Decision-making traps in healthcare


Making and executing choices are focal elements of management. Decision making is the way toward breaking down other options to decrease uncertainty about accomplishing the desired result, with the best impact on the firm. Time, money, procedural considerations, socially-accepted values, accountability and stakeholder engagement are fundamental issues encompassing this process. Besides, the decision maker’s personality inhibits the process. This paper explores the decision-making methodology in health care taking into account the choosing traps that their management faces.

Health care management has to ensure the best utilization of limited resources available and get excellent outcomes. Also, guarantee to give high-quality health care at a competitively low cost (Akyürek et al., 2015). Though the primary objective is to provide medical care, it has to consider other stakeholders, especially employees. Human resources are a vital organ of a medical facility. Management should ensure that the welfare of its employees is considered for stability and survival of the hospital.

Medical facilities spend vast resources on training physicians to improve performance. However, some employees tend to be careless as they are perceived indispensable. This carelessness risks patients’ health and the hospital’s reputation. Management is in a decision trap (sunk-cost) on whether to fire a reckless employee who the facility has trained. The short-term consequences of firing are severe as well as the long-term outcomes of retaining. Implementing discipline mechanisms is a right decision to eliminate the unfavorable results, but it is dependent on whether the employee will change in behavior. If the change doesn’t happen, it amounts to adverse outcomes in the future (Devettere, 2010).

In conclusion, sound decisions are dependent on the competence of management. The process of decision making is trapped by varying constraints related to the current problem. In a medical facility, management’s control of the human resource is inhibited by the cost incurred by training employees thus increasing uncertainties regarding its survival.

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  1. Devettere, R. J. (2010). Practical decision making in health care ethics: Cases and concepts. Georgetown University Press.
  2. Akyürek, Çagdas Erkan; Sawalha, Raya; Ide, Sina. (2015). Factors Affecting the Decision Making Process in Healthcare Institutions. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
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