision making process. However, the institution is challenged by creating a cohesive decision making model that includes administrators, physicians, patients, and other health professionals. Moreover, these practitioners mostly have varied opinions concerning the matters affecting the organization. The following represent a number of causes that contribute to the high level of varied opinions in the management system;
- High level of uncertainty due to substantial consequences for the patient and for the organization.
- High level of vagueness of the data or variation in the interpretation of the available information.
- Availability of varied options and definitions of the current problem.
- Incorporating patient preferences and values in the decision making process.
Analyzing the Stated Causes of the Problems
PAHO has a wide coverage and access to the most recent technology in health care, and the organization is also supported by an active research and development department. However, the ability to make the appropriate decision is affected by a number of factors listed above. First, the level of uncertainty is the most critical aspect affecting the process of the decision making process. Essentially, uncertainties in the organization are caused by the fact that all medical activities have a substantial effect on the patient or on the organization. Uncertainties may be, caused by the availability of numerous diagnostic tests, the accuracy of the test, the impacts of the proposed medication, and the cost affiliated to the entire process. These factors essentially lead to a high level of varied opinions among the health practitioners.
Secondly, the level of ambiguity in the interpretation of data is also another aspect that creates varied opinion in the organization. The practitioners have varied qualification both in terms of competence and level of education hence they have varied opinions with regard to a similar case.
Thirdly, the practitioners are exposed to wide source information which prompts different definition of the current problem under scrutiny. This aspect is concerned about the cohesiveness of the various tests conducted on a particular patient or issue affecting the organization.
Lastly, the social responsibility or the ethical consideration that the firm ought to consider is another cause for the varied opinions in the management system. Some patients in the organization are closely affiliated to their culture, values and preferences. This aspect creates a number of varied opinions of which some support the patient perception, values and preferences while others disagree with the patient.
The availability of varied opinion is an illustration of the lack of cohesiveness in the decision making process. Therefore, PAHO manager should consider applying this set of recommendations to create a high level of cohesiveness in the decision making process;
- The problem that is being addressed should be broken down to a specific problem to reduce the high level of ambiguity.
- The process of decision making should be supported by visual aids so as to provide the variables and features of the problem. This will encourage practitioners to structure the problems logically and hence arrive at a similar decision as per the problem.
- The R&D department should be incorporated in the decision making process to provide evidence based counsel.
- Use the best obtainable evidence to support or disprove the conventions made.
- Lastly, combine all the uncertainties contributing to the varied options into an intelligent choice.
As seen in the above context, the PAHO management system is faced by a challenge of creating a cohesive decision making system due to the varied opinions expressed by different practitioners. Moreover, the causes of this problem specifically lies on the high level of uncertainty in most of the operations carried out in the organization, increased level of ambiguity in interpreting data and the information available, patient specifications, and the availability of numerous options. PAHO should address this case through establishing critical procedures that define the specific problem, seek counsel from R&D department, use visual aids and the best available evidence to support or discredit a certain assumption. With these recommendations, the health organization will minimize the existence of varied opinion and create a cohesive decision making process.
Clancy, C. M., & Cronin, K. (2013, April 20). Healthaffairs. Retrieved April 20, 2013, from Healthaffairs : http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/24/1/151.full
Guo, K. L. (2008). The Health care Manager. Health care Journals, 118-127.
Hitchcock, J. E., Schubert, P. E., & Thomas, S. A. (2003). Community health nursing: caring in action. Andover: Cengage Learning.
Nagelkerk, J. (2005). Study Guide for Leadership and Nursing Care Management. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences.