Banner Health is among the highest performing health care systems in the United States based on efficiency, patient care and quality ranked by Truven Health Analytics in 2014 according to PR Newswire (2014). The purpose of this paper is to outline Banner Health, being a health care organization with a large network. Moreover, the paper outlines how well Banner Health is prepared to address issues like nurse staffing, network growth, patient satisfaction and resource management in the next decade.
Banner Health organization was created as a merger between Lutheran Health Systems and Samaritan health System in 1999 (Banner Health, 2014). Banner Health is a Phoenix-based non-profit organization operating twenty-three hospitals making it the second largest employer after Wal-Mart in Arizona (Banner Health, 2014). Banner Health organization is present in the states of Arizona, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, California, Nebraska and Wyoming (PR Newswire, 2013). Banner Health work towards “making a difference in People’s lives through excellent patient care” (Banner Health, 2014). This means that all profit goes towards investments in service delivery like purchasing hospital beds, physician service, improving salaries, expanding patient care, maintenance of existing facilities and equipment and investing in new technology (Banner Health, 2014). In addition, the organization also provides for charity care and subsidizing education cost for medical courses (Banner Health, 2014).
Banner organization provides a wide range of patient services facilitated by highly qualified and dedicated team of physicians and staff in their aim to provide exemplary patient care services provided include hospital care, emergency, outpatient surgery, hospice, laboratories, long-term care, pharmacies, family clinics, rehabilitation services, neuroscience, cancer care, transplants, pediatrics, orthopedics and nursing registry (Banner Health, 2014). The organization is a leading research center in cancer, Alzheimer and spinal injuries (Banner Health, 2014).
Growth of this organization is eminent coupled with its ranking and patient services. On conception, the organization had 22,500 employees (Banner Health, 2014). This figure has grown to 36,000 in a period of fourteen years (Banner Health, 2014). Evidence of growth of the organization is seen in the commitment to investment in staff, technology and new facilities (Molly, 2012). By the status, the organization is headed towards more expansion projects that translate to more nurses getting employment and more patients gaining access to health care services (Molly, 2012). By having a clear-cut growth vision and willingness of the organization to spend on innovations, the organization is prepared to address future health care concerns (Molly, 2012). Banner Health network made an agreement with Aetna to provide technology that would improve patient care like health information exchange, patient data analytics and mobile connectivity (Aetna, 2012). The system will enable the organization identify quality issues, medical errors and gaps in patient care while at the same time allowing physicians to report, monitor, track and coordinate patient health outcomes (Aetna, 2012). Banner organization already has 17 of its facilities recognized as having reached stage 7 by HIMSS, which has enabled the organization increase performance (Aetna, 2012).
Banner organization commitment to health and healing environment of both staff and patients is exhibited through tobacco policy that bans use of tobacco inside and outside facilities (Banner Health, 2014). Smokers visiting their facilities are encouraged to seek nicotine replacements like lozenges, patches and gums. Furthermore, patients who smoke need to inform nurses or attending physician to assist them with nicotine replacements (Banner Health, 2014). According to Molly (2012), patient grievances are promptly addressed in the organization since inception of a three-step policy emanating from a series of patient dissatisfaction and long grievance processes. The first level of grievance review is feedback where patients respond to questions directly to ensure that their stay in the hospital is comfortable (Molly, 2012). The second step is complaint where patients or their family members voice their dissatisfaction (Molly, 2012). The third level is the formal process that requires one to have full documentation and written responses of complaints that cannot be addressed at point of service (Molly, 2012). By offering an avenue where patients can be involved in decisions pertaining their care, Banner Health facilities has seen a significant reduction in serious grievances due to the proactive means of addressing complaints as opposed to reactive means (Molly, 2012).
Organizations are nowadays struggling to affect green measures in their day-to-day services and Banner Health has made caring for the environment its agenda. Banner has a Think Green Program in all its hospitals that is involved in creating programs to reduce impact of the organization to the environment (Banner Health, 2014). In its paper recycling efforts, Banner saved over 18, 140 trees, 3.6 million kilowatts of electricity and over 7 million water gallons in 2013 (Banner Health, 2014). Similarly, through waste recycle, the organization reduced the impact made by manufacturing and transporting new devices by diverting over 117, 000 pounds of waste (Banner Health, 2014). The health organization has also invested in pharmaceutical waste program, cardboard recycling, batteries, recycling bulbs and used oil. In addition, the organization eliminates packaging and plastic waste by using reusable containers for holding sharp devices like scalpels and needles saving over $30,000 dollars and reducing chances of staff injury (Banner Health, 2014). In my evaluation, this makes the organization more than ready to handle future environmental challenges that arise from medical waste.
According to Dahlen and Bailey (2013), cutting cost is very challenging in health care organizations since it equated to cutting corners resulting in high level of patient and staff dissatisfaction. However, Banner Health has succeeded in cutting cost while maintaining high level of health services (Dahlen & Bailey, 2013). During the 2008 financial crisis, low patient volumes and reimbursements hit Banner Health and staff members were worried of retrenchment. The leadership engaged stakeholders in the facilities to contribute in cost reduction as opposed to imposing such measures from the administration (Dahlen & Bailey, 2013). This strategy helped in reducing stress for the staff and enhanced their morale and commitment to the organization mission of providing excellent patient care (Dahlen & Bailey, 2013).
Despite the positive appearance of the organization, Banner Health has had some setbacks over the years. Recently, Landen (2014) reported an incident that exposed over 50,000 personal records including social security numbers in their magazine Smart & Healthy. Alltucker (2014) also reported a computer outage experienced in Banner health facilities in Phoenix that resulted to staff using paper-based systems to track patient care information like medication.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that Banner Health Network is set for great things. The organization has invested greatly in technology and good leadership skills that have enabled it to make major growth leaps in the past fourteen years. The organization has attained numerous awards and recognitions like Top Leadership Team in Healthcare and Top Ten Integrated Health Networks for its efforts to improve patient health care delivery. By collaborating with the staff in decision-making, Banner Health has ensured that the nurses and physicians feel a part of the organization when they see their contributions being implemented. With the digital age catching up, Banner Heath has ensured that it continues to set trends through implementing high tech operations connecting nurses and doctors in all its facilities. Thus, Banner Health network is prepared to tackle health care challenges that might arise like jobs and best patient services due to the commitment of the organization to research and innovation.
Aetna. (2012). Aetna and Banner Health expand accountable care relationship to support more than 200,000 patients. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/eds/detail?sid=f3ac32b4-579c-4813-a7dc-01b2bd583721@sessionmgr115&vid=2&hid=115&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ==#db=bwh&AN=bizwire.c41592636
Alltucker, K. (2014). The Arizona Republic Computer woes hit Banner hospital system. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/19/computer-woes-slam-banner-hospital-system/5630829/
Banner Health. (2014). About Banner Health. Retrieved from http://www.bannerhealth.com/
Dahlen, D., & Bailey C. (2013). Cutting costs without cutting corners: Lessons from Banner Health. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/10/cutting-costs-without-cutting-corners-lessons-from-banner-health/
Landen R. (2014). Banner Health data breach affects more than 50,000. Retrieved from http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20140226/NEWS/302269946
Molly, A. (2012). Banner's changes may help it brace for future uncertainty. Northern Colorado Business Report. 17 (26), 9-9.
PR Newswire. (2013). Banner Health celebrates multi-year honor as nation's 100 Top Hospitals. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/eds/detail?sid=31d692e6-073a-466e-b4e2-4bd7065c7a32%40sessionmgr110&vid=3&hid=105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=bwh&AN=201304151427PR.NEWS.USPR.LA94874
PR Newswire. (2014). Banner Health named one of the top five large health systems in the U.S. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.library.gcu.edu:2048/eds/detail?sid=bb4ae3f9-7e20-4573-b310-d1832d473b72@sessionmgr198&vid=2&hid=115&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ==#db=bwh&AN=201403180611PR.NEWS.USPR.LA85140