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MHA, Health Administration, Dominican Republic

December 7, 2017

I decided as a child that I wanted to ‘make a difference’ rather than merely ‘make a living’ and had vague intentions of working in some health-related field, especially since I was fascinated by science. However, for various reasons, this goal was postponed and I began my working life in retail, followed by a period as a medical secretary and then a short period working in banking. At that point, having become a mother, I carefully considered my career situation, my skills and interests and decided to pursue my original goal of following a career in healthcare and to acquire a relevant degree.

After some research, I chose to pursue a bachelor degree in Medical Technology in which I graduated in 2012. This was an excellent decision and one that I shall never regret. I thoroughly enjoyed my studies and subsequent work in the field. However, I have reached a point at which I wish to make a greater impact in the field of healthcare. During my work to date, I have become increasingly aware of the very close relationship between excellent administration and the excellence of care provided to patients. It is now my objective to advance the quality of healthcare by acquiring the skills and knowledge required to provide the excellent administration that underpins it. My current work requires excellent planning skills, meticulous record keeping and close cooperation with other healthcare professionals all of which provide a good basis for understanding the ‘bigger picture’.  

My ultimate objective is to hold a senior executive role in health administration. I would see my role primarily as providing a platform to enable and encourage healthcare providers of all specialties and grades to perform their roles at optimum effectiveness for patient benefit. I see the removal of any administrative obstacles as being a basic matter and one that should be subject to constant monitoring and action as appropriate. I would seek to minimize the administrative demands on clinicians while simultaneously enabling them to have easy access to relevant, accurate, reliable and up to date patient, statistical and other relevant information.

I am originally from the Dominican Republic and am aware that poor healthcare administration in that country and others is an important factor in the poor standard of available care. Lax management encourages the corrupt practices that abound and I would hope that I might have the opportunity to provide training for healthcare administrators to improve attitudes, procedures and systems in order to improve the situation.

 

  1. Please describe your leadership skills and a time when you demonstrated those skills to create change and/or work through an adverse situation. (500 words)

 

I have happily worked, studied and socialized with people from many cultures and social backgrounds. I get on easily with others and am regarded as a calm person who takes challenges in her stride and seeks to help colleagues whenever possible. I am enthusiastic about my work and like to encourage others to give of their best and to recognize and seek to fulfill their career potential.

Recently a situation arose in which an unusually heavy workload coincided with the arrival of a new Laboratory Chief who wanted to introduce various changes that involved our supervisors in having to concentrate on administrative work instead of providing assistance to us in our day to day work. Most team members resented the imposition of significant change during a period of heavy workflow and some decided to work more slowly than usual in order to exaggerate the effects and so force management to recruit extra staff, redirect the supervisors to ‘bench work’ or to postpone administrative changes.

I have always focused on the fact that the work that we do relates to anxious patients and their relatives but it was clear that some of my colleagues were failing to make this connection and I sought, in a gentle but determined manner, to remind them that we could not permit our problems to impact detrimentally on the lives of patients and that we should do all that we could to provide quality output as quickly as possible while handling the changes as well as we could.

I cannot claim that I was alone in these efforts but I did take a leading, if informal, role in resolving a potentially serious situation which was finally resolved.

 

 

  1. CASE STUDY: An ambulatory health care system, Delta Healthcare, has difficulty assuring high levels of patient satisfaction. Delta’s patient satisfaction scores are in the 20th percentile nationally, staff and physician morale is low, and patients experience long waits for initial and follow-up appointments.

Your primary considerations include how you will define the problem(s) and assign accountability for their solution(s), as well as what type(s) of evidence are required to inform your analysis and recommendation.

Your CEO has requested a one-page, high-level overview plan of how the executive team should approach this issue. What do you recommend? (250 words)

 

The low morale is not only a symptom of other problems but will probably be adding to those problems by e.g. higher than average absenteeism. Our first priority is to establish the reasons for the low morale. A management committee should be appointed providing a variety of relevant skills and areas of expertise each member being given responsibility for one or more aspects of the investigation and implementation phases of the work.

To ensure accurate and comprehensive data, the circulation of anonymous questionnaires would be a useful first step, followed up by team meetings attended by a committee member. The feedback will be evaluated to identify bottlenecks, failures, duplication and co-ordination problems to enable any necessary improvements in procedures and systems.

Sample complaint cases should be identified and carefully examined to establish what has gone wrong and why. This may confirm other feedback or highlight additional information not disclosed by that means.

Interviews with the best performers establishing how they are outperforming their peers should provide information on best practice that may be incorporated into any changes that are to be implemented.  

It will also be pertinent to examine current targets and incentives provided to meet them and how effective they currently are and how they might be improved.

Once problems have been identified and the necessary changes made to procedures and systems, these should be clearly set out in manuals and adherence to their contents monitored regularly and reports on variations circulated as necessary requiring explanations and further monitoring.

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