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AWA - please rate essay - Community vs private hospitals

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mespinoza04 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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AWA - please rate essay - Community vs private hospitals

Post Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:37 pm
Hi all
I'm following the 60-day study guide and I'm supposed to write and submit an essay so I'm doing that here.

Here is the topic, from the 2017 OG:

The following appeared in an article in the health section of a newspaper:

"There is a common misconception that university hospitals are better than community or private hospitals. This notion is unfounded, however: the university hospitals in our region employ 15 percent fewer doctors, have a 20 percent lower success rate in treating patients, make far less overall profit, and pay their medical staff considerably less than do private hospitals. Furthermore, many doctors at university hospitals typically divide their time among teaching, conducting research, and treating patients. From this it seems clear that the quality of care at university hospitals is lower than that at other kinds of hospitals."

Here is my response, copy and pasted. I spent approx 2 mins preparing an outline with points I wanted to cover. I found that I spent a lot of time on the first two topics on my outline and, consequently, ended up having little time to cover my last two topics. I wrote a brief conclusion in about 2 minutes and did not have time to go over and proofread because I wanted to rest for a minute, thinking I would need the time to chill before the IR. Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks!

The author’s belief that the quality of care at university hospitals is lower than that at other kinds of hospitals is flawed due to the lack of sound reasoning that the author uses to support his position. Not only does the author neglect to define what constitutes good quality of care, he also bases his position on weak arguments that have little to no correlation with the quality of treatment that a hospital provides.
The author begins his critique by stating that university hospitals in his region employ fewer doctors than at private hospitals. