This Course Project gives you the opportunity to select a relevant healthcare topic with legal and/or ethical implications and analyze it in greater depth in a written format. The paper should critically analyze the issues related to the topic within the context of the current healthcare environment. Both web references and professional journals should be considered as references. Don’t overlook the Keller Online Library as an important source of information for your paper.
The Course Project has two deliverables due in Week 7: a final paper and a PowerPoint presentation.
Specifically, the final paper should provide
• a description of your chosen issue and how it affects the delivery of healthcare;
• a discussion of the impact of this issue on the healthcare consumer and the healthcare institution;
• a critical analysis of the issues related to the topic;
• proposed solutions for improving or alleviating the issue, including recommended policy changes; and
• a discussion of how the healthcare administrator or manager can effectively be involved in or impacted by this issue.
See the more detailed Grading Rubric below.
The length of the final paper should be approximately 8–10 pages, double-spaced in MS Word 2007 (or later versions, e.g., MS Word 2010).
The PowerPoint presentation is based upon the content of the final paper. The student is responsible for developing a professional presentation that highlights the content of the paper and the course. The delivery of the presentation should reflect the highest form of professionalism. The importance of rehearsing the presentation multiple times in advance cannot be emphasized enough. See the more detailed Grading Rubric below.
Possible Course Project Topics
1. Describe and evaluate the ethical issues involved in Medicare-funded organ transplants.
2. Assess the intent and impact of publicity-oriented legal challenges to physician-assisted suicide.
3. Identify the potential impact of genetic engineering on the future course of a selected chronic disease or group of diseases.
4. Evaluate the changes in clinical research protocols that have been promoted by AIDS activists, and identify the potential implications of these changes.
5. Develop a position paper on which to base a public policy imposing restrictive criteria upon publicly funded renal dialysis cases.
6. Analyze the effectiveness of society’s delegation of ethical standards and the supervision of professional conduct to the professions of medicine and nursing.
7. Assess the medical profession’s compliance in honoring patients’ living wills and durable powers of attorney.
8. Evaluate the relative merits of the traditional indemnity insurance system versus the managed care system with regard to quality of care and efficiency.
9. Assess the pros and cons of our acceptance of entrepreneurial and for-profit organizational structures for the provision of healthcare in the United States, with special attention to the characteristics of access and quality.
10. Describe the current healthcare cost milieu and evaluate the need to ration the availability of healthcare services.
11. Analyze the effectiveness of the Adverse and Sentinel Events reporting program developed by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to provide a safe, effective, and efficient environment of care.
12. Analyze the recent legislation outlining minimum safe staffing standards for healthcare organizations; suggest follow-up strategies.
13. Develop a position paper on the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation for the establishment of a centralized system for tracking medical errors; suggest follow-up strategies.
14. Choose one particular form of complementary medicine and describe an ethical or legal issue regarding its use in treatment and what it brings to healthcare providers.
15. Analyze the legal and ethical impacts that managed care practices have had on quality and access to patient care.
NOTE: Other topics related to course content and TCOs will be considered, but only as approved in advance by your instructor.
The course project is worth 200 points (100 for the final paper and 100 for the presentation) and is due in Week 7. See the Syllabus section “Due Dates for Assignments & Exams” for due date information.
• Introduce the issue.
• Define the problem.
• Search the literature.
• Analyze the problem.
• Offer possible solutions.
• Propose a single solution.
• Develop an implementation plan.
• Justify why and how your solution will solve the identified problem.
Your paper must include, but is not limited to, the following sections.
Background (5 possible points)
Describe the problem, organization, or situation you selected; identify the specific issues of interest or controversy; and present the background or facts of the problem, organization, or situation that will enable the reader to clearly understand the issue.
Define the Problem (5 possible points)
Identify and clearly state the problem or the management issue in which an element of the identified problem or situation is not meeting expectations. Remember that what appears to be the problem may actually just be a symptom of a bigger problem—dig deep to be sure you’ve identified the real problems. If there appears to be more than one problem or issue, decide if they are separate or related issues.
State the problem in the form of a question. For example, if a work group is not performing effectively, an effective problem statement might be, “How can the staff shortage be improved?” rather than simply “Short staff problems.”
