HealthPartners is an integrated non-profit health care entity that offers health care services and plans for financing and health administration. The organization is governed by a group of consumers. The board of directors was initially made up of the individual members and patients. The health care organization was focused in 1957 as cooperation between the patients and the members. In 1992, there was a merger between Medicenters Health Plan and Group Health forming the core entity HealthPartners. The series of mergers shows the growth and expansion of HealthPartners’ capacity and programs over the years. Currently, the organization provides health care services to more than 1.2 million patients.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The mission of HealthPartners is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people through forming partnership with the individual members, patients, and the entire community as well. The mission is keen on ensuring that the health care organization works in engaging the community to improve its capacity to offer quality health care services to the patients. The HealthPartners organization continue working to serve the people as they anticipate for the challenges that may occur so that they can be amicably be handled and there are various innovations that are underway to ensure that the communities that get the services are healthier.
The vision of the organization is to make health affordable through building on its trust relationships. The organization will work with the medical practitioners and community devise ways of reducing the costs of health care services. Good relationships with the key stakeholders in the health care organization make it possible to enhance proper resource utilization.
The core values of HealthPartners are to promote excellence, partnership, integrity, and compassion within the health care organization. The organization relies on comprehensive work plans to achieve its core values in four dimensions including people, health, experience, and stewardship. The organization promotes excellence through enhancing accountability, accuracy of information, documentation, the training of the employees, setting proper policies and work standards as well as record keeping (Wager, Lee, & Glaser, 2017). The strategies help the organization in maintaining excellence to meet the needs of the patients. To enhance compassion, HealthPartners guarantees information security, patient rights, research privacy and care and service referrals.
The organization also entered into partnership with various stakeholders including community engagements and sustainability programs. The health care organization also promoted integrity through dealing with intellectual property issues, conflict of interests, fair competition, potential fraud, and potential illegal contracting. The organization runs an integrity and compliance programs that requires all its employees and partners to act with integrity through ethical and legal compliance.
Organizational and Leadership Structure
Health Partners has 20 entities that form the overall organizational structure including the service line clinics, research rehabilitation, and other entities. Working with 20 organizations gave HealthPartners are recognition of maintaining a comprehensive integrated health systems. The integrated healthcare teams are able to improve health for its members, community, and patients as well.
HealthPartners adopts the matrix organizational structure to improve efficiency and engagements of all organizational leaders and departmental managers. Such a structure is a good model for the control of costs and care for health care organizations. Andrea Walsh is the President and CEO of HealthPartners. Mrs. Walsh explains that their focus is to create relationships built on total trust. The matrix organizational structure used in the health care organization integrates the functional and divisional aspects focusing on both the workers’ abilities and the group of care services. Matrix organizational structure was relevant in collaboration and formation of strong partnerships among the health care organizations.
Fig.1: HealthPartners’s Matrix Organizational Structure.
HealthPartners adopts the collaborative leadership style. The collaborative leadership is used in the formation of alliances and partnerships to promote health care services delivery in the organization. HealthPartners has been able to form strong alliances and networks with other health care organizations based on its collaborative leadership model. The collaborative leadership style emphasizes on the significant impact of the leaders working with other stakeholders to achieve its ultimate goals. Under collaborative leadership style, the effectiveness of leaders at HealthPartners was determined by their ability engage the workers and their capacity to initiate actions and work towards achieving the set goals. The role of the managers was to ensure that they influence the workers to be able to complete any work that they have been assigned. There was the need for the staff to make use of telehealth technology so that the monitoring the patients that were discharged hospital patients at home which assisted the patients to stay health at home so that they could be no need to readmit them at the hospital. HealthPartners relied on the collaborative leadership approach to grow the relationships based on trust in the health care organization.
Key External Factors Affecting HealthPartners
HealthPartners are always keen on responding and controlling external factors that impacts their operations. One of the key external influences is the increasing number of Medicaid and Medicare patients with low reimbursements making it difficult for the health care organization to deliver quality health care services. The low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements lead to lower financial capacity of the organization to gain financial success. The positive trend towards telemedicine has also influenced the care services offered by HealthPartners (Wager, et al., 2017). The advancement of telemedicine makes it possible to perform remote diagnosis and the treatment of patients through effective telecommunication means. The provision of online services allows the company to interact with its consumers efficiently and effectively. Online services make it possible to respond to the queries of the clients effectively without them having to come up to the hospitals.
Constant changes to the health care systems including the regulations has can also impact the operations of HealthPartners. The management of HealthPartners is focused on making adjustments to respond to potential changes in the health care systems. For example, changes in the health laws and guidelines would require that HealthPartners make internal policy changes and adjustments to respond to the changes. It is also important for the management to ascertain whether the care services being offered to the patients are reimbursable and whether the organization will earn profits from the care services, more so in telemedicine. The management of HealthPartners has team focused on assessing these external factors and responding appropriately to improve quality health care delivery in the organization.
