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What is the management-research question hierarchy for Akron Children’s Hospital?
The management question being evaluated by Akron Children’s Hospital seeks to reveal how the hospital can differentiate itself from other hospitals in the area. The two major competitors mentioned are Cleveland: Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Although Akron has taken serious strides to be the best hospital for children, they are unable to determine why parents are still choosing to take their children to its competitors for long-term medical treatment. “The success of any research process relies, in part, on how well investigators are able to translate a clinical problem into a research question” (Thabane et al., 2009, para. 1). The research question proposed by Akron is: What deciding factor determines where parents take their children when acute care is needed? The investigative questions used to uncover the answer to the research question focuses on two major factors, the consumer’s hospital-choice decision process and the index perceptions associated with hospitals in the market.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of an observation study for this research?
“Besides collecting data visually, observation involves listening, reading, smelling, and touching. Behavioral scientists define observation in terms of animal or human behavior, but this too is limiting” (Schindler, 2022). An observation study allows for broad and inclusive data collection. There are two advantages of observation that played a vital role in the study. The first is flexibility. Observation studies can be formatted anywhere from unstructured and informal to structured and standardized. This flexibility allows the study to run its course, progressing naturally. The second advantage is that researchers were present throughout the study, watching, listening, and recording information for themselves. Their hands-on approach to data collection allowed for an inclusive study where researchers were able to experience the emotions, interactions, and difficult conversations between physicians and parents. To discuss disadvantages of using an observation study, cost effectiveness and timeliness are both not maximized. Researchers were required to be present in the hospital with physicians and patients for long periods of time. To give perspective, the average total time consumption of physician’s appointments for patients needing acute treatment is 45 minutes, not counting the 13-minute average for interruptions (Ghazanfar et al., 2012, p. 2). Although this method yielded great information, it was a more expensive and time-consuming process than other methods would have been.
What does the brand promise recommendation reveal about what researchers experienced and concluded from their study?
Initial research revealed that even though Akron Children’s Hospital offered a variety of high-quality services and accommodations, consumer’s decisions when selecting a hospital were actually driven by their emotions. As explained during the observational study, there were multiple measures taken by doctors that led consumers to feel at peace. Doctors spoke to children in ways that were easy for them to comprehend, and parents were encouraged to spend 24/7 in the hospital because it was believed to help patients recover faster. “Because parental satisfaction is an important outcome of pediatric care, hospitals can try to identify and respond to the concerns of parents as one strategy in an overall program of quality improvement” (Homer et al., 1999, para. 8). When every aspect of a Children’s hospital is centered around kids, parents feel an emotional connection to the hospital because of the environment their child is receiving treatment in.
If you were designing such an observation study, what would you direct researchers to record/look for/listen for?
In addition to paying close attention to the interactions between physicians, nurses, patients, and parents, I would direct researchers to pay attention to the environment they are collecting information in and to emotional triggers that are particularly encouraging to parents. It would be important for researchers to notice the relationship between the room environment, the status of the child, and the emotional response of the parent. This will later allow the hospital to replicate moments that were positive for all people involved, keeping the morale as high as possible. For example, a Children’s Hospital in San Diego developed the Leichtag Family Healing Garden as a “special healing environment space for patients, families, and staff” (Whitehouse et al., 2001, p. 301). This hospital focused on creating spaces that resulted in positive emotions, which is exactly what parents are looking for when choosing a hospital to administer acute care for their child.
What ethical issues would surface in hospital studies in general and this study in particular?
In observation studies, especially ones taking place in a hospital, it is important that the privacy of the hospital staff, the doctors, the patients, and their families be concerned. Non-disguised observation should always be used, and people should be aware that they do not need to allow a researcher to be present if they are uncomfortable with it. Medical history and diagnoses are highly personal concerns; and therefore, everyone’s privacy should be respected and adhered to. Matthew 7:12 states, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them”. If you want others to respect your medical information, then you need to respect theirs. “When medical information is used for research purposes, the information is transformed into data measurements that are de-identified and no longer linked to individually identifiable persons” (Bradburn, 2001, p. 701). Researchers should follow this information-data conversion step so that the privacy of patients is always protected.
Bradburn, N. M. (2001). Medical privacy and research. Journal of Legal Studies, 30(2), 687-701. http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fscholarly-journals%2Fmedical-privacy-research%2Fdocview%2F235990708%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D12085
Ghazanfar, M. N., Honoré, P. H., Nielsen, T. R. H., Andersen, S. E., & Rasmussen, M. (2012, December). Hospital Admission Interviews are Time-Consuming with Several Interruptions. Research Gate. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Trine-Andersen-4/publication/234068921_Hospital_admission_interviews_are_time-consuming_with_several_interruptions/links/55b5c91b08ae9289a08a7ca9/Hospital-admission-interviews-are-time-consuming-with-several-interruptions.pdf.
Homer, C. J., Marino, B., Cleary, P. D., Alpert, H. R., Smith, B., Crowley Ganser, C. M., Brustowicz, R. M., & Goldmann, D. A. (1999). Quality of Care at a Children’s Hospital: The Parents’ Perspective. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 153(11), 1123–1129. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.153.11.1123
Schindler, P.S. (2022). Business research methods (14th ed.). McGraw-Hill.
Thabane, L., PhD., Thomas, T., M.D., Ye, C., B.Sc, & Paul, J., M.D. (2009). Posing the research question: not so simple. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 56(1), 71-9. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.liberty.edu/10.1007/s12630-008-9007-4
Whitehouse, S., Varni, J. W., Seid, M., Cooper-Marcus, C., Ensberg, M. J., Jacobs, J. R., & Mehlenbeck, R. S. (2001). Evaluating a children’s Hospital Garden Environment: Utilization and Consumer Satisfaction. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 21(3), 301–314. https://doi.org/10.1006/jevp.2001.0224
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