Primary healthcare is the provision of integrated and accessible healthcare services that aims at addressing on a large scale personal healthcare needs and establishing a sustainable partnership with clients by clinicians, practised in the context of a family and a community (World Health Organization, 1978) Primary healthcare has four components or features; first contact access for each new need, comprehensive care for most health care needs, long-term person-focused care and coordinated care when it must be sought elsewhere. Primary healthcare services are known to lower the cost of healthcare, increase access to more appropriate services and reduction of health inequalities in the population and it also removes the inequalities in health (World Health Organization, 1978).
My organization, Health Pioneers, has recently been given approval to extend primary healthcare services in a Midwestern rural town.to ensure smooth and effective running of this new facility it is important to have an operational plan just any other venture would
Operational plan. It explains in details how the business will be run and objectives will be met. It includes the following:
Provision of primary health care needs to be inclusive and have a specific target group in order to effectively meet the health needs of a given population. There will be a board of management that will have the overall responsibility to make sure that the strategic goals are achieved and that all operations of the organization are being run according to the laid down plan. Some members of the community that we intend to serve will be allowed to sit on the executive board of the organization that is because we would like them to participate in formulation of policy and decisions that will directly affect them. We believe that by involving the community they will help in identifying needs and in decision making. Below the executive board there will be a chief executive officer (CEO) who will be responsible for day to day running of the organization. He will also be in charge of recruitment, promotion and dismissal of employees. Due to the enormity of the position and the vastness of the scope of work, we would want to recruit a CEO who has a wealthy of experience in running a primary health organization of not less than five years. The process of personnel selection involves determining among the potential candidates, their suitability, their education, their experience, skills and ability to perform according to job specifications (Kaynak, 2002). The process is aimed at choosing the best candidate who can add value to the company. There will be some other officers below the CEO such as the human resource officer and the IT officer among others. They will be required to work hand-in-hand with the CEO but they will be directly answerable to him.
Choosing a facility that is suitable for primary healthcare services requires careful consideration. Due to the nature of the services that we provide we would want to rent a building that is easily accessible, that will be convenient for our patients. A safe and secure compound, with low noise levels. A spacious building will be ideal for us because some of our medical equipment will require enough space for storage.
Employment and Staff
According to Shi (1992) states that have a higher ratio of primary care physicians to population are also know to enjoy improved health and have improved health outcomes such as reduced mortality rate and an increase in life span. The staff that are needed in a primary health care service includes both clinical and non-clinical staff. The clinical staff comprises of the general internists, general pediatricians and family and general practitioners (Weiner& Starfield, 1983). At Health Pioneers we will require that this clinical officers be those who are thoroughly competent and qualified to be able to serve and work with us this is because of the delicate nature of the job. In most cases the primary health officer are the ones who make first contact with a patient before he has been diagnosed or taken to hospital for treatment and thus there is need that our physicians such as the internists and pediatrics must have graduated from a medical school and if possible taken some specialized postgraduate studies. We will also require that those who fill these vacancies are experienced enough to be able to effectively handle the challenges and complexities that come with these roles. Preferably with a wealth of experience not below 5 years this is because human lives are important and every life needs to be cherished. Hiring and compensating all these highly trained and competent staff can be costly but we intend to go ahead, cost notwithstanding.
The complexities that exist in the health sector demands a variety of skill and an integrated approach to healthcare issues and thus the need for non-clinicians such as re shall also be non-clinical staff at the facility such as health assistants, health coaches, community health workers and peer counsellors. They provide complimentary services during a patients visit such counseling, outreach and patient follow-up. This services are meant to improve the efficiency of the primary healthcare system. Health Pioneers will not only focus on hiring qualified and highly motivated employees but we will aim at keeping them motivated by offering them a good salary that is commensurate with their job description and experience. Other benefits such as specialized training, leave allowance will also be used to keep the morale of our employees high all year round.
Equipment and Consumables
This are capital equipment and durable items that are meant to last for year such as bed, examination tables,scanners,MRI machines and weighing scales while consumables are essential items that are needed to perform certain functions e.g. syringes, cotton wool and bandages (Kaur & Hall, 2001). Equipment are important in any health care service in terms of they can be used to prevent, diagnose of improve the services offered to patients but there is need for planning before any equipment can be purchased because of the high cost involved. Another consideration to put in mind is the availability of trained personnel to operate them and spare parts in case of breakdown of equipment such as machines. Another point to consider when procuring medical equipment and machines is the source of origin. It is important to know that there are different manufacturing standards but due care must be taken so that equipment are bought from reliable and licensed manufactures. The best way to manage and control drugs and consumables is to review and document the consumption patterns. This will help to identify the required quantity before procuring and it can go a long way to cut on wastage.
Cost of care
As previously highlighted the benefits of primary healthcare are many and have far reaching effects on the overall health of a given population. According to Baicker and Chandra (2004) there is a drop in linear cost of Medicare spending due to increase in primary healthcare services and this also translates into better healthcare. Health Pioneers organization intends to expand medical to as many people as possible but while keeping the cost of those services affordable for most people. It has been proved that cost can be a barrier to many people’s ability to access primary health care services (Gribben, 1996). Client charges should be formulated with levels of income, family size and age as great factors to consider because in most cases it is the poor who are the group most likely to fall sick or get poor services because they cannot afford any better.
The use of information technology in provision of primary healthcare service has led to improved interface and fusion capabilities of various computer networks. The complexity and scope of the health sector demands that there be computer facilities to store and manage information and to be used in expenditure control of the healthcare services. Information technology can play a great role and make work easier in primary healthcare. At Health pioneers we intend use IT in computerization of our medical records, use of internets to communicate especially the use of social media networks to stay in touch with our clients and colleagues. Social media platforms will also play a key role in dissemination of information about health promotion to members of the community.IT will also help in scheduling of appointments electronically, use of magnetic cards for identification. We intend also to use the internet to enable our health practioners to access health literature online such as books and data bases so that they can learn more to better serve our patients.
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World Health Organization. 1978. Declaration of Alma-Ata: International Conference on
Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR, 6– 12 September 1978. Geneva.
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