Health care inequalities are among the unethical practices that are one in hospitals. Every workplace has got its ethical issues, which vary. These ethical issues sometimes put our jobs in jeopardy. Work ethics is defined as moral principles that employees are expected to use at work. Some employees have strong work ethics, while others have poor ethics. Strong work ethics usually result in high-quality delivery of work. The excellent output usually motivates the employees to stay on track (Afolabi, 2018). Strong work ethics usually leads to the achievement of goals. Work ethics gives employees a positive mindset all the tie in work, and they typically become successful at all times. Some factors are associated with good work ethics. This essay will use the Kerridge model to identify and solve health care ethical issues.
One primary way of ethical healthcare practices is in the electronic record-keeping of the patient data. The electronic health record software enables the hospital to keep the records for many years; hence the future generation of an employee and a patient can be treated using the system’s references. In the last few decades, records were always kept in hardcopy files, making it difficult to retrieve, and they could not stay long. Electronic health records have now eased maintaining records, and many hospitals find their work more efficient than before. This essay will structure a plan for using electronic health record software in hospitals and its impacts on hospitals’ functioning.
The main issue in various hospitals is employee and patient data management by human resource management. The employee data and the patient records are stored in the electronic health record software, a modern tool in various hospitals. However, the issue in the employee data arises due to the loss of the employees’ records within the software. In some hospitals, the human resource managers find it challenging to track the records and assist the doctor in treating the patients because of the lost data.
The electronic health record software operates in various diverse ways in the hospital. As much as the software is mainly used for record-keeping, the software can be used for communication purposes in the hospital. The patients can request nurses by simply pressing buttons and sending a message (Penna, Stevens, and Stretch, 2017). This approach enabled the nurses to attend to many patients quickly compared to before. The patient movement is also minimized since the patients do not have to walk, searching for nurses who are not around. The communication of the nurses and doctors has also been enhanced in the hospital. Nurses and doctors use electronic software to communicate within the hospital environment instead of regular phone calls. The software is mainly programmed so that it can only be used for work duties. There are no entertainment features in it; hence it remains very professional. This feature keeps the attention of the health workers on the patients. The storage of patient information reduces the healthcare inequalities in many hospitals because every patient receives adequate healthcare services.
The electronic health record software can read the patient’s symptoms and relate them to the previous records’ previous symptoms. This software feature helps the doctors and the nurses efficiently know new patients’ diseases without spending much time on laboratory tests (Penna, Stevens, and Stretch, 2016). The software can also keep track of patients with conditions such as diabetes; hence, the patients can know the level of their fight against diabetes. The software indicates the sugar level in a person, therefore keeping the patient focused on his medication. The software has a programmed alarm system, constantly reminding a patient of the medication time. This feature has also helped the nurses know the correct time of giving the patients their medications thus offering equal medication to all patients.
The IT manager’s role in the department is to make sure that the software is programmed to run with the hospital’s daily activities. The IT manager ensures that the electronic health record software has all the patients’ databases (N. 2020). This is enhanced by transferring data from the hard copy to the software. The software must be easy to access for all the hospital employees. The IT manager must organize an orientation on using the electronic health record software. This approach enables the nurses and doctors to use the software effectively without interfering with the data. The IT manager also ensures that particular patients are given basic knowledge of the software’s use. These patients are outpatients who are under medication for an extended period.
The downsizing plan of the employees ensures that the hospital gets more profit, good services, and minimum labor cost. To do this, the upgrading of the software is an essential factor. Upgraded software makes data management easy and efficient in its work. When software is not updated, various disadvantages accompany it. Old version software is familiar to hacking from the criminals who may want to get the hospital’s information. They may also lack efficiency; thus, they need manual laborers. Software is usually updated annually (N., 2020). The new versions of electronic health record software are released every year. This factor enables the software to be compatible with the latest versions of the computer. The updating of the software has allowed other arrangements to be used even on phones to remind the patients of their medication times. The IT manager will make sure that the electronic health record software is updated.
Various employees can be affected significantly in the data management department. The data management department requires more employees because patients and their daily data are updated (Bartram, 2011). When the software is lacking, data management may be tricky and costly. This situation forces the hospital to use more expenses on the labor offered by the employees. Electronic health records make data integration easy, thus minimizing the cost of labor.
Once it gets its financial issues under control, the first long-term solution for St. Mary’s hospital is better health care services. The health care services require modern and developed equipment to increase patient recovery (Bartram, 2011). This equipment is expensive and only needs a financially stable hospital. The electronic health record system makes employee downsizing possible and reduces labor costs. The saved finances can also be used to purchase the equipment in the hospital, thus increasing the patient recovery rates.
