Critical Decision Making for Providers
Critical Decision Making for Providers
Mike is a lab technician who has a record of being late, risking termination of his job and he makes an effort to ensure that he does not get late. On this particular day, despite leaving his house early, Mike runs late again because he was involved in an accident on his commute. Upon his arrival, Mike comes across a spill on the floor and gets torn between organizing the spill to be cleaned up and getting late risking job termination as a result, and clocking in, preventing the risk for job termination.
If Mike fails to report the problem, he manages to clock in early enough and does not face job termination. He also manages to create time to complete work from the previous day before he begins the day’s work. When Mike makes this decision, and he leaves the spill unattended to. Later in the day, Mike gets an assignment to gather some patient information from a one of the patients. From what he gathers, the patient got admitted into the hospital after falling in the lobby that morning.
The consequences of failure to report the spill, someone falls and gets injured, leading to their admission into the hospital. This costs them in terms of hospital fees, and their time in terms of hospital stay. The presence of a spill on the floor in the lobby predisposes individuals walking through the lobby to injuries and falls caused by the spill. This puts the hospital at risk for litigation and high costs incurred in terms of legal fees. This ruins the reputation of the hospital especially due to imposition of legal action because of the fall, and because clients and other members of the community begin to question the safety of the hospital. Another consequence of failure to report is that Mike the lab technician risks losing his job if he admits to having observed the spill but failed to take action.
Mike’s decision on whether or not to report the spill has impact on several issues including patient safety, the risk for litigation, the organization’s quality metrics and on the workload of other hospital departments as described below. On the issue of patient safety, Mike’s decision not to report the spill may affect patient safety in that failure to clean the spill may lead to falls and injuries among patients visiting the hospital for treatment. This may lead to increase in the number of medical complaints by the patient, possible longer duration of hospital stay and increased cost of treatment incurred by the patient. If Mike reported the spill, patient safety in the hospital would be guaranteed.
In terms of risk for litigation, Mike’s decision not to report the spill predisposes the hospital to risk for litigation since the injured patient may decide to take legal action and sue the hospital for the injury they get from falling because of the spill I the hospital lobby. This may cost the hospital in terms of legal fees and the money they would need to compensate the patient for the damage caused. If Mike reports the spill, the hospital is not at risk for litigation because patient safety is guaranteed and no patient falls or injuries are expected. No money will be required to settle legal fees and for patient compensation.
On the issue of the quality metrics of the organization, Mike’s decision not to report the spill questions the effectiveness of the quality metrics of the organization. This is because of failure to ensure that there are no spills on the floor of any hospital room, and failure to ensure that the concerned department ensures that spills are cleaned as soon as they occur. In addition to this, the quality metrics put in place by the organization to ensure patient safety may need review to ensure that they are enforced and are effective in ensuring patient safety.
In terms of the workload of other hospital departments, Mike’s decision affects the workload of various departments including the departments involved in patient management, the department involved in ensuring that the hospital is clean and free of spills and other hazards to patient safety, and the department in charge of hospital administration and management. Mike’s failure to report the spill increases the workload of the departments involved in patient management, since there is an increase in the number of conditions or complaints that the patient needs to be treated for. In addition to this, Mike’s failure to report the spill increases the workload of the department in charge of hospital management and administration in that this department has to investigate the circumstances surrounding the spill and the accident, and if patient decides to sue the hospital, this department has to handle this issue. If Mike decides to report the spill, the workload of the department in charge of ensuring that the hospital is clean, is increased.
As Mike’s manager, I would address this issue with him by ensuring that Mike knows the dangers that failure to report the spill and the various consequences of his decision. I would explain the importance of reporting any hazards in the work place before anything else. I would then put Mike on probation to ensure that he does not come late to work, and finishes his work for the day each day before he leaves for home from the workplace. Putting Mike on probation would help to ensure that he changes his behavior for the better, and improved on his punctuality.
In addition to this, other workers would learn from Mike being on probation, and this will help them avoid such situations. To ensure that other staff members do not repeat the same mistake, I would ask the hospital to convene a meeting with all hospital workers prior to work one morning to engage them in a course on critical thinking, problem solving and decision making, in order to enable them choose wisely when making any decisions in the hospital. Another objective of the meeting would be to explain the importance of reporting any hazards the workers see at the work place as soon as they encounter them.
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Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2009). Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing. Lippincot Williams & Wilkins.