Decision Making Case Study Essay

Decision Making Case Study Nadine Ranger Week 3 HCS/514 August 23, 2010 Sara Brown Decision-Making Case Study Effective decision-making is a major component in managing an organization, resources, and staff members. Managers make important decisions daily that affect the operations, quality, and success of their organization. Instituting evidence informed decision-making is a growing concept among health care organizations, but managers face several challenges including time pressures and lack of resources to determine quality information.

The use of adequate decision-making tools and resources help managers make strategically important decisions as well as develop and improve their decision-making skills. To effectively the best recourse in the following case study, the manager describes the best tool for deciding what services to improve or eliminate and how the tool affects accountability, knowledge transfer, and a questioning organization. Case Study The manager will use the tools in the informed decision toolbox developed in 2007 by Rundall et al. to best decision for the county clinic providing care for Medicaid clients.

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The scenario in this case study involves a county clinic in which the budget has been cut by 15%. This clinic provides care to Medicaid clients and the challenge to management is to identify the clinical services that should be eliminated or introduced to best address the health care needs of the clients. The manager must determine the best tool to use to make these decisions and the rationale using it. Starting the Decision-making Process With rising health care costs and the current state of the economy, it is not surprising that the clinic is forced to reduce its budget.

The organization has decided to finalize the budget cuts, and decisions must be made about how to best achieve the goal of reorganizing services and maintain the level of care it currently provides to their Medicaid clients. Rundall et al. , (2007), describes a decision-making process and set of tools that may help the clinic make the most informed and effective choices to determine which services should be changed to meet the budgetary constraints (Rundall et al. , 2007). The Toolbox Rundall et al. eveloped a tool they call the Informed Decisions Toolbox or IDT, which they suggest will help make better evidence-informed management decisions. Evidence-informed decision-making is the process of gathering and analyzing the best evidence available and making an informed decision based on that knowledge (National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools [NCCMT], n. d. ). The process of evidence-informed decision-making involves six steps. Each of these six steps can be used as a tool for improving decision-making which help the manger to overcome the barriers experienced in using this decision technique.

The six steps include defining or framing the question, searching for relevant evidence or source of information, appraising the quality of the data, determining the relevance or applicability of the data, analyzing actionability, and evaluating the possible outcome of the decision (Health-evidence. ca, n. d. ). Essentially, organizational support of the managers’ use of the tools assists in the decision-making process, making the manager less reliant on anecdotal evidence and consultants (Rundall et al. , 2007).

The IDT suggests that managers believe that useful information in decision-making is characterized by the information’s accessibility, accuracy, applicability, and actionability (Rundall, et al. , 2007). In this case step one is already define by the organization’s leadership to eliminate or introduce new programs. Therefore, the manager must determine what the best tools to accomplish this task are. Choosing a Tool As a manager of the clinic would find these tools are valuable in determining which services to add or remove to meet the budgetary goal of the organization.

These steps form a process or a checklist of action items for reaching an informed decision. The most valuable tool to answer this question is step number two, searching for relevant evidence. According to Rundall, et al. , 2007), “Evidence relevant to the management question can be obtained from a wide array of sources, ranging from colloquial sources or organizational reports, to research sources, such as peer-reviewed journals (p. 328). Performing research can be time-consuming and difficult, but it is the heart of any good decision.

Using this tool, the manager can find evidence of past successes or failures in similar healthcare budget cuts. Research could determine the priorities of the Medicaid community and the care most important to them. Collecting data on efficiency statistics allows the manager to keep important services by improving process flows and reducing waste. Some of the research tools include interviews, academic journals, data warehouses, and the Internet (Rundall et al. , 2007).

The steps following the research collection, which include evaluating the data and taking action are also very important but are only as valuable as the data used for those steps and tools. Management Strategies A manager using any of the tools in the IDT should be aware of the effect of his or her decisions on the organization and community. The use of these tools will enhance the clinics ability to understand better their Medicaid clients and how their decisions will affect the lives of those individuals.

This knowledge helps to foster accountability to those groups because the clinic has to acknowledged their needs and act on them appropriately. Part of using the IDT toolbox is sharing the information gathered from research. This is an important part of the process because it helps everyone make more informed decisions within the organization, and externally. The toolbox also assists managers in satisfying the increase in demand for greater transparency and accountability because the evidence is available to support the decisions that meet the clients’ need.

The most important outcome from using the toolbox is that it creates an environment of constant learning and improvement. The manager may develop decision-making guidelines detailing the effort necessary for strategic and major operating decisions especially in a questioning organization (Rundall, et al. 2007). Conclusion A manager using the IDT as part of the business strategy will consistently seek out new information on how to improve the organization that promotes more informed and successful decisions.

Arriving at the most appropriate decision requires a manager to complete the necessary research to support the decision. Using research will assist the manager in avoiding similar mistakes other individuals make and provide a foundation for transparency, accountability, and accuracy. This process may assist a manager in developing decision-making guidelines for making strategic and operational decisions. Even though managers are faced with tough decisions, conducting appropriate research can facilitate the decision-making process. References Health-evidence. a. (n. d. ). Tools to support evidence-informed decision making. Retrieved 8/18/2010, from http://health-evidence. ca/tool National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. (n. d. ). Evidence-informed public health. Retrieved 8/18/2010, from http://www. nccmt. ca/eiph/index-eng. html Rundall, T. G. , Martelli, P. F. , Arroyo, L. , McCurdy, R. , Graetz, L. , Neuwirth, E. B. , … Hsu, J. (2007). The informed decision toolbox: Tools for knowledge transfer and performance improvement. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(5), 325-342.

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