The second solution to the hospital is the availability of well-trained staff members. A hospital is an institution that requires well-experienced personnel (Bartram, 2011). The downsizing of the employees in St. Mary’s hospital ensures that the finances are directed towards more experienced doctors and nurses, thus improving the overall hospital performance of the hospital. St. Mary’s hospital will enjoy good services, thus increasing the number of patients reporting to the hospital.
Violence is also a major ethical problem in work healthcare places. There have been several cases of power at healthcare work over the years. Many people lose their control and fight in healthcare institutions or act aggressively towards fellow employees. There are several reasons why there are cases of violence in workplaces and how they can be stopped or minimized. Power at work usually starts with verbal abuse between employees who seem to cross their paths or disrespect them (Bismark et al., 2014). This violence includes even threatening the other employee or writing a threatening message to them while at work.
Violence happens in every workplace. This can be due to the work nature, risks, and other factors. Power at work is usually standard in healthcare industries; service and retail industries have also recorded a high number of violence cases (Bismark et al., 2014). It usually happens in the work site when people are not within the worksite. These can result due to harassment by other employees towards another employee. Harassment at work is an employee’s inappropriate conduct or comment towards another. The harassments usually lead to intimidation hence leading to physical violence. These harassments happen once, or they can happen several times, depending on the workplace (Bismark et al., 2014). They mainly occur verbally or through electronic messages to an employee.
For harassment to be reduced at the workplace, every employer must strategize on plans to prevent harassment at work. They must check on the occurrences of violence every time to check on the employees being harassed and note the employees who are familiar with the harassment behavior (Bismark et al., 2014). This will ensure that they are updated with the employees’ behavior and relationship with one another. Employers also need to reduce or eliminate workplace risks where possible (Bismark et al., 2014). Specific tasks that can result in verbal abuse leading to violence must be assigned to professionals and experienced workers.
Employers need to make sure that the employees are well trained and educated about the dangers and consequences of violence in places of work. Many employees usually skip this part; hence they have no adequate knowledge of power in work (Bismark et al., 2014). Employees must know that there are penalties and cases of being fired from a job if they participate in violent activities at work. There must be a control measure of violence, and the employers must make sure that they are met by the employees (Bismark et al., 2014). Every employee must adhere to the rules and regulations of the organization.
Since there are factors that reduce the risk of violence in workplaces, there is also the control risk of power that the employers need to use (Day & Leggat, 2015). Employers need to make exits in workplaces to enable escape if a fellow employee attacks them. “Prevention is better than cure”; hence it is always advisable to escape when attacked by an enemy. This is usually a control measure for both individuals involved in the violence (Day & Leggat, 2015). The employers need to create several of these exits to enable the employees to escape an attack. This is a valuable control measure that all employers should adopt in their organization.
Employers should use the coded cards as keys to workplaces. This approach puts the employees enclosed in their offices; hence the other employees cannot enter their offices without permission. When employees are left in an open-air office, they are likely to engage in verbal exchanges and lack confidentiality. These cases usually lead to violence, such as physical aggressiveness (Day & Leggat,2015). Therefore, the employees should be enclosed in their offices, hence preventing the causes of violence. This will also improve work ethics, and the employees will focus on their duties, therefore ensuring quality delivery of work.
The social context of health
The social context of health is the relationship that people familiarize themselves with and the interconnections of communities in health matters. One central area where the social context of health is important is incarceration. The high growth of the prison population makes the prisoners’ health a significant factor of consideration. There is a need to reduce health inequities in the incarceration centers. Prisoners face health challenges both physically and mentally. They also face poor health results in the prisons. Accountability and effective governance must be observed for the prison health facilities (Cryer, 2018). Quality care must be delivered and proper interrogation of the health facilities. There is little knowledge on how health facilities are structured and funded. Many national authorities have referred prison health services to the health ministry to scrutinize world health organization rules (Mcleod et al., 2020). However, the evidence is not there on the methods used for governing, and a proper evaluation should be done, especially in developing countries.
Some countries have distinguished teenage incarceration centers and that of adults. However, this article uses the term prison as an overall factor. There have been cases of mental illness, drug abuse, and communicable diseases in various prisons (Ramaswamy & Freudenberg, 2017). Most prisoners may have never been in good medical check-ups even before being incarcerated. The lack of health care services in prisons is universal. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to prove this argument. Prisons are good centers where the community supports the people around them.
