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VAHS Healthcare management assignment


Task: Individually, you are required to write a 2500-word analysis based on the annual report provided in MyKBS, under the assessments tab.


1. Introduction
In order that healthcare organizations provide appropriate care to their patients and meets the need of its varied stakeholder group, it needs to form strategies accordingly. The domain of healthcare management in Australia requirements to undertake a thorough understanding of policy framework, system dynamics, leadership, utilization of financial resources, and utilization of technology for professional management of the organization. Diagnosis of this relevant environment will reveal the various factor influences on the organization such that suitable improvisation can be adopted by the organization. In the current case scenario of healthcare management assignment, relevant analysis for Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) has been undertaken for suggesting suitable improvisation for the organization (VAHS, 2018a). The current healthcare analysis has been developed within this healthcare management assignment from the annual report obtained for the VAHS organization. The purpose of the report on healthcare management assignment is to analyse relevant environmental factors impacting the organization. VAHS operates throughout Australia hence there is a range of factors influencing the organization.

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) came into existence in the year 1973 for attending to the needs of the Victorian community comprising of indigenous people. The organization grew in the past 40 years, delivering a wide range of dental, medical as well as social services to the community. It is mentioned in the healthcare management assignment that VAHS aims at supporting the wellbeing of the community through the delivery of different medical services, undertaking contributions to community activities and events, also researching the needs of the community (VAHS, 2018b). The organization employs over 200 employees over four different locations, catering to a wide range of people. The current CEO of the organization is focussed on processes that develop a strategic plan for the adoption of the inclusive view of all stakeholder groups. Currently, the organization has implemented VAHS Strategic Plan 2017-2022 that was developed taking into consideration views from all stakeholder groups.

2. Analysis
2.1 Political and policy environment

As per the investigation carried on this healthcare management assignment, the CEO of the organization along with relevant stakeholders (such as the Board of Directors and others) has focussed on the development of strategic goals that aim at forwarding growth of the organization. With the establishment and gradual growth of the organization, it received considerable importance in the eyes of the federal government as well. In the period between 1974 and 1981, the organization started facing a significant deficit, post which the organization started receiving government funding. There was started state-level funding as well for the organization for the promotion of aboriginal health. To date, there is a strong level of political support received for the continuity and growth of the organization so as to improve health and increase outreach to the aboriginal people (McDonald et al, 2018, p 160). However, there has a significantly less bureaucratic influence on the organization from the deferral government. There is a great deal of impact on the selection of the Board of Directors, who will be appointed for the functioning of the organization. But the current Board members along with the CEO and other stakeholders share a common vision for the encouragement and betterment of services to the aboriginal community. Currently, the Commonwealth along with the State Government has undertaken major reforms that have created challenges within the delivery model complying with which the organization operated earlier. As discussed in this healthcare management assignment, the government has decided to totally block funding arrangements for delivery of services, in turn, replaced it with consumer-owned and directed models of funding. Hence the organization currently receives funding under its specific services such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the Aged Care Reforms for Home Care Packages and so on. Thus, the readings provided in this section of healthcare management assignment signifies that under the impact of these new funding arrangements, there is bound to be negative consequences on the VAHS, under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program (IAHP). These political reforms have been brought about by the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) Closing the Gap targets.

Though there remains a considerable level of influence in the formation of its boards and decision that is taken in the upper management level to function the organization, funding and policy reforms at the organizations have been subjected to significant alterations as well. The period of 2017 till 2018 has witnessed a series of changes within the VAHS, which has resulted in quite unsettling in the organization. This has created a lot of challenges as noted herein healthcare management assignment for the staff as well as for volunteering members to operate. The majority of such changes had been associated with planning for bringing about certain policies within the organization. In order to undertake such policy changes, there was recognized a series of deficiencies in capacities. Inconsistency with the new and transformed political environment, there is a range of different policies that are brought about and implemented, accordance with which the organization and its services need to adjusts (Campbell et al, 2018, p 220). Herein healthcare management assignment, the political, as well as policy environment, implies new funding models that in turn impact the agenda of Aboriginal health as well as wellbeing. It is identified in the present context of healthcare management assignmentthat the organization is facing significant challenges from the new environment and is designing new systems to adapt to the varied services offered by the organization and also to meet the commitment to its varied groups of stakeholders. Though the organization is striving to continue delivery of holistic, culturally safe quality care in a respectable manner to members of its community, it needs certain improvisation in its current systems to accommodate the changes brought about in funding.

