The Primary Care Clinic

Social, Political, and Economic Factors Influencing Urgent Care Facilities

A trend in the past 20-30 years has seen an influx of urgent care facilities and healthcare systems. Primary care facilities serve an integral role in the healthcare systems internationally, but have had an imbalance between specialty and primary care.  It has been observed that there has been an increase in the utilization of urgent care clinics (UCCs) and emergency departments in offering primary care services. While this represents an inappropriate use of urgent care infrastructure, the urgent care has become important and expanding role in the healthcare system. The urgent care is a clinic that operates independently from the primary care clinical setting and offers open access to patients suffering from acute medical illnesses. Among the social factors affecting the growth in the urgent care services, is the convenience in relation to the location, no need of making an appointment, and the opening hours (Coster, Turner, Bradbury, & Cantrell, 2017). The patients have been noted to increasingly seek care that is in a more convenient setting. Among the major economic factors influencing the proliferation of urgent care facilities, are value and costs. These following the rise in trend on the need of consumer-driven healthcare where patients are conscious of the price of the healthcare since patients are price-sensitive and pricing transparency is improving (Shrank, 2017). The urgent care centers have been noted to have an effect in saving of healthcare costs relative to accessing services at an emergency department (Alkon, 2018). In term of politics, health has been a major political topic in the political debate as politicians make pledge of improves access to quality healthcare in a bid to gain political mileage in the society. 

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Comprehensive Mission Statement for the Clinic

A comprehensive mission statement is essential in helping the management and the employee of a healthcare organization understand what the facility seeks to achieve. It is a roadmap to the recognition and value of the patients within the clinic. The mission statement of the clinic will be, “Providing primary care, towards a healthy community”. This mission statement indicates that the healthcare facility offers primary care services to the patients. It indicates that the clinic is committing to attaining a healthy community through its commitment to excellence. The healthy of the society will focus on the physical, emotional, and spiritual care for all the members of the community without discrimination. With such a mission to guide the operations of the healthcare facility, the clinical manager needs to ensure that everybody in the facility is valued and respected and that there is a chance for professional growth. The facility will aim at facilitating health education with an aim of developing a culture that allows discovery and research into innovative ways through which a health society can be achieved. 

Directions for the Clinic to Take to Expand its Business

Healthcare facilities can follow a couple of directives to expand their business. For instance, the clinic can organize community-sensitizing campaigns, where the medical staff from the clinic will meet with the members from the community and advise them on healthy matters. This leads to a situation where the community members will learn about the clinic and lead to more clients attending the clinic. The clinic can also invest in having the state of art medical equipment with an aim of enhancing its efficiency and enable offering of quality healthcare services. The clinic can also invest in offering specialty services, which will require an improvement of the range of services offered. Such initiative is bound to assist it become recognized as a clinic with excellent and diverse clinical services and thereby have an expanded business capacity. The provision of in-house medical services is influenced by different factors. Among the major factor to consider is the staffing requirement. Currently, the clinic staff are comprised of five family practitioners, two nurse practitioners, two physician assistants and 29 clinical support staff such as RNs, LPNs, CMAs. The number of staff available, their knowledge, experience, and skills levels limits the services that can be offered at the clinic. Another major factor that can be considered is the ability of the equipment available to offer a certain service. In this case, a consideration will be given to the services that require advanced and specialized equipment for them to be successfully offered. The cost of the equipment will be a key determinant of whether such services can be offered as in-house services. In developing facilities for in-house services, it is important to consider the federal and state government involvement and support in funding facilities offering such services. A factor to be considered when deciding whether to affiliate with other institutions include brand recognition where the institution selected should be renowned in offering the services described. Another factor that needs to be considered in the institution to affiliate with is the legal factor where the legality of the action will be considered.

Measuring of Attainment of Clinic’s Goals

The goal of offering primary care services can be measured by establishing the number of patients with a specified time that are served in the health care facility. This can be achieved by generating a summary report for the health information system. The quantitative numbers would be compared with the set goals to determine if the clinic is achieving its goals or not. The health information system facilitates the process of storage and the retrieval of relevant patient’s data. Another goal by the clinic would be to have accreditation by the council of medical services. The approval by the board denotes the success of the clinic in terms of achieving compliance to the specific regulations. Another key goal to measure will be patient satisfaction. One way of measuring patient satisfaction will be reviewing feedback from the patient with indications on their perception on the nature and manner in which the services are provided. The reviews will be collected as part of patient satisfaction survey. The patient satisfaction survey will include the use of a standardized, psychometrically, and tested data collection tools (Al-Abri & Al-Balushi, 2014). This will indicate the patient’s evaluation on the nature of services provided. 

Areas of Improvement in the Clinic

The growth of an organization requires the improvement of areas pointed out as in need of improvement. There exists a large opportunity of growth for the clinic. This requires the clinical manager to be up to tabs on the areas that are under-developed and underperforming within the clinic. There may be need to improve on the handling capacity of the facility, which may prompt further investment in the physical infrastructure and staff. There may be opportunities of improving the quality of healthcare services offered in the clinic. To achieve this, there is need to set up training programs for the staff, as well as, setting clear route maps for professional development of the healthcare providers thereby, broadening the skills and knowledge of the healthcare practitioners in the clinic. The clinic needs to invest more in the health information technology to improve care and outcomes for the patients. The clinic needs to have an input in the evidence-based assessment and decision support tool integrated within the EHR. The utilization of such tools allows the healthcare providers an opportunity to assess the key parameters, which accumulate over time to facilitate research and knowledge generation. This will be in the path of achieving the IOM calls for a learning health system that entails the use of the electronic health records data to utilize the information known about a patient and utilize the knowledge present. This results to an evidence-based and personalized care in the format of a decision support style. The extensive utilization of EHR as a tool for attaining a learning health system accommodates decision support of the workflow of the providers. The decision support may take place in form of alerts, reminders, and algorithms that guide evidence-based care. Clinical decision support seeks to utilize EHR and facilitate guideline adherence for the different services (Bowles, Dykes, & Demiris, 2015). The utilization of the healthcare services will lead to improvement of organizational factors such as collaboration, teamwork, and supportive leadership and supportive leadership. These factors can lead to sustained improvements in quality and safety outcome.

References

Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman medical journal29(1), 3.

 Alkon, C. (2018). What’s Behind the Growth of Urgent Care Clinics? Retrieved from http://www.medicaleconomics.com/business/whats-behind-growth-urgent-care-clinics/page/0/1

Bowles, K. H., Dykes, P., & Demiris, G. (2015). The use of health information technology to improve care and outcomes for older adults. Research in gerontological nursing8(1), 5-10.

Coster, J. E., Turner, J. K., Bradbury, D., & Cantrell, A. (2017). Why do people choose Emergency and Urgent care services? A rapid review utilizing a systematic literature search and narrative synthesis. Academic Emergency Medicine24(9), 1137-1149.Shrank, W. H. (2017). Primary care practice transformation and the rise of consumerism. Journal of general internal medicine32(4), 387-391.

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