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Academic Essay Sample


Using System Theory Terminology to Describe a Department

System theory seeks to explain how related components function together within a given environment to achieve specific goals. The components or activities are classified into input, output, throughput and negative responses. To obtain the optimal score in health care organization, the open system approach should be applied to identify the actions, constraints and conditions in the organizational system influencing the achievement of objectives or meeting the increased patients demand.

This theory can be applied in various departments of health care organizations. Particularly on this study, a focus is made on the medical laboratory department where the body tissues are being examined to determine the causes of illness and injuries. In this department, the major inputs include funds, physical structures like buildings, laboratory equipment, personnel, and clients. The personnel involved at medical laboratory department are clinical officers, laboratory technicians and doctors with patients as their clients. The policies and procedures which provide standard guidelines of practice under this department are also considered as inputs.

Throughput is the process by which input is converted into output. In medical laboratory department, it is determined by the quantity of laboratory or radiological services provided per unit time. The analysis, processing, and testing of multiple samples (inputs) are a good example of throughputs. It is a measure of institutional capacity and productivity. Any other services provided by the lab techs, doctors, and nurses within the laboratory, communication among the medical staffs to execute tasks in the department is also part of throughput.

Output represents the outcome of the organization’s system processes or activities. In the health care institutions, the quality of health services provided to the patients will determine the output. Output can be negative or positive depending on a variety of factors within the department. For example, lack of effective communication process or poor management may lead to negative outcomes.

Negative feedback involves finding out what a medical staff or a patient is doing in a wrong way and suggesting on effective and productive methods. Negative feedback is crucial in the healthcare institution since it will provide a platform to adjust, correct and stop processes which may create dissatisfaction to the patients and health providers. This feedback can be intentional or not, influenced by certain behaviors and habits causing problems.

The identified problem-using open system theory

Today, almost every health organization utilizes the concept of open system theory due to the strong influence of the environment. The environment provides the key resources to sustain the organization processes, and at the same time exerts pressure to obtain desired results (Bastedo p1). Therefore, health organizations must consider both the internal and external environment in all their resolutions.

The identified problems in the medical laboratory department usually arise from the throughput processes. They include lab errors or laboratory negligence and misleading interpretation of lab results compromising the safety of patients. For several years, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported several causes of and impact of laboratory errors and medical laboratory malpractices in the US (Bonar et al. 184). Some of the input factors to this problem include defective laboratory equipment, contamination of samples and failing to deliver lab reports to the doctor. And also, health institution administrations are reluctant towards replacement or fixing the defective and damaged equipment. Health providers and the administration lack a good relationship, required to trigger processes that would set an organization in a position to offer immediate solutions to medical emergencies.

How to address the problem

Some of the strategies to solve the identified problem include creating an open communication system between the laboratory personnel and administration to improve efficiency in the medical laboratory department. The laboratory personnel should follow the medical laboratory safety and regulations, and practice due diligence to avoid errors that may lead to misdiagnosis. The health sector should provide opportunities for more innovations in medical and laboratory services or practices to improve quality and safety. Involving the government to offer support in acquisition and improvement of facilities used in the laboratories may also help in solving the problem.

Translating goals and Objectives into Policy and procedures

Policy: The organization should implement open communication system to encourage quick response to emerging health issues, maintain patient safety and build high-quality health service.

Procedure: Laboratory errors detected should be reported. The laboratory facilities should be maintained regularly to ensure they are in a good working condition.

Ensuring the concept of total quality management is practiced in the various diagnostic sub-divisions such as radiology, pathology and laboratory medicine in order to free medical errors.

Relevant professional standard

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services views health care quality as receiving the most suitable care while minimizing other risks not directly related to the diagnosed disease. And as per the information provided by External Quality Assessment (EQA) and proficiency testing (PT), the diagnostic unit should audit the quality rating of internal processes, the appropriateness of the diagnostic procedures, the responsibility and competence of the medical staff, in relation to the set standards in the laboratory and other departments.

Basically, patient safety is based on health care approach which emphasizes on providing accurate report, doing analysis, and prevention of laboratory and medical errors. The organization needs to act on building a good system that will address the components of patient safety. Through this, the organization will be able to develop a culture which focuses on the cause of the problem, addressing the fundamental problem and to come up with a solution.

Upholding the Mission and Values of the Organization

The goal of every organization is to realize its missions, visions, and values in the society. To uphold its mission and visions, it should adhere to the possible solutions to the identified problem to ensure high-quality health services and create conducive work environment which will eventually improve the organizational feedback.

Conclusion

The demand to focus on providing quality diagnostic healthcare services has increased significantly. The healthcare institution needs to establish careful planning, monitoring and documentation of each process during diagnosis to avoid serious harms to the patients. The right practices and urgent solutions are needed at each level to ensure efficiency and safety in the healthcare system.

Work Cited

Bastedo, Michael N. “Open systems theory.” (2004). University of Michigan, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Leadership and Administration

Bonar, R., E. J. Favaloro, and D. M. Adcock. “Quality in laboratory diagnostics: from theory to practice.” Biochem Med (Zagreb) 20.2 (2010): 184-199. Retrieved; http://www.biochemia-medica.com/content/quality-laboratory-diagnostics-theory-practice

System Theory Overview (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2017, from     http://www.cs.unb.ca/~fritz/cs3503/system35.htm