Prisoners are considered less fortunate people because they are restricted from much freedom. Therefore, the communities and the governments must ensure that enough health services are provided. It is an essential factor to invest in the health of the prisoners (Semenza and Novisky, 2020). The World Health Organization and the United Nations Human rights Committee have a law that ensures the incarcerated people’s well-being. Prisoners must not be involved in torture or inhuman treatments that may interfere with their health (Semenza and Novisky, 2020). According to the Bangkok and Mandela rules, an incarcerated person must have health care services equal to the community’s services.
The overpopulation of prisons makes them very vulnerable to the spread of diseases. International organizations such as WHO has addressed the overpopulation issue, thus promoting the relationship between prisons and community health centers (Semenza and Novisky, 2020). The action is essential for managing diseases such as HIV and acquiring contraceptives. The second importance of ensuring prisoners’ health is to improve the relationship between the community and the prisoners. The health of released prisoners impacts their family members’ health and contributes to the family’s success in the long run.
Various debates have been held about the methods of governance in prisons. The debates are whether the health ministry should govern the health services in prisons instead of justice. According to World Health Organization, the health ministry should be accountable for the prisoners’ health (Mcleod et al., 2020). The health ministry should also ensure that the conditions of the health facilities in prisons are right and according to the standard. There may rise the role conflicts of managing the health facilities in prisons between the ministry of health and justice. The employers in the prisons may experience difficulties in being loyal to their employers or making sure that the prisoners’ lives are prioritized.
Medical experts are also advised not to participate in prison actions like the prisoners’ body searches and punishments. The dual loyalty may affect the health experts’ and the prisoners’ relationship and trust. The mistrusts occur in prisons where democracy is limited, and people are forced to specific actions (Mcleod et al., 2020). The health ministry should also ensure continuity of care between the prison and the community. Health care services should be made in a way that is similar to public health care services. The life expectancy of prisoners will increase, and they will consider prisons as correctional centers rather than punishment centers.
The lack of evidence or enough information on the healthcare governance in various prisons has led to a lack of improvement. According to research carried out in Europe by the World Health Organization, the prisons in Europe experienced low health services. The research was based in the region of Europe (Cryer, 2018). However, it highlighted the overall health facilities in incarceration centers. There were slight improvements since the prison health care’s responsibility was transferred to the health ministry. Other countries such as those beyond Europe and African countries like Zambia made sure that the ministries of health were responsible for prisoners’ health.
Interventions to reduce public health inequalities
Various interventions are set by the government and the ministry of health to reduce the cases of healthcare inequalities. One central area where the health ministry improved intervention in cancer patients. Cancer Care and the financial burden are among the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States of America. In addition to this, the cost of treating advanced cancer in patients is higher than when t is in the early stages. As much as the system tries to control the costs, it becomes unbearable because most people are too poor to manage the bills for cancer (Frieberg &Fernros, 2019). However, the increases in cancer rates threaten to reach higher levels which is life-threatening. Cancer disease has evolved and affects almost every body part. The increase in cancer levels and frequency in the homes means that every home will have to be treated at least one cancer patient, which affects their economic status. The government placed resources and facilities needed for cancer treatment in various parts of the world. The cost of treatment is also covered by insurance; thus, many people quickly get cancer medication.
The inequity in the health care field is evident in the United States of America. The inequity indicates deeper issues regarding the distribution of resources across the country. When only a few individuals can afford the cancer treatment, it means that the distribution of resources in the United States of America is not fair (Frieberg &Fernros, 2019). The resources are distributed according to hierarchies, creating social injustice in the country. The inequities in health care can be attributed to differences in individuals’ health and financial capabilities. However, the changes in health care policies allow citizens to get medication from their preferred hospitals at low costs.
Another group of patients that are affected financially is the diabetic patients. Financial barriers are a common phenomenon in patients who have diabetes. Treatment of diabetes involves a long-term procedure that requires a patient to have enough funds (Frieberg &Fernros, 2019). It is appropriate for diabetes patients o obtain insurance cover to help in their treatment. By obtaining health insurance, the protection and Affordable Care Act lowers the cost of treatment for diabetic patients. The previously uninsured patients access quality medication or low and affordable prices. The insurance company covers the majority of the cost, thus making the process easy.
The fat people have experienced being fired from jobs in some cases where they are considered not fit for the job. This has always been a concern because many people spend most of their time in their jobs hence they cannot exercise to remove the body fats. This leads to the managers’ perspective of fat people being lazy at work (Jama 2020). This perspective has made fat people not considered during promotions or work admissions. The financial barriers make these people commit to their jobs and fail to seek medical solutions. However, the policies made by the government at workplaces allow obese people to have equal rights in workplaces.
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