Critical Decision-Making for Healthcare Providers


Mike is working in a healthcare facility for a while already, and he is often late, which does not appeal to his supervisor. The man is warned that he can lose his job if the situation does not alter. Realizing the possibility of facing termination anytime, Mike tries to do his best to avoid the repetition of this problem because he needs to support his family. On arrival, the man notices a spill on the floor and faces a dilemma, trying to decide whether he should report this issue or increase a chance to lose his job or to ignore it and put someone under the threat of slipping and hurting oneself.

Consequences of a Failure to Report

In the occurred situation, Mike is supposed to report a problem because in this way he can ensure the safety of the personnel and patients (Hewitt, Chreim, & Forster, 2017). To avoid the possibility of termination, the man can call his supervisor and tell him that there is a spill at the reception lobby, which needs to be cleaned up. Being aware of this fact, the manager is not likely to apply any punishment for the lateness. Moreover, if Mike makes such a decision, he can facilitate people’s safety.

As Mike is afraid to lose his job, he may ignore the spill to meet his schedule. He may be sure that a person assigned to do the cleaning at the reception lobby will deal with this problem. However, it is not clear when this professional will come. Even during a couple of seconds some staff members or patients may slip on this spill and hurt themselves. This is what happens in the discussed case. The patient with whom Mike has recently worked falls and breaks a hip, which causes serious pain. The man feels guilty because of this situation. His decision to ignore a problem makes a woman suffer physically. In addition to that, she starts questioning the safety of the healthcare facility, which can affect her perception of hospitals and make her unwilling to be treated in them.

Impact of the Decision

Even though Mike’s decision deals with a simple spill, it has a great influence on different areas of work. First of all, patient safety is affected adversely. As the man makes up his mind not to pay attention to the spill, he increases the possibility for any patient to be hurt, especially for those who have problems with vision and movement. For instance, the woman falls and breaks her hip, which prolongs her recovery and adds a complication to her initial health problem.

This patient obtains an in-hospital injury, which makes her feel dissatisfied with the treatment and unwilling to repeat this experience (James, 2013). As a result, her well-being can be affected because she will not consult a physician when needed.

The hospital can face the risk of litigation because Mike did not inform anyone about the spill and the woman was injured. As the patient broke her hip under the supervision of healthcare professionals she can sue the hospital and its authorities because they were to ensure the safety of the environment. As a result, the facility may face financial losses and worsened image (Adler et al., 2018).

The organization’s quality metrics can be altered after this situation. For instance, much attention will be paid to the quality of cleaning. Moreover, additional education will be needed to make other professionals make the right decisions in situations similar to Mike’s one. The workload of other hospital departments may increase as a result because they will be ordered to focus on the quality of cleaning and patient safety.

Issue Resolution

Mike is working as a healthcare professional, and it is significant for him to perform his duties appropriately because they affect the well-being of other people. Being a lab technician, he is to provide lab results that allow physicians to select the appropriate treatment. If the man failures to provide needed information in time, patients may face adverse health outcomes. Thus, it is clear why Mike’s manager demands him to be at work without any lateness.

However, all healthcare professionals are made to focus on patient safety, which presupposes that they should develop their decisions so that they can be ensured. As Mike ignores the problem, he puts patients at risk which cannot be accepted.

Mike’s manager needs to discuss this issue with the man and explain why his actions were not right and in what way he could have acted to avoid possible termination. Moreover, realizing that the person does not know what to do in similar situations, the manager needs to coach and train them. With the help of additional investment and education, this problem can be overcome rather quickly. Professionals should not only realize how to make ethical decisions but also understand that patient safety is the most vital concept they should consider in practice. An additional guideline may be developed for professionals to realize what can be done in different situations. Finally, it is important to ensure that the staff knows whom to contact in case of issues.

References

Adler, L., Yi, D., Li, M., McBroom, B., Hauck, L., Sammer, C.,… Classen, D. (2018). Impact of inpatient harms on hospital finances and patient clinical outcomes. Journal of Patient Safety, 14(2), 67-73.

Hewitt, T., Chreim, S., & Forster, A. (2017). Sociocultural factors influencing incident reporting among physicians and nurses: Understanding frames underlying self- and peer-reporting practices. Journal of Patient Safety, 13(3), 129-137.

James, J. (2013). A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. Journal of Patient Safety, 9(3), 122-128.