Literature Review (15 possible points)
Present what you discovered in your search of the literature. Review issues, theories, concepts, and studies discussed in class and in our textbook. Also review what other writers and researchers have to say about the subject of your analysis. Discuss the concepts, ideas, or insights that are most valuable in helping you make sense of your project. What theories can you use? What writers say something of value? Why is it of value? What models are the least helpful? Why? What theories or concepts will you challenge or criticize because your findings are different? In short, demonstrate an understanding of the literature and apply it sensibly to the problem. This is not a course in applied commonsense; however, such practical intelligence is important, especially in the application stage.
A literature review is like playing a video game in which you are in a chamber with many doors. As you open each door, you uncover clues to help you progress to the next level. Similarly, in a literature review, your objective is to open the doors that can point the way to solving your business problem. Begin your literature review with a broad look at your field of interest, then narrow your focus until you zero in on the essential issue(s) of concern.
NOTE: A literature review is a required element of this assignment. A good rule of thumb is to review at least 10 resources, beyond the textbook and class readings, to ensure the effectiveness of your research.
SUGGESTION: Begin your literature survey by accessing Keller’s online library at http://library.devry.edu/.
Problem Analysis (20 possible points)
This section should provide a detailed analysis of the causes of the problem(s) or issue(s) you identified in Section II. A major objective is to clearly illustrate how you are using the healthcare course concepts (as well as what your learned from your literature review) to better understand the causes of the problem(s) or issue(s). Show that you are applying course material!
(Note: Use subheadings to identify each factor you address.)
Possible Solutions (15 possible points)
Explore three solutions that could be appropriate ways to solve the identified problem or issue. Be sure these solutions are logical, based on your analysis, and effectively treat the problem, not the symptoms. Also, discuss the anticipated outcomes (both positive and negative) of implementing each of the possible solutions you identified.
Solution and Its Implementation (20 possible points)
Outline your recommended solution to the problem or issue, one of the alternatives explored in Section V, or a combination of those alternatives. State your solution clearly and specifically. Describe exactly what should be done and how it should be done, including by whom, with whom, and in what sequence. Here are some points to keep in mind as you write this section:
o Have you indicated an awareness of the problem of implementation (the “how” aspect)?
o Have you been specific enough? For example, a general solution might state, “The healthcare manager needs to realize that his or her style should match the situation.”
o A specific solution would state what style is most appropriate for the situation and how you will attempt to have the manager realize the appropriate style.
o What aspects of the problem remain unresolved by your solution?
o Does your recommended solution and its implementation plan address the problems or issues and their causes identified in the previous sections?
o Does your solution consider and resolve the identified pros and cons?
o How will you evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented recommended solution?
o What process checks or procedures will you put in place to institutionalize the improvement?
o Could your solution cause other problems or issues? What risks are inherent in the solution you recommend? What contingency plans do you recommend?
o Assess the realism of your proposed action plan. For example, is there adequate time, money, or other resources for your solution? In addition, does your solution place too much reliance on other people being reasonable, on what you think is reasonable?
Justification (10 possible points)
Justify why your recommended solution and its implementation will solve the identified problem or issue in the organization or unit you selected. An important element of this section is to show very clearly how you applied course concepts to arrive at a workable solution and a successful implementation. Apply appropriate course material; support your conclusions with appropriately referenced facts, quotes, and readings; and be sure your justification addresses identified pros and cons.
References (10 possible points)
All citations in the paper must appear in the reference list, and all references must be cited in the text of the paper. Choose references judiciously and cite them accurately. Citations of an author’s work in the text of your work briefly identifies the source for readers and enables readers to locate the source of information in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the paper. To use the ideas or words of another without crediting the source is plagiarism.
Plagiarism in its purest form involves copying of entire passages, either verbatim or nearly verbatim, with no direct acknowledgment of the source. The most common (and unconscious) form of plagiarism is when a direct quotation is simply paraphrased. Paraphrasing does not relieve you of the obligation to provide proper identification of source data. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make sure all quotes, ideas, or conclusions not your own are given proper acknowledgment in your text.