2.2 Organisational design and coordination
The growth of the VAHS started in the period of the 1990s, with a National Aboriginal Health Strategy (NAHS) being established. The organization started as a humble voluntarily run facility and emerged into the delivery of world-class medical facilities of magnitude functionalities. The organization has a Board of Directors, selected by means of voting, who in turn appoints a CEO, who heads the organization. The organization's medical units appoint multiple Aboriginal health workers, doctors, allied health professionals, administrators, nurses as well as managers for smooth delivery of care. There are various voluntary members engaged in the organization as well. There are various visiting medical members in medical programs conducted by varied programs at the organization as well. The organization's dental services also provide treatment by the employment of dentists and dental assistants. The organization performs in a coordinated manner by application of the VAHS Model of Care to provide holistic primary health care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Victoria as well as Melbourne (Browne et al, 2016, p 544). The organization designs ad coordinates various healthcare programs, which are designed to provide effective healthcare treatment to aboriginal people. VAHS, as a community-controlled health organization has expanded significantly across urban, rural, and remote areas throughout Australia currently. Various programs at the healthcare center are coordinated by healthcare staff along with managers. Every program has its own criteria and aims along with the focus area. Along with employed medical staff and managers coordinating in various healthcare programs for the organization, there are various volunteers who participate in these programs, extending their effectiveness (McKenna et al, 2015, p881). Once programs are completed, they are documented in respected healthcare centers and reported to the central organization for the purpose of record maintenance. Thus, it can be said that the organization functions in a professional manner and there is no scope of improvisation in the organization design and coordination.

2.3 What is the role of leadership and teamwork in the case of healthcare management assignment?
There is a wide range of medical specialists and relevant healthcare staff employed at VAHS for delivery and coordination of care to the aboriginals across Australia, especially in Melbourne and Victoria. Apart from the team of medical specialists, there are nurses, managers, healthcare staff, supervisors at local office levels for supporting operations at the organization. The organization is centrally controlled by a Board of Directors, headed by the CEO, who takes strategic leadership for directing the organization. The leadership at the organization is appropriately matched to healthcare organizations which lead to effective intervention for the aboriginal's health in and around the locality. The healthcare leadership model at the center of the organization percolates the vision, mission, and strategic direction of the organization down to all members of the organization. The leadership framework assumes decisions for the organization only with appropriate participation in the decision from all strategic levels. Each and every internal stakeholder at the organization receives followership considerably from its various members, who in turn adhere to the strategic goals of the organization. All the organization's members remain motivated continuously to achieve the strategic goals of the organization.

There are considerable teamwork activities within the organization which enables compliance to the strategic goals. Each team has an appointed team leader, who in turn communicates with the organizational head to articulate the vision of the organization amongst every team member. Through effective and diligent teamwork, individual program and service excellence is attained. The reach of the programs is extended by the working of its various teams assigned for these programs. The organization invests in the workforce not only through payment of salaries but by supporting through relevant training programs as well. This entails the workforce at the organization remains highly skilled and is supported from within the organization for rendering effective healthcare services (D'Aprano et al, 2016). These teams are supported by VAHS first-class systems existing in healthcare, which in turn shapes the organization as a professional, well-governed, and well-led. Through effective leadership and teamwork collaboration, the organization is able to meet the ongoing challenges facing the organization for maintaining the existing level of services and continuing delivery of services. The organization remains committed to continuously building its capability, systems along with its workforce for responding to the expanding demand of its different stakeholder expectations.

2.4 Financial resource utilization
It is evident in this segment of healthcare management assignment that the organization publishes its statement of accounts on a regular basis through its annual reports. The organization makes effective utilization of its financial resources and takes the decision of financial resource allocation at the central level. As per the information obtained from the annual reports in order to prepare this healthcare management assignment, the utilization of financial resources at the organization takes place in an effective manner by allocating funds for meeting different program requirements (Anderson, and Brady, 2018). As currently funds allocation from the government has stopped and the organization receives funds on the basis of different policies, at every step it needs to ensure that it utilizes funds in an appropriate manner. With the increasing demand for world-class treatment and facility, the organization faces severe challenges in continuing rendering similar levels in treatment. Hence the organization plans its financial resource utilization in accordance with its pre-approved programs. Finance is allocated as per the program's demands at the local and state level, for instance, VAHS has received its referral of 'MY Aged Care'. By approaching the Aborigines Advancement League (AAL), the organization analyzed significant demands. Hence this program receives considerable importance. Moreover, it is also clear on this healthcare management assignment that the organization also tries to function in a more professional manner such that its payments made and revenues earned can match against one another and do not exceed its budgeted expenses. Every year the organization prepares its annual budget for planning for is various expenses. This enables the organization to meet its expenditures according to budget.

