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Ethics and Health Care

Published August 7, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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A majority of US citizens are concerned about their health care. Spinks and Wells (1996) contend that many issues, including rising costs, have prompted a closer investigation into the behavior of health care providers and institutions from an ethical perspective (Spinks & Wells, 1996). The major challenges we as Americans face, are implementing effective methods to maintain and monitor our health and well-being in partnership with our medical practitioners and insurance systems that support overall care. Americans are looking to tackle such problems as: (a) poorly or inadequately equipped facilities, (b) long waiting times, (c) substandard conditions, (d) misconduct from practitioners, and (e) exorbitant medical, hospital, and pharmaceutical costs. In addition, the dilemma most people face is that health care costs consume large portions of a family income, while the majority of health care practitioners enjoy lifestyles and salaries extensively higher than most of the patients they care for. To add insult to injury, most high ranking government officials and politicians selected by the people they serve, are provided with lifelong health care benefits while vast portions of the constituents they represent have none. Many people feel that because the representatives they elected to serve them are provided with health care, that the public should also be entitled to the same health care benefits and privileges. After all, the tax paying citizens are the stakeholders that hired these government officials to serve their interests.

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Everyone in society has a right to be healthy and enjoy the highest quality health care system of their choice, however because of ever changing conditions in modern society, this ideal has been a difficult outcome for many to achieve. Ferrell et al. (2012) suggest that the ever changing global market also contributes to health care issues. For example, because of global health care fraud, businesses and governments are depriving individuals the resources to receive quality products and health care (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013). For example, many corporate bosses take advantage of countries that export products with substandard oversight systems in place. This atmosphere allows them to engage in short cut practices that result with products that provide less medicine in their packaging. The falsification of insurance claims is another problem that arises and often results in higher insurance rates. In addition, some companies provide incentives for referrals while others compensate doctors and hospitals for buying their products. Until the playing field is leveled in the global market place and these various conditions exist from country to county, closer scrutiny is required to detect and deter ethical misconduct.

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In the meantime, many people debate on whether or not health care is a universal right that should be provided by governments. A large population believes that because good health supports productivity that governments should provide citizens with health care systems that support their well-being. Countries like Germany for example, consider health care a right every citizen is entitled to and provides high-quality health care services. Others who believe health care is a privilege tend to be the corporations who stand to profit from health care systems, in which case becomes a matter of ethics. Where ever corporate giants produce systems that place profits ahead of the welfare of their stakeholders it’s only a matter of time before the contamination is exposed and changes are introduced. Furlong and Morrison (2014) contend that one must have a solid foundation in theory and principles of ethics to make the most effective professional decisions. Leaders who abide and comprehend the knowledge of ethics and understanding, particularly of alternative views, create an environment of cultural competence (Furlong & Morrison, 2014). In conclusion, there are no easy answers. First and foremost, each citizen should take responsibility, educate themselves in preventative care and work in partnership with their government and medical institutions to come up with the most effective methods to create a health care system that everyone can benefit from. In short, it is the citizens that make up society. It is the citizens that protect and support their governments and the institutions that provide services and goods. In turn these institutions should not question whether it is their duty or right to protect those that support them. In return for their support and loyalty, these institutions should show appreciation and gratitude to their stakeholders. It is their obligation to do what they can to protect the hands that support them which includes access to the same quality health care they are entitled to. It is the right of each individual to live life to their fullest potential with systems in place that include support for prevention education and maintenance of the public’s health and well-being. The bottom line is, without the continual support of their stakeholders, these institutions will find it extremely difficult to experience longevity and success.

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References:

Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell. (2013). Business ethics and social responsibility (9th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Furlong, B., & Morrison, E. (2014). Health care ethics. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Spinks, N., & Wells, B. (1996). The context of ethics in the health care industry. Health Manpower Management. Keele, England, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/206620783?accountid=32521

Learning Through Experience

Published April 29, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Scholars agree that experience is a concept that is undervalued, underestimated and in some cases, even disregarded. According to Beard and Wilson (2006) experience pervades all forms of learning. Their definition of experiential learning is the process of active engagement between the inner world of a person and the outer world of the environment.  Active engagement is one of the basic components of experiential learning. It involves the entire individual, through thoughts, feelings and physical activity. Experiential learning takes on many appearances that include recreational or leisure activities, exhilarating journeys or adventures, experimentation or play. In other words, people learn new skills by doing them. A teacher who directs their students to learn rhyme and meter by instructing them to create a dance routine to a poem in iambic pentameter is one example of experiential learning (Beard & Wilson, 2006).

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A fundamental element to effective learning is the ability to reflect and review the learning process.  This helps identify which methods are effective and which are not. Root issues however, tend to remain unaddressed. For this reason measurement is an essential component to high performance, improvement, and success in any business or other area of human endeavor. In fact, Spitzer (2007) postulates the key to success is measurement because it can reveal the organization’s current position in the marketplace, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and helps in the development of new goals. For this reason, performance measures have a transformational effect on the way people and organizations examine their work, products and customers (Spitzer, 2007). During my employment in the mortgage and loan industry, I observed many formal and informal reflection and review processes that were developed as the organization grew. For example, as the organization achieved higher levels of success, the number of employees increased. This included additional loan officers, processors and administrative staff. At this new level of corporate operations, management conducted annual reviews to verify the organization was complying with policies and operating legally within the corporate framework to avoid substantial penalty fees.  At this stage, operation managers were legally required to work in compliance with labor laws and began to implement systems that offered employee benefits including health insurance and paid vacation time.

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Annual and monthly reviews were conducted with focus centered on the volume of loans and closings. This could help identify methods loan officers and processing teams incorporated and give insight to what was effective as well as pinpoint weaknesses. Weekly and monthly sales strategy meetings were also conducted to assess the volume of lead activity and identify why some transferred into sales and why others didn’t. Once the information was collected and evaluated upper management could then decide on tactics and training programs to help staffers develop higher skill levels, use them consistently, and incorporate systems that would assist to motivate them (Silberman, 2007). The founders of the mortgage company, for example, decided to seek professional assistance to help guide the company’s success and engaged the services of an elite mortgage and loan coaching company. Annual leadership meetings were conducted. The executives were assigned new tasks and set short and long term goals. Monthly calls were scheduled and each team leader was required to submit a progress report to monitor activity.

Leaders that actively work to improve themselves and their organizations, seek new opportunities to learn. Those who are wise enough enlist the guidance of successful mentors and coaches. These trailblazers do not underestimate the value of experiential learning and are able to make adjustments based on methods of trial and error. These are the bosses and organizations employees are proud to be a part of.

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References:

Beard, C., & Wilson, J. (2006). Experiential learning: A best practice handbook (2nd ed.). London, England, UK: Kogan Page.

Silberman, M. (2007). The handbook of experiential learning. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Spitzer, D. R. (2007). Transforming performance measurement: Rethinking the way we measure and drive organizational success. New York, NY: AMACOM Books.

References:

Beard, C., & Wilson, J. (2006). Experiential learning: A best practice handbook (2nd ed.). London, England, UK: Kogan Page.

Silberman, M. (2007). The handbook of experiential learning. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Spitzer, D. R. (2007). Transforming performance measurement: Rethinking the way we measure and drive organizational success. New York, NY: AMACOM Books.