The Sydney Community Hospital (SCH), a 110 bed community hospital situated in the outer northern suburbs of the Sydney, has provided general acute medical, surgical, obstetric and emergency services to the local community. Over the last 15 years the population of the area has increased significantly to include a much larger proportion of young families and a significant number of retirement villages with nursing homes attached. The hospital is no longer able to provide the range of services and care required to meet the needs of the community and the resources allocated.
To deal with these changes the Government has allocated resources to redevelop the hospital facilities and restructure the organisation to provide a focus on the health needs of the growing population and to provide a number of specialty services including cancer, paediatric, cardiovascular, renal services, trauma services, aged care and community services. The bed numbers will increase to 200, with an increase in the capacity for community clinics in the specialties.
- The Vision statement of the hospital is to âProvide positive health experiences for the communityâ.
- The stated mission of the new, larger hospital is âto provide highest quality, specialist health care in partnership with patients, carers, the community at large and other health care providersâ.
- The overall strategic goals of the new organisation are âto develop high performing, multidisciplinary teams within the specialist services in order to provide high quality, patient-centred care that is effective, efficient and able to respond to the changing health needs of the populationâ.
The existing hospital has a traditional, functional organisational structure but the management team is currently reviewing alternative organisational structures which might be better suited to the changing internal and external environments of the organisation and which have the potential to improve communication and collaboration across teams as well as accountability for resource utilisation, quality of care and patient outcomes.
After reading the case study above and using the course materials and essential readings, develop a short (1500 word), critical essay-style discussion paper.
Within the essay, ensure that the following four (4) key points are part of the discussion.
- The advantages and limitations of the existing hospital organisational structure for the current health care environment and changing health needs of the population.
- Identification of an alternative organisational structure that might be suitable for the new health service; describe the features of such a structure and identify how that structure might better facilitate the achievement of the new mission and strategic goals of the organisation.
- Identification of the key lines of authority and responsibility for achieving the overall organisational goals within the suggested structure (compare this with the key lines of authority and responsibility in the current functional structure) and discuss how this might enable this new hospital to achieve their stated objectives.
- Critical analysis of the advantages and limitations of the suggested type of structure in relation to the changing health care environment and what the organisation wishes to achieve for patients, carers and the community.
General information about the essay.
This assignment requires you to read and critically analyse the material from Module 1 of the Unit Learning Modules and the Study Guide in order to understand organisations from the point of view of their purpose and what they aim to achieve (the vision, mission and strategic goals); how organisational structures provide lines of authority and responsibility for achieving the mission and goals and the advantages and limitations of the various organisational structures commonly used in health care.
The analysis should critically examine the type of organisational structure that might be more suitable for this organisation as it undergoes the described change and explain the usefulness of that type of structure in helping the organisation to achieve their stated mission, strategy and goals.
What is a critical paper?
In writing this critical discussion paper, it is important to:
- read and interpret the information provided in the course materials; to question and evaluate that information; relate the theory to what happens in practice;
- identify problems and possible solutions, develop an argument (or series of arguments) and support your suggestions and arguments with evidence from the literature and examples from the field.
The two primary aims of this type of critical reading, thinking and writing are to:
- analyse and evaluate the work of other people (the literature you are reading) and
- develop your own arguments (supported by evidence, specifically appropriate references) as they apply to various situations (in this case it is the SCH case study).
What is the value of thinking and writing critically?
Developing a critical approach to thinking, allows you to assess information and develop an informed opinion which can be supported by reliable evidence. It also enables you to interpret others opinions and have the ability to discuss issues in an informed and open manner. Critical thinking means thinking carefully, questioning and testing what you hear and read, and being prepared to examine and, if necessary, change your beliefs and ideas.
The marking sheet
These are on pages 21-22 and provide the criteria and standards against which your assignment will be marked.
Ensure that you cover all points on the marking sheet and that your critical discussion paper is structured to include an introduction, a number of paragraphs covering the key points of the assignment and a conclusion.
Please remember to:
- write in clear, concise English ( the academic literacy tutors (PCALs) will help you),
- avoid long lists or dot points and lengthy quotes and
- use examples from the case study to demonstrate your understanding of the ideas and concepts from the literature.
You may wish to use headings to structure your assignment. Remember, all ideas and concepts drawn from textbooks, the literature or websites must be correctly acknowledged and referenced.
For this first assignment it is not necessary to go beyond the Unit Learning Module 1 and the essential readings which have been supplied in that module.
The Schoolâs referencing requirement is the American Psychological Association (APA). Full details of the APA Style Guide can be found at: http://library.uws.edu.au/FILES/cite_APA.pdf
- Examples of critical analysis of various topics are may be available on the vUWS site.
- There are a number of textbooks and resources available through the Western Sydney University Library that may assist you. Please refer to the unitâs vUWS site for specific unit resources
- Academic writing tutors (PCALâs) are available on all three Campuses (Parramatta, Campbelltown and Hawkesbury) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. They are available to help you to interpret and plan your assignments. This help can be accessed by phone and email (see p.18 for the link).
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