Catholic healthcare's mission is keeping people healthy, and providers must listen closely to determine their needs in these fast-paced, stressful times. In a society preoccupied with technology and acute care, which has the least overall impact on people's health, providers must implement more preventive strategies. The shift to promoting community health will require diverse, creative approaches. Catholic facilities must offer holistic healing, becoming community resources for children and the elderly.
The three original founding healthcare systems and 10 sponsoring religious institutes of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) have developed an unprecedented governance model to support their vision of a national Catholic health ministry in the twenty-first century. The new organization spans 22 states; annual revenues exceed $4.7 billion. Religious institutes choose either active or honorary status before consolidating with CHI, depending on their desired involvement in the organization. Currently, nine are active and two are honorary.
World Hospitals and Health Services: The Official Journal of the International Hospital Federation
In Sub-Saharan Africa private voluntary health care providers are mostly Church-related or social not for profit organizations. They provide between 40% and 60% of health care services. In the context of Health Care Reforms, the World Bank and others have (re)discovered these non governmental providers. The World Bank document 'Better Health for Africa', promotes prominent roles for them in the execution of basic package of services and public health tasks. Unfortunately, the World Bank does not outline clearly how these roles should be achieved.
Recent research has demonstrated a clear link between spirituality and health, but it remains a challenge for many organizations to weave spirituality into organizational life and make it an integral component of clinical care. Three dimensions of spirituality work together in healthcare: spiritual well-being of patients and families, spiritual well-being of workers, and spiritual well-being of the organization. To cultivate these dimensions in the life of healthcare organizations, several strategies may be employed. First, the definition of "spirituality" must be clear.
In 1993, Sisters of Mercy Health System-St. Louis (SMHS), having asked itself what kind of employees it would need in the twenty-first century, established a Worker of the Future Task Force to develop tentative answers. The task force began by making projections concerning healthcare, studying the strategic plans of SMHS's members, and surveying its employees. It learned that the system should help workers see how change could benefit them.
Convinced that Catholic organizations might have special strengths for succeeding in price-competitive markets, the Catholic Health Association, with the assistance of a national membership advisory committee and The Lewin Group, Fairfax, VA, studied six healthcare organizations that are successfully meeting the challenges of difficult environments. Based on more than 100 interviews and assessments of the environments in which these progressive mission-driven organizations operate, the researchers identified strategies that can assist other faith-based health organizations.
Catholic healthcare should establish comprehensive compliance strategies, beyond following Medicare reimbursement laws, that reflect mission and ethics. A covenant model of business ethics--rather than a self-interest emphasis on contracts--can help organizations develop a creed to focus on obligations and trust in their relationships. The corporate integrity program (CIP) of Mercy Health System Oklahoma promotes its mission and interests, educates and motivates its employees, provides assurance of systemwide commitment, and enforces CIP policies and procedures.
In an interview with Health Progress, Sr. Patricia A. Eck, DBS, and Christopher M Carney, respectively the chairperson of the board and president/chief executive officer of Bon Secours Health System, Inc. (BSHSI), Marriotsville, MD, talked about their system, the Catholic health ministry, and not-for-profit healthcare in general. BSHSI is sponsored by the Congregation of Bon Secours, which was founded in Paris in 1824 to provide home healthcare for the poor.
The relationship between Catholic Social Services (CSS) of the Diocese of Scranton and Mercy Health Partners--Northeast Region, which joined forces last year to develop a senior support network for residents of Wilkes-Barre and the Borough of Kingston, PA, illustrates how collaboration grows out of cooperation and coordination of services. The network is a project of the Neighborhood-Based Senior Care National Initiative, which works to develop collaborations between Catholic health systems and Catholic Charities agencies to help poor communities meet the needs of aging persons.
Religious groups have laid thousands of hospital cornerstones, but today's business bent is forcing hard choices about how best to minister to the poor and sick. Hospitals owned by religious communities are both numerous and endangered, with as many as half expected to change hands.