Critical Decision Making in Healthcare

Critical Decision Making in Healthcare

For healthcare providers, decision making is an essential aspect of our daily lives. All our decisions and actions affect a large population and should thus be carefully made. Every issue, no matter how small or petty it may appear, should be taken seriously. From medical duties to hygiene and safety issues, all matters in a healthcare environment should be accorded the due seriousness. As such, all incidences should be handled in a correct manner possible and dealt with thoroughly to avoid any accidents or unexpected occurrences (Zaccagnini & White, 2015). Healthcare facilities are supposed to be places for bettering one’s health-related conditions, not worsening.

A lab technician, Mike, saw a spill in the lobby of his work place as he reported to duty. Since he was running late, he decided to ignore it and clock in, for fear of possible termination. Later in the day, as he was collecting information from a certain patient, Mike realized the same spill was the apparent cause of the patient’s injury and a possible broken hip. The patient had fallen in the lobby, at the same spot with the unreported spill. One way or the other, Mike feels partly responsible for the issue at hand, the patient’s condition since he could have prevented it by reporting the spill.

According to Grace, (2017), the  failure to take action for safety related matter may result in disaster. Evidently so, the technician’s failure to report the in time caused irreversible damage, as we can see. A patient fell and sustained injuries. That is all so wrong since the patient was expecting a healthcare center to be a safer place. The result is that a non-concerned party suffered and had to incur treatment costs, which was avoidable. Due to that and decided, someone’s well-being was compromised. And it was not just the patient who was affected. The technician, Mike, was in a brand new crisis since he was faced with a serious dilemma.

In Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (Chadwick & Gallagher, 2016), we see that choices have repercussions, directly or otherwise. Mike, therefore, has to deal with the threat of possible termination all over again, in his mind. Ethics demand that he should admit knowledge of the cause of the patient’s injury. However, the choice might give the impression of an egotistic technician who places his needs before the safety of the patients. Such behavior is in direct contrast to the ethical code for service providers (Zaccagnini & White, 2015). On the one end, he wants to play the sound technician and admit while on the other, he fears the outcome of such an act. Again, the patient lost trust in the hospital’s safety and precautionary measures. All this could have been saved by reporting the matter the moment he saw it.

Mike’s decision has a great impact on several aspects of the hospital and its department and also on patients’ safety. The spill was not taken care of in time since it probably took time before it was discovered by someone else who took care of it, but not before someone had been injured. Apparently, this decision put the patients’ safety in jeopardy as evidenced by the fact that someone sustained injuries. On the hospital’s quality metrics, this decision had a negative impact. As heard in the complaints of the injured patient, it gave the impression that the hospital has not worked hard enough to ensure the safety of the patients is assured. It might be necessarily correct, but then that is the feeling the patient got. Many other patients who witnessed the incidence may have conceived the same notion too.

On the other hand, the incidence helped Mike understand that being a responsible employee (reporting the matter to the concerned department) is far much better than simply being right (clocking on time) in a bid to save one’s neck. The action gave him a better idea of other things which matter to the clients more than just the medical supplies. The incident obviously caused an awakening throughout all the other departments, since it gave an impression of the negligence of duties and therefore called for re adjustments. As a result, there was an increase in the workload, as it must have involved lots of work.

Finding solutions is always more important than finding fault and assigning blame (Chadwick& Gallagher, 2016). As the manager of the hospital, I would try to fix the issue amicably, without any punitive intentions. Assuming it was the first time for Mike to commit such an act, it would be proper to remind him of the importance of being responsible, by showing him what he could have avoided by acting responsibly. I would also serve him a warning of possible punishment should he ever repeat such a mistake. The measure should be communicated to the rest of the staffs too. I convene a staff meeting to discuss the matter with all members and find solutions together. Most importantly, I would stress the need to be responsible and also encourage teamwork among all of the members. That way, the hospital would be made a safer place.


Chadwick, R., & Gallagher, A. (2016). Ethics and nursing practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Grace, P. J. (2017). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Zaccagnini, M., & White, K. (2015). The doctor of nursing practice essentials. Jones & Bartlett Learning