The Planning Process
HealthPartners uses the strategic top to bottom process in the planning of its goals and objectives. The top to bottom planning process is whereby the senior management in the organization sets the clear strategic goals and objectives. All departments and entities are required to follow and implement the strategic plans provided by the senior management of the health care organization (Olden, 2014). After the plans are created by the senior managers, they are passed to the managers who are tasked with overseeing their overall executions among the employees.
The key organizational goals of HealthPartners is to ensure affordability of the care services, providing quality care services, offering exceptional experience for all patients as well as focusing on implementing strategies that improves people’s health and experience stewardship. The goals of the organization can be illustrated by the concept of Triple Aim that includes improving the experiences of the patients, improving the overall health of the populations, and the reduction of the per cost of health care services. Ensuring that high standards are set in the organization, and they also continue building smarter, faster an organization that is more efficient which deliver quality services to the people and ensure that the care provided is the right one and offered in the right place. The workers in the HealthPartners organization work together in all the departments to share the knowledge and skills and communication is well organized with the people who are served in the organization including their families. The care is offered in an integrated manner.
Key Challenges in Human Resource Management
Health Partners faces various human resource management challenges. The demand for continuous training of the employees across the varied departments is a huge challenge. The training of the employees is expensive and time-consuming. It often disrupts the ability of the health care organization to focus on the main health and business goals. However, the continuous training of the employees is important in shaping their competencies. Getting and retaining talented staffs is a huge challenge for the organization. Minnesota is one of the states with lowest unemployment rates and such a situation has made difficult for the organization find and retains quality staffs (Finkelman, 2015). The health care organization would attract employees by offering incentives and bonuses to make them competitive than other employers. Other challenges in human resource management in ensuring that all employees are well trained and experienced professionals and staying engaged with the employees to promote improvement in the health care organization. The management of HealthPartners should set solutions to these HRM challenges to remain competitive in the health care sector.
Functional group within HealthPartners
An example of a functional group within HealthPartners is the interpreter services unit. The group is responsible for the development of interpreter services to ensure that every patient has access to professional interpreter. Initially, the communication between the patients and the doctors was difficult (Olden, 2014). The health care organization determined that it was necessary to create the interpreter services unit to improve the communication between the doctors and the patients. HealthPartners’s interpreter services group comprises of experienced and qualified medical professionals. The group is useful in promoting the communication between the individual patients and the medical practitioners
Organizational Leader and her Leadership Style
An example of an organizational leader is the regional clinic director who is specializes in offering specialty care. She is a collaborative leader who relies on feedback from the employees and customers to make her decisions. She is also very assertive, perceiving, intuitive, and not judgmental. Largely, she relies on her instincts to make decisions whether it is necessary to follow the set decision-making procedures. The regional clinic director also puts more efforts in understanding the people working in the health care organization. The regional clinic director uses the directive and delegative leadership style to lead in her roles and functions. She was keen on directing the employees on act on issues when they arise. She was also flexible on her leadership style whereby she could change her perception based on the environment. Her delegative leadership style gave the lower-level employees an opportunity to learn about taking responsibility within the organization.
Performance Improvement Activity
HealthPartners relies on an expert’s panel approach in assessing potential issues that determine whether the organization is offering quality care services. The expert panels are involved in the evaluation of the health care programs and potential conflicts arising during the health care operations. The experts’ panel at HealthPartners reviews the varied course of actions and makes recommendations on the best action. The performance of the health care organization depends on the ability of the workers to deliver on their targets (Olden, 2014). The expert panels also review the performance of each employee to determine their contribution to the overall success. An example of performance improvement is the preventative care recognition award received by the health care organization. The award indicted the efforts of the organization in providing quality preventative care services to the patients. The management of HealthPartners works closely with the employees to ascertain the preventative care services offered is reliable and effective.
Major Change Initiative
One of the main change initiatives within the health care organization was the hiring of a new CEO, Andrea Walsh. The change in leadership was important in focusing the new management towards achieve its collaborative goals. The new CEO was involved in the merging of new organizations to increase the patients’ access to health care services. For example, the recent merger with Park Nicollet Health Services shows the organization’s focus to collaborate and partner with other health care organizations to improve the access to patients’ care services.
Entering into merger with other health care entities and organizations were also key major change programs in improving the delivery of quality care services. HealthPartners is approaching the new CEO and merger changes through working together in a more collaborative way. Training is also a major way of improving the performance of any challenge the organization is facing. The system may pause a challenge too rather than the employees. When trying to control the employee behavior, it is necessary to ensure that there is proper coordination. Collaboration of the health care organization with other health care entities makes the organization feel part of other health care organizations. To enhance collaboration, the employees are trained and educated on the ways of working in teams and integrating with other organizations.
Finkelman, A. (2015). Leadership and Management in Nursing: Core Competencies for Quality Care. Boston, MA: Pearson.
Olden, C.P. (2014). Management of healthcare organizations: an introduction 2nd edition. Chicago, Ill: Health Administration Press.
Wager, K. A., Lee, F. W., & Glaser, J. P. (2017). Health care information systems: a practical approach for health care management. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.