After much consideration and extensive interview of stakeholders, I recommend reconsidering the termination of labor and delivery services in our hospital. There are two main reasons for this. First, as you are well aware, the in the historically underserved region with the closest hospital providing similar services located 80 miles away. The conversation with Jeff Passmore revealed a side effect of this setting we may not have noticed in the past.
According to him, we have rather low litigation rate compared to other hospitals. Since no other factor visibly influences such success, we believe that this is due to our customers’ readiness to forgive some of our shortcomings due to the fact of the services we provide. Thus, the situation can radically change once one of our advantages is removed. Second, according to the feedback from Ken Bloom, the nursing personnel readily engages in helping Dr. Miller with the obstetrics. While this certainly is not enough to support the department, it creates a more favorable and more self-sustainable working environment, which can improve our chances for a change I am going to propose.
The CFO informed me of the budget restrictions which prevent us from hiring additional Ob/Gyn staff. However, consider the following: our state does not have a cap on insurance premiums, which means that lawsuits (which, as explained before, can become more frequent with labor and delivery services termination) can far exceed the $ 250,000. I, therefore, suggest a preliminary inquiry on the financial viability of expenses associated with hiring an additional Ob/Gyn versus potential backlash of facing more lawsuits and losing loyalty of our customers.
I’d like to stress that in the long run, the expenses will be lightened by the lowered insurance premiums as the workload on Dr. Miller decreases and the risks associated with the practice go down. Another improvement I would recommend to mitigate potential risks is improved communication with patients. Ken Bloom specifically highlighted the positive influence of patient involvement on the success of delivery and decreased complications associated with pregnancy.
You mentioned early that women are reluctant to seek hospital services before a second or even early third trimester, which may be partially explained by the information obtained from the call we discussed earlier. Mrs. Lozano expressed readiness to spread the word about friendliness of our services, which given her status is the best information channel we can count on. Thus, we should seek for the possibility to increase patient involvement by fostering trust and raising awareness of the positive effect of prenatal care. While this certainly requires additional resources and effort, I believe that the dedication of our nursing personnel will significantly improve our chances of successful communication.