Type of organization
The organization in focus is Pediatric Hospital of the Northeast (PHN), which without doubt is the largest pediatric teaching program in the northeastern United States. PHN’s purpose is to provide innovative and excellent services in all aspects of pediatric medicine. It has an oncology unit that provides state of the art evaluation and accurate diagnosis with comprehensive care. PHN’s pediatric oncology unit offers a multi-disciplinary team approach, which includes medical, surgical, and nursing care through allied health professionals who develop and implement individualized treatment plans for every patient. When it comes to size, PHN is a 350-bed hospital making it the largest pediatric facility in the northeastern United States. Approximately 650 physicians make up PHN’s medical staff, and this is in addition to over 2000 healthcare professionals and staff who play an integral role in the provision of medical services at the health care institution.
History of organization
PHN was established in 1950 and has since been the largest medical facility providing pediatric services in the northeastern United States. At some point, a major news magazine ranked PHN’s pediatric oncology unit as one of the finest in the world. Since its inception, PHN has been a member of a national collaborative research association, and it has also taken part in significant and ground-breaking clinical research protocols. Moreover, PHN has received several institutional honors such as the designation as a Magnet Facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an institutional honor that is considered the most prestigious ever awarded by the profession of nursing.
Vision, mission and organizational goals
The vision of PHN is to be recognized as the leading children’s hospital in the United States and as the academic center of pediatric clinical excellence in the northeast United States. Its mission is to provide excellent, high-quality, family-centered healthcare, and education to children in a caring environment that meets or exceeds the expectation of the children and families served. It aims at achieving these through collaboration with other organizations within the community. The primary goals of PHN are to be recognized as a national and international Center of Specialty Pediatric Excellence in Oncology and to ensure the highest quality of care for their pediatric cancer patients.
Alignment of mission statement with existing organizational policies/processes
The mission of PHN mentioned above aligns with its organizational policies and processes such as collaboration with other organizations within the community and commitment to access the most recent research data on development and advancement of cancer. The alignment between PHN’s mission and the identified organizational policies or processes is evident in the fact that the latter provides the opportunity to improve the quality of care provided to children and focus on the improvement of health and status of children, perspectives that are emphasized in the mission statement.
Identified issues, processes and challenges currently facing the organization
There are several issues or challenges currently faced by PHN, which in one way or the other impede service provision. Internally, PHN experiences frequent conflicts between care providers and caregivers as well as reluctance by physicians to provide parents and family members with detailed discussions of children’s cancer prognoses. Physicians also convey pediatric oncology couched in vague descriptions (Corno, 2013). The external challenge faced by the organization is that families lack education and fail to provide continuous care to patients at every stage of medical treatment and ancillary care. An eminent micro issue faced is that there is parental dissatisfaction with the PHN experience especially when physicians avoid discussing children’s prognoses with them (Corno, 2013). This is coupled with parental anger that is exhibited when physicians opt to communicate more optimistic prognoses than the realities that children experience. PHN also faces relational challenges highlighted by the fact that treating physicians limit their communication or prefer to perform their medical duties without communicating with parents or family members regarding their children’s morbidity and mortality (Corno, 2013). Moreover, being the leading health care organization in the northeastern US providing pediatric services, there must be a huge number of patients that jeopardizes service delivery given the few physicians and other medical staff.
Outcome statement that reflects the scope of the issues presented
Communication between physicians and parents or family members is usually strained leading to parents feeling ignored, distressed, guilty and helpless. Jenkins (2014) notes that these issues may lead to decreased patient admissions into the pediatric oncology unit. Therefore, it is imperative that a multidisciplinary approach is put in place that will not only address the patient’s needs but also those of family members and caregivers. Such an approach must therefore patient centered and incorporates aspects of team work. It will therefore emphasize on communication, support for patients, their family members and caregivers while also ensuring that they are educated and trained. The ultimate goal of such an approach is to ensure that the patients, family members and caregivers are satisfied with the services provided for the children suffering from cancer.
Analytical tool used
PHN would leverage on SOAR analysis, which focuses on an organization’s current strengths and vision for the future, to develop an intervention plan for the presented or identified issues. With this tool, the focus would be on PHN’s strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results of its intervention plans (Stavros et al, 2009). SOAR analysis’ relevance to the issues mentioned above is that it identifies what the organization can build on regarding the issues, what the stakeholders, in this case, parents and family members are asking for regarding the issues, as well as what the organization cares deeply about regarding the issues. SOAR analysis’s relevance to the issues is also evident in the fact that it identifies how successful the organization would be once the issues are addressed or solved (Stavros et al, 2009). Another tool that might be useful in this case is SWOT analysis, which would focus primarily on the organization’s weaknesses and threats and how to address them.
To address or solve the organization’s issues at hand, several interventions must be put in place. First, the Medical Director should ensure that physicians and other caregivers are trained on the importance of good relations and communication with parents and family members, as this would do away with frequent conflicts between care providers and caregivers as well as help address reluctance by physicians to provide families with detailed prognosis discussions (Jenkins, 2014). Second, PHN should roll out programs to educate pediatric cancer patients and their families about and how to provide continuous care at every stage of medical and ancillary care. Third, PHN’s Medical Director must ensure that physicians’ ineffective or avoidance of communicating prognostic information with parents of children with cancer is addressed, as this would help do away with the parental dissatisfaction and anger with the PHN experience (Jenkins, 2014).
Corno, A. F. (2013). Great challenges in Pediatrics. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 1.
Jenkins, R. R. (2014). Diversity and inclusion: strategies to improve pediatrics and pediatric health care delivery. Pediatrics, 133(2), 327-330.
Stavros, J., Cooperrider, D., & Kelley, D. L. (2009). SOAR: A new approach to strategic planning. The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems: Easyread Super Large 24pt Edition, 268.