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This paper provides information about the health care management need at ABC Healthcare. Stress among employees is identified as the most prevalent issue in ABC Healthcare.

The paper identifies health care management issue at ABC Healthcare and proposes a framework to solve the problem. The paper also outlines a plan for the implementation of the framework. At the end, the paper presents some pitfalls that are expected to occur after the implementation of the framework and solutions to all the pitfalls are provided.

Case Study: ABC Healthcare

Background

This case study is with a health care provider named as ABC Healthcare with 85 employees including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other staff. Recent years have been difficult in their market and as a result; the last two years have seen a considerable fall in earnings.

This had resulted in cost reduction through rationalizing facilities and redundancies. ABC Healthcare had therefore undergone considerable change, which had been unsettling for employees. It was accepted that people do not like change and often found it stressful. They had also found that redundancy rounds were stressful for those retaining their jobs.

Identifying Stress

ABC Healthcare analyzed sickness absence data on a regular basis. The purpose was to identify those people regularly absent for short periods in order to refer them to occupational health. It was not felt; however, that absence data was a useful indicator of stress in the workplace. This was partly because absence always decreases when redundancies are announced.

It was also felt to be the case that stress-related absence was not usually attributed to stress. GPs will call it something else because employees feel there is still a stigma attached to mental health problems. They fear it will increase the likelihood of redundancy or it may affect promotion prospects.

Despite this, ABC Healthcare was aware that there was a morale and stress problem among staff because of the prevailing environment of cut-backs and change. To better assess what factors were contributing to poor morale, they undertook an employee satisfaction survey. This did not ask whether people were under stress. In a redundancy situation, this was thought to be obvious.

A random selection of 20 employees were taken and the questionnaire was completed anonymously. A number of management workshops with the Managing Director were held to look at the results. This clearly indicated that poor communications in one form or another was a key contributor to low morale and stress. Employees felt ignored and prevented from using their talents in the most effective way.

Literature Review

Individual-focused stress management interventions (SMI) target individual workers and generally seek to enhance their ability to cope with occupational strain. In recent years empirical research into such interventions has burgeoned.

Reviews of the area often conclude by pointing to the shortcomings of these studies such as short-term evaluation periods, a restricted range, and poor operationalization of outcome variables (e.g. DeFrank & Cooper, 1987; Murphy, 1988), and the scant attention to individual and situational differences (Newman & Beehr, 1979). Despite these limitations there are indications that individual-focused programmes are effective in reducing both physiological and psychological manifestations of strain either post-intervention or relative to a control group (McLeroy, Green, Mullen & Foshee, 1984; Murphy, 1984a).

However, due to design and methodological shortcomings, much of the research published only allows broad conclusions to be drawn in respect to the effectiveness of contrasting SMIs. Furthermore, very little research has systematically evaluated the specific factors which influence outcome. This article overviews the existing empirical literature and assesses the evidence relating to the following questions.

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