2.5 Attitude to, and utilization of, technology
The organization has been making use of technology in a limited manner. The organization internally has adopted several technologies for coordinating and communicating for the health care of its patients. The organization makes use of HER for accessing various healthcare data of its clients and to ease patient care. The billing procedure and other processes at the organization have been impacted by technology and makes random use of such technology. However, the organization has yet expanded the use of such technology for its external stakeholders (Swain, and Barclay, 2015, p 366). For example, clients of the organization need to visit the organization for getting appropriate healthcare, there is no option for opting telemedicine from the organization. Though the service availability of the organization is quite spread out and well-reached to various segments of suburban Australia, yet when accessing such services becomes difficult there is no way to bridge such gap. As the organization operates in the niche segment of offering healthcare services to aboriginal people, it is well sought after, and hence in the absence of its services, its entire effectiveness fails. Therefore, the findings obtained in this section of healthcare management assignment illustrates that the organization needs to undertake technological recommendations to extend reach out for its clients who are unable to approach the services at a given point in time and place.

3. Recommendations for improvements
The organization needs to identify relevant areas for improvisation such that it is able to operate in a cost-effective manner and also sustain itself. Few recommendations based on the case scenario of healthcare management assignment are discussed below:

  • The organization has been heavily impacted by political environmental changes depicted by changes in policy; hence the organization needs to devise suitable healthcare policy in compliance with state and commonwealth regulations for continuing its services. As currently, it has already aligned its services to apply various programs for the aboriginals, especially through Closing the Gap, 2018. Such compliance to policies will enable the organization to sustain itself even during these challenging times.
  • VAHS needs to design suitable financial policies such that it is able to exist in these times of non-funding from the government. Cost-effective financial policies and developing an efficient budget will allow the organization to deal with its financial challenges well.
  • From the above discussion on healthcare management assignment, it is clear that VAHS needs to adopt telemedicine and other innovative approaches in health care. This will not only entail the continuity of services of the organization but also ensure that it is able to expand its revenue streams.Expanding such revenue streams is particularly crucial to the organization during this time of crisis.

4. Conclusion
In concluding the above analysis on healthcare management assignment it can be stated that the VAHS provides significant services to its clients such that they can attain effective health care outcomes. There is an increasing demand of VAHS world-class facility amongst aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people. It has been noted in the above context of healthcare management assignmentthat VAHS staffs provide multiple episodes of care, which is currently ever increasing. The current restrictions in financial contributions made by the government have imposed significant challenges for the organization in rendering healthcare outcomes for aboriginals. The organization in order to sustain and continue rendering similar levels of treatment will need to adopt suitable financial planning such that it is able to meet its challenges and continue building programs with service excellence.

5. References
Anderson, I. and Brady, M., 2018.Healthcare management assignmentPerformance indicators for Aboriginal health services. Browne, A.J., Varcoe, C., Lavoie, J., Smye, V., Wong, S.T., Krause, M., Tu, D., Godwin, O., Khan, K. and Fridkin, A., 2016.Enhancing health care equity with Indigenous populations: evidence-based strategies from an ethnographic study. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1), p.544.

Campbell, M.A., Hunt, J., Scrimgeour, D.J., Davey, M. and Jones, V., 2018. Contribution of Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services to improving Aboriginal health: an evidence review. Australian Health Review, 42(2), pp.218-226.

D'Aprano, A., Silburn, S., Johnston, V., Bailie, R., Mensah, F., Oberklaid, F. and Robinson, G., 2016. Challenges in monitoring the development of young children in remote Aboriginal health services: clinical audit findings and recommendations for improving practice.

McDonald, H., Browne, J., Perruzza, J., Svarc, R., Davis, C., Adams, K. and Palermo, C., 2018. Transformative effects of Aboriginal health placements for medical, nursing, and allied health students: A systematic review. Nursing & health sciences, 20(2), pp.154-164.

McKenna, B., Fernbacher, S., Furness, T. and Hannon, M., 2015. “Cultural brokerage” and beyond: piloting the role of an urban Aboriginal Mental Health Liaison Officer. BMC Public Health, 15(1), p.881.

Swain, L. and Barclay, L., 2015. Medication reviews are useful, but the model needs to be changed: Perspectives of Aboriginal Health Service health professionals on Home Medicines Reviews. BMC health services research, 15(1), p.366.

VAHS, 2018a. Summary of Strategic Plan: Caring for the Community 2017-2022. Healthcare management assignmentRetrieved from VAHS, 2018b. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Annual Report 2017-2018. Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Caring for the Community. Retrieved from

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