Vila Health Nurse Staffing: The St. Anthony Medical Center Free Writing Sample

Introduction

The nursing profession is one of the most crucial parts of healthcare and comprises the largest section of this vocation. Today, there are more than 3 million registered nurses who work in American facilities, and this number is expected to increase by 7% in the next decade (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2020). However, many nurses believe that the problem of nursing shortage cannot be ignored as it continues to spread across the country.

This is associated with high rates of dissatisfaction and job burnout that present a risk to the health system, influencing the quality of patient care, provoking stress, and causing nurses to leave their jobs (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2020). The St. Anthony Medical Center (SAMC) faces the challenge of nursing shortage as characterized by the high patient-to-nurse ratio, impeding its delivery of quality care. As a leader at SAMC, I have to explain the worth of human resources changes as a part of a staffing plan to create a competitive advantage and identify future demands.

Comparison of Current Workforce to Future Needs

Current Workforce Analysis

SAMC is one of the largest medical facilities in Minneapolis that offers high-quality care to vulnerable populations and serves as a teaching hospital in the region. Like many American hospitals, this medical center is challenged by nursing shortages and revenue shortfalls. Jackie Sandoval, the Chief Nursing Officer, observes staffing problems during different shifts and the lack of professional caregivers to respond to emergency cases like a chemical spill by a train derailment. Health workers are often overworked, and the institution has to depend on the services of other agencies. While there are numerous potential solutions, the leaders admit the impossibility of improving the budget and hiring new employees, which provokes new issues in patient care quality and nurses’ satisfaction with working conditions.

Needs and Gaps

To determine the future needs of nurses, it is essential to examine the existing systems and identify the complicated tasks. Sandoval observes that the diabetes center that had been opened did not help in reducing the workflow. Persons with diabetes-related symptoms are only one segment of the overall traffic and do not benefit this facility. In addition, there is a need for multilingual health professionals who can deal with different persons from distinct cultures. In the scenario, the need of aggressive effort on hiring nurses is required for vulnerable populations. The cultural gap also has an impact on staffing relationships, which requires improved competency and cooperation.

Staffing Plan and Competitive Advantage

Ideal Staffing Plan

The ideal staffing plan should utilize the top-down approach. It is a standardized and mandatory technique based on the nurse-to-bed ratio when nurses feel empowerment and support (van Bogaert et al., 2016). The methods utilized involve comparing different hospitals and determining the population’s needs. For instance, a hospital may assess the number of inpatients to illustrate the service capacity, and then relate this to the number of health workers per bed. This is a vital first step that helps in establishing whether a health facility requires a review.

In St. Anthony Medical Center, there are more patients than nurses, and this implies that the quality of care is threatened. The Chief Nursing Officer explains that she often has to hire additional staff for most units in the hospital. She explains that even after doing that, there are still beds that lack any health attendant. The current pool of nurses is forced to work for long hours to cover the shortage of staff. The institution identifies caregivers from other facilities during emergencies, but it is not a long-term solution, and the management has to hire more people to improve the services.

One of the possible steps in the staffing plan is benchmarking. It encompasses expert judgments to determine other facilities that can be used to compare with St. Anthony Medical Center. The downside of this approach is that it is similarly prone to subjectivity. Specifically, evidence suggests that initial staffing levels are based on an institution’s history, as opposed to the patient requirements (Ball et al., 2019). Benchmarking aims at managing and comparing an organization within the offered measurement tools and enhance improvement as per the current needs (Ginter et al., 2018). Nonetheless, this will contribute to determining whether there is enough staff in the organization.

One more significant method to strengthen SAMC staffing is the patient classification system to divide patients according to their needs and other vital criteria. To ensure that this step is comprehensive, the hospital will make use of bespoke categorizations. These are more appropriate considering that the classifications are premised on acuity levels (Griffiths et al., 2020). This is highly effective as it gives a clearer and more specific picture of the staffing levels required against the existing ones. Overall, the analysis based on this approach will help determine the nurses that should be recruited to satisfy the demand.

Measures to Evaluate Success

There are several measures that have to be recognized to understand if the offered staffing plan is successful or not. For example, staffing numbers have to be properly identified to see the number of people hired, fired, and those who quit on their own. The right number of staff is a considerable measure for this improvement plan (Griffiths et al., 2020). Staff satisfaction surveys represent another measurement to identify the effectiveness of the ideas (Paulsen, 2018). Finally, productivity levels must be measured to see if the organization creates goods for nurses and their task performance (Ginter et al., 2018). All these indicators help leaders to compare the past achievements and the current situation in regard to a newly developed staffing plan.

