Prior to beginning this assignment, you must complete the Assessing Organizational Challenges: First Draft (Peer Feedback) discussion and have received feedback. Review the discussion threads you, your classmates, and your instructor posted. Make note of any constructive suggestions you can integrate into your own analysis of organizational challenges inherent in the Week 6 Southglenn Physical Therapy Clinics Case Study, and incorporate feedback from your instructor and classmates into your paper.
Navigate to this week’s discussion to review your feedback if necessary:
In a paper of at least 900 words (exclusive of title and reference pages), and supported by at least two required scholarly sources, address the first two assignment directives below in a more substantive manner, and respond to the third bullet point.
In your paper,
- Analyze the case study from the Week 6 Final Paper instructions to identify organizational challenges.
- Describe, briefly, each organizational challenge you identified, explaining the nature of the challenge and how the challenge affects the leaders and managers in the organization.
- You may use a bulleted list to compile the challenges you identified and your explanation of each.
- Categorize each type of challenge as best addressed by leadership principles and practices, management principles and practices, or a combination of both, briefly explaining your choices.
The Assessing Organizational Challenges paper must be at least 900 words in length (exclusive of title and reference pages), and reference at least two required scholarly sources (see Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.)). Include title and reference pages in your paper; this paper does not require an abstract. Format your paper according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.) resource. Use resources listed in the Week 1 and 2 assignments to help you correctly format your paper.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
HERE IS THE CASE STUDY…
Southglenn Physical Therapy Clinics Case Study
Lawanda Hastings has a challenge ahead of her. She recently took over leadership responsibilities for the downtown branch of Southglenn Physical Therapy Clinics (SPTC), which are private outpatient clinics owned by Dr. Matt Nelson. SPTC has served the Salt Lake City community since 1999 and specializes in orthopedic rehabilitation, sports medicine, deep tissue massage therapy, aquatic therapy, and work-related injuries. Over the years, Dr. Nelson has built SPTC from a single outpatient clinic to three complementary clinics that have a sound reputation for providing excellent physical therapy services.
SPTC is especially well-known for the excellent rehabilitation services provided for professional and amateur athletes who injure knees or other joints in snow sport accidents, common injuries associated with Utah’s exceptional ski resorts, where many collegiate and Olympic athletes practice for competitive events, and families ski and snowboard during the winter months.
The three clinics complement one another because each offers basic rehabilitation services, and each is also known for a particular specialty. For example, the Main SPTC clinic, now housed in a 30,000-square foot building with an indoor pool, focuses on sports medicine, athletic injuries, and aquatic therapy. The Downtown clinic that Lawanda now leads specializes in work injury programs, designed to help patients return to full employment after an occupational injury. The smallest of the three clinics in the nearby suburb of Murray primarily treats post-surgical patients to help reduce pain and increase mobility. All three clinics are located along the light rail line, making travel between the clinic locations for staff and patients quite easy.
Each of the three SPTC operations is headed by a clinic director, whose role is to lead clinic operations and coordinate patient care at the clinic location. Each director is also a licensed physical therapist, who ultimately oversees the professional conduct of clinic staff. The three directors report directly to Matt Nelson, as does the clinic administrator, who is responsible for functions such as patient scheduling, client and insurance billing, the electronic medical record system, purchasing and accounts payable, and personnel and payroll services. These functions are coordinated centrally at the Main SPTC clinic, as are out-sourced custodial and maintenance services for each clinic.
A marketing coordinator also reports directly to Matt. About 65% of the patients seen at SPTC are referred by local physicians, so maintaining strong relationships with local medical providers is essential for SPTC’s long-term prosperity. Along with Matt, the three clinic directors, the clinic administrator, and the marketing coordinator comprise the SPTC leadership team. Additionally, at each clinic, managers oversee the clinic’s routine physical therapy services and rehabilitation services, and directly supervise the work of the physical therapists, occupational therapists, massage therapists, and athletic trainers employed at each clinic.
Lawanda was the clinic director at the Murray clinic for four years and successfully oversaw growth of the clinic’s surgical rehabilitation practice. Then, abruptly, the clinic director at the Downtown clinic left under a cloud of suspicion that involved sexual harassment claims against him by two of the female massage therapists. Matt asked Lawanda to take over leadership responsibilities for the Downtown clinic and to address leadership and managerial needs of the understandably dispirited staff.
Just the Facts
Through discussions with Matt, interviews with the four departmental managers who now report to her, and open forum dialogues with clinic staff, Lawanda has discovered the following:
- Client feedback surveys have shown a downward trend in patient satisfaction with service provided at the Downtown clinic. The biggest concerns come from patients using the occupational therapy department, which represents the largest number of patient service interactions for the clinic. Patient concerns include difficulty scheduling appointments, late appointments, and impolite staff who rush them through their treatment. Patients who rated other clinic services at the Downtown clinic such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and athletic training didn’t identify the same concerns with staff interactions, but they also pointed to difficulty scheduling appointments at the clinic.
- A recent staff survey suggests that Downtown clinic staff enjoy the work they do, but feel pressured to hurry through appointments because of tight schedules. They also reported concerns about relationships with their managers, including some managers who reportedly micro-manage their staff, and other managers who are largely unavailable to help out when needed. Over the past year, the Downtown clinic has hired several new staff members in the physical, massage, and occupational therapy departments, and dissatisfaction among staff is disproportionately higher among newer hires.
- The manager of physical therapy has been out on maternity leave and subsequently decided not to return to her job. The previous clinic director narrowed the number of applicants to replace the manager to three individuals. One of the final candidates is a physical therapist at the clinic who has been acting as the interim manager while the previous manager was away from her job. A final decision needs to be made on the candidate to fill this important managerial position.
- The allegations of sexual harassment against the previous clinic director are common knowledge among clinic staff, even though the investigation of the allegations is being handled confidentially by an outside HR consulting team. Everyone in the clinic seems to have an opinion about what happened and who is to blame, which has led to tensions and hostilities between colleagues. Some hold the former clinic director accountable, and others are loyal to the previous director and believe the allegations are unfounded. Clinic managers have not been able to curtail the gossip, even though they have tried, which has led to mistrust of colleagues and leadership, skepticism about whether employees are valued, and negative attitudes and behaviors among the staff. Motivation seems to be quite low.
- Although the Downtown clinic is stable financially (as is the entire SPTC organization), there have been accusations of financial malfeasance or impropriety in the use of clinic supplies and equipment for personal benefit. Employees may use clinic facilities for personal fitness and treatments, such as using the whirlpool, or using athletic training equipment to work out before or after work, and then showering in the small changing area of the gym. However, some of the therapists have been providing therapeutic services for family and friends outside clinic hours but using clinic facilities. The previous clinic director did so himself and turned a blind eye to this practice among other staff, even though the employee handbook stipulates that clinic facilities and supplies are not to be used to provide services to individuals who are not actual patients at the clinic.
- All healthcare service providers nationwide have been mandated by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) to convert paper medical record systems to electronic format. Failure to do so will affect provider Medicare reimbursement. The SPTC clinics are in the process of converting their medical record system to electronic format, but not without some difficulty. Staff have been resistant to the change, and progress has been slower than desired because of challenges working with the consulting firm helping to implement the conversion. Each clinic director is responsible for training staff to begin to use the new system, but the previous clinic director of the Downtown clinic had made little progress in developing a plan to manage the conversion prior to his departure from the clinic. Staff are still using paper records because they haven’t been trained to use the new system, and concerns about the ramifications of failing to comply with HSS directives are mounting.
Week 5 – Peer Feedback
Leadership is a critical part of healthcare delivery where the organization seeks to achieve positive outcomes of health. Therefore, the administration must take every measure necessary to ensure the quality and safety of care, significantly contributing to patient satisfaction (Northouse, 2019). The staff’s needs also need to be attended to by establishing ways to keep them motivated and enhance their satisfaction. Challenges are common in an organization where the leadership is ineffective. This discussion seeks to discuss the challenges faced by a leader in the context of Southglenn Physical Therapy Clinics, explaining each challenge. The various difficulties that Lawanda Hastings faces in taking over leadership of the organization are as follows.
Lack of patient satisfaction
This is the first challenge that Lawanda gets confronted within the clinic as the patients are not satisfied with care. This dissatisfaction arises from the fact that the staff is negligent of their duties, which causes problems to the patients as they are not given proper assistance or guidance about scheduling their appointments, which also end up being late, staff is rude. The patients get rushed through treatment which is contributing to poor health outcomes.
Low staff morale
The organization’s staff are not motivated, and with the tight schedules, they end up rushing the appointments. This is a significant challenge for the leader because if this goes on, it poses a significant risk to the safety and quality of care, which could amount to ethical and legal issues that the leader may be forced to address. The actions of the current managers contribute significantly to staff dissatisfaction, which could have more adverse effects on the care outcomes. Staff turnover is also another significant challenge that the leader is faced with that could have arisen from the fact that the staff is dissatisfied with their work in the organization.
The leader is presented with the challenge of bringing the employees together to be able to work as a team in the achievement of organizational goals. The challenge is, therefore, in getting the employees to be on the same page concerning what the organization needs and how they can set aside their differences and work towards achieving the common goal, which entails achieving positive outcomes of health. It is challenging to meet any goals when the staff do not have a teamwork spirit and are divided over personal opinions.
Misuse of supplies and facilities
Another significant challenge that Lawanda is faced with in taking over the organization’s leadership is the misuse of the clinic facilities and supplies by the staff. This may end up causing the organization to incur extra costs, significantly affecting its profitability. Therefore, the leader is faced with the challenge of setting clear policies and rules that will change the staff’s culture, which involves their engagement in using the hospital facilities to provide care to individuals outside the clinic setting for their benefit.
Implementation of electronic medical records
The leader is presented with the challenge of implementing the electronic medical records in a clinic where the staff is resistant to change because they are not ready to abandon their norms. They are used to recording health information using papers, and with the resistance, the process is slow, affecting the care outcomes. The leader faces the need to upskill the workers through the programs for training that are essential to achieve success in implementing the systems of electronic health records (Galli, 2018). The leader also faces the challenge of ensuring that staff complies with the HSS guidelines.
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