Plan Failure Implications

Human resource (HR) management in health care is highly complex compared to other industries owing to the intensiveness of labor and the fact that the professions in this field are well-established (Kharti et al., 2017). HR plays a fundamental role because it is capable of influencing the behaviors of the workers. The clinical outcomes of St. Anthony Medical Center are dependent on the HR capability. If the workforce is unable to support the needs of the staff and accommodate the offered plan, the quality of care could be dramatically challenged and get worse with time. Today, more than ever, patients and their families expect to receive the best services. For this to happen, leaders in the field must ensure that the workforce remains highly motivated and committed to providing quality care.

Another implication for the organization is related to the number of nurses who are ready to leave their jobs because of the impossibility to find good working conditions. The current turnover rate for this profession is up to 37 percent, which means that there is an insufficient number of employees to fulfill all patients’ needs (Haddad et al., 2020). Health workers in the organization are exhausted and choose turnover as the only available solution. If the staffing plan is not supported, it would negatively influence SAMC and provoke the growth nurse shortages.

Human Resource as a Competitive Advantage

Health care leaders primarily rely on the HR department to influence the level of employees’ commitment. This is because human resource is responsible for determining the type and intensity of training for the professionals as well as the appropriate compensation (Kharti et al., 2017). These factors play a crucial role in improving the engagement and satisfaction levels of workers. An organization that addresses these issues is likely to witness high customer fulfillment. This implies that a hospital that provides quality care due to high levels of HR capabilities has a competitive advantage.

In this scenario, the HR department may consider training the existing nurses and using the already defined strategies to improve their morale and care quality. Competitive advantage is the organizational strength that allows an organization to perform services better than its competitors can (Ginter et al., 2018). SAMC’s competitive advantage is focused on vulnerable populations and the necessity to offer high-quality services, which attracts the attention of patients and investors at the same time.

Conclusion

The volume of literature on nursing shortages has grown tremendously in the past decade. It is projected that it will worsen in the coming years, and it is a risk to the entire health system. In the SAMC case, the existing workforce is being overworked, and the leader has to hire temporary staff. HR has the potential to improve the working conditions through improving employees’ commitment. A new staffing plan should be employed that puts into consideration the need for multilingual caregivers, and this ought to be evaluated through professional judgment, benchmarking, and a patient classification system. Overall, the number of nurses in the hospital has to be increased and redistributed to improve the quality of care.

References

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2020). Fact sheet: Nursing shortage. AACN.

Ball, J., Barker, H., Griffiths, P., Jones, J., Lawless, J., Burton, C. R., Couch, R., & Rycroft-Malone, J. (2019). Implementation, impact and costs of policies for safe staffing in acute trusts: Report to funders. Southampton: University of Southampton.

Ginter, P. M., Duncan, W. J., & Swayne, L. E. (2018). Strategic management of health care organizations (8th ed.). John Wiley.

Griffiths, P., Saville, C., Ball, J., Jones, J., Pattison, N., & Monks, T. (2020). Nursing workload, nurse staffing methodologies and tools: A systematic scoping review and discussion. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103. Web.

Haddad, L. M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T. J. (2020). Nursing shortage. StatPearls Publishing.

Kharti, N., Gupta, V., & Varma, A. (2017). The relationship between HR capabilities and quality of patient care: The mediating role of proactive work behaviors. Human Resource Management, 56(4), 673-691.

Paulsen, R. A. (2018). Taking nurse staffing research to the unit level. Nursing Management, 49(7), 42-48. Web.

Van Bogaert, P., Peremans, L., Diltour, N., Van Heusden, D., Dilles, T., Van Rompaey, B., & Havens, D. S. (2016). Staff nurses’ perceptions and experiences about structural empowerment: A qualitative phenomenological study. PLoS One, 11(4). Web.

Investing In Uber: Reputation, Problems

Introduction

Uber, as one of the biggest ride-hailing businesses in the United States, experiences significant financial losses. They are caused by the improper policies of the company with regard to its principal operations. All the emerging issues are conditional upon the fact that it attempts to expand the activity instead of focusing on addressing the existing challenges (Siddiqui, 2019). In other words, the orientation on external factors, such as the image and reputation, as opposed to internal circumstances, including working conditions and the development of long-term strategies, defines Uber’s inability to remain attractive. Therefore, investing in this company does not appear to be an advantageous decision. Uber’s profits are unlikely to increase due to numerous scandals and allegations, its unfavorable image compared to rivals, and the failure to ensure the growth of food-delivery services.

Scandals and Allegations

The first area evoking concerns of potential investors is a spate of scandals around Uber’s business decisions and frequent inactivity. First, the ride-hailing giant is known for collecting fares during a taxi strike, and this fact reflects its attitude towards its employees (Siddiqui, 2019). It also shows the unwillingness of Uber to cooperate with people while establishing rigid rules instead of providing appropriate conditions for work. Second, the information regarding culture, which promotes sexual harassment, does not contribute to its reputation (Siddiqui, 2019). It adds to the indifference regarding the rights of women and undermines the positive perception of the company by the public. As a result, these circumstances define the negative image of Uber not only for clients but also for partners.

Moreover, the business initially ignored the challenges described above, and the consequent actions happened to be completely ineffective for making a change regarding reputation. The movement known as #DeleteUber turned into a large-scale initiative, which emphasized the presence of problems and the lack of appropriate solutions (Siddiqui, 2019). The developed marketing campaign intended for rebuilding the image of Uber also failed despite the use of television commercials (Siddiqui, 2019). These events contribute to the undesirability to cooperate with the company since, in the case of emergencies, it will not be able to overcome difficulties in a timely manner. This conclusion is confirmed by the ongoing decrease in revenue causing investor pressure, which, nevertheless, remains unaddressed by Uber’s managers. In turn, they are attempting to remain profitable at the expense of their employees (Siddiqui, 2019). Thus, investing in this business is not a good idea from the perspective of its current situation, which is unlikely to change, and inappropriate methods to solve the problems.

Reputation in Comparison with Competitors

Another aspect of the matter explaining why Uber is not a reliable partner is its situation on the market compared to other similar enterprises. According to the recent data, it continues to give up market share to Lyft, its main competitor (Siddiqui, 2019). This outcome is significantly conditional upon the issues with brand reputation and the attention of Uber to expanding its activity instead of improving the image. Hence, its business model, which does not incorporate any effective long-term strategic solutions as opposed to Lyft, and the financial pressure of rapidly evolving market conditions prevent Uber from developing them. Moreover, the business has never been actually profitable since this area was neglected from the very beginning, as can be seen from the decisions of managers specified above. Therefore, one cannot expect their position to shift in the case when there are more successful competitors, the increasing number of problems, and the lack of shared vision other than expanding the company.

The reason for this position of Uber is its attempts to alter policies in the context of the lack of solid grounds for a shift. It heavily relies on metrics, which do not provide an accurate picture of challenges and, consequently, leads to distortion in the selection of methods to overcome them (Siddiqui, 2019). In turn, the adopted internal tracking tools and external polling firms only indicate the presence of the problems and the increasing influence of other ride-hailing businesses contrasted by Uber’s slow growth (Siddiqui, 2019). As a result, the managers of the company recognize the necessity to act but do not possess sufficient information on how to make it more attractive for customers than rivals’ services. In this way, the absence of an efficient mechanism to affect brand sentiment indicates the continuous crisis for Uber, and this situation allows considering it as inappropriate for investing.

Problems with the Food-Delivery Service

The services of Uber are not limited to transportation, and other fields, in which it is involved, require particular consideration by potential investors. As follows from the analysis above, the company cannot be viewed as a profitable entity suitable for long-term cooperation. Meanwhile, the same applies to its initiative regarding the restaurant delivery business, which has proved to be accompanied by struggles and problems without solutions. Thus, the attractiveness of these services in the past brought significant benefits, but the results happened to be short-term due to the inadvisability of entering this industry. It was defined by the unreasonably high delivery fees stemming from cumulative payments to drivers (Baertlein, 2019). Subsequently, increasing the prices for customers adversely affected their preferences, whereas decreasing them eliminated the possibility of receiving substantial profits. These results indicate limited opportunities for the development of Uber in this area.

In this industry, the competition presented by stronger and more experienced players in the market also adds to the impossibility for Uber Technologies to survive. Large businesses, such as Grubhub Inc., DoorDash, and Postmates, have a better reputation and more capabilities in terms of varying prices and other conditions. For example, they can successfully provide discounts to diners and restaurants in order to increase their share in online delivery sales in this field (Baertlein, 2019). At the same time, Uber cannot follow similar policies since its participation is already unfeasible in practice, as follows from its inability to balance between customer fees and driver payments mentioned above. Its successes in increasing the amounts of deliveries also seem dubious since they do not receive any profits from this measure (Baertlein, 2019). Therefore, the presence of Uber in this competitive market does not promote the business’ progress.

Conclusion

To summarize, the intention to invest in Uber is undesirable from the point of view of the company’s current unfavorable position. It is connected to its inability to resolve emerging issues of any nature, neglect of problems until they become public, and inefficiency of measures to address the crises. These factors are complemented by the presence of numerous competitors with a better reputation, higher profits, and well-thought strategic directions. Since these components are not considered by the managers of Uber, its activity alongside the rivals in both ride-hailing and food delivery services is not productive. The absence of experience of employees in addressing these needs also adds to the negative perceptions of partners and prevents them from relying on the outcomes of their cooperation.

Works Cited

Baertlein, Lisa. “Uber Filing Lists Revenue Gains, Struggles of Food Business.” Reuters, 2019.

Siddiqui, Faiz. ” Internal Data Shows Uber’s Reputation Hasn’t Changed Much Since #DeleteUber.” The Washington Post, 2019.

Procter & Gamble’s Febreze Product Technology

Procter and Gamble, also known as P&G, have been filling people’s homes with grooming, baby, health care, and cleaning products since the 1800s and continue to do so successfully. In 1998 P&G released one of their innovative products called Febreze.“Febreze has the technology to clean away bad odors at the source” (2019), which keeps consumers buying their products from air fresheners to light wax melts.

Supply, Demand, and Market Equilibrium

Price elasticity of supply or demand is how much demand for a product or service will change with a given change in the price of the product or service. The following statement would make the demand and supply for Febreze have no major change if there was an increase in price, making it elastic. Grandview Research stated, “The trend of consumers willing to pay a premium price for aesthetic fragrances is encouraging air freshener manufacturers to expand their product portfolio, therefore, prompting growth in revenue in this region” (2018).

Consumers are always going to want their homes, cars, and offices smelling good, and an increase in price would not change that desire. While it can be inelastic due to being alternatives in products that make homes, cars, and offices smell good. If Febreze went up in prize, consumers could decide to go with oil fragrances, the only difference is that Febreze eliminates smell as oil covers, and consumers look more for eliminations then cover ups.

Non-price determinants are those economic factors besides price that affect the demand and supply. The economic environment can be one factor of the demand for Febreze. Public views of air care products can be negative, and questions over product protection can be a major obstacle to the use of air care products by customers (2019).

If the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)researched and reported that air freshener chemicals were a risk factor, this could decrease the demand for air fresheners. This risk factor could discourage consumers whose concerns about the safety of their family, pets, and environments and the demand be affected. In turn the supply for Febreze decreased. Consumer’s presence can be another non-price factor on the effect of demand for Febreze.

Febreze was first produced in a glass-cleaner bottle making, which meant to consumers to keep it under the sink, and though it was appealing, purchases were not high (2017). When the bottle was revamped to be kept on top of counters and more visible, the demand increased. Technology and taxes could be two non-price factors of supply. If P&G is in need of new innovative technology in productivity and therefore, production costs per unit would decrease, and more of the product Febreze could be supplied to suppliers. If the government increased taxes on home care products, this could decrease the supply of Febreze.

Industry and market equilibrium

The industry of air fresheners in the United States is a promising avenue for its players. According to the research, despite being a non-essential industry, air fresheners demonstrate stable growth in the market, and the trend is expected to continue in the 2020s (“U.S. Air Fresheners Market Analysis by Product Type,” 2018). The current value of this segment amounts to 1.62 billion dollars, and the current forecast expects a 3.4% growth until 2025 (“U.S. Air Fresheners Market Analysis by Product Type,” 2018).

Such numbers indicate that the market sees an increasing demand for the product, as over 80% of Americans have reported that they use air fresheners at their homes. However, the focus of consumers’ attention is currently shifting toward varieties that are more expensive. The public has expressed interest in premium aesthetic fragrances, and this segment has reached its record-high point in terms of sales. Accordingly, producers aim at meeting the demand by adding new, experimental products to their offers. Overall, the industry of air fresheners demonstrates continuous development, creating favorable conditions for Febreze.

In addition to its domestic success, the industry of air fresheners is growing on a worldwide scale, as well. Febreze has joined the common trend, becoming one of the most popular products of its type with over 1 billion dollars in global annual sales (Byron, 2011). If the industry continues its development along the same lines, the market equilibrium may shift toward demand. Air freshener producers will have to adjust accordingly in order to preserve the balance, and the current economic situation enables such development. Due to the stable increase in sales, companies, including P&G, have been able to accumulate extra money.

These funds must be correctly allocated between different development goals. As the data described above shows, in order to meet the growing demand, it will not suffice to merely increase production. Future supplies of Febreze must be tailored in accordance with the public’s needs, which implies a wider variety and improved quality of fragrances. This way, the brand will be able to remain profitable and, potentially, dominate its market segment.

References

U.S. Air Fresheners Market Analysis by Product Type (Aerosol/Spray, Electric Air Fresheners, Gels, Candles, Others) by Application (Residential, Commercial, Cars, Others), Competitive Analysis and Segment Forecasts, 2018 – 2025. (2018). Grand View Research. Web.

Byron, E. (2011). Febreze Joins P&G’s $1 Billion Club. The Wall Street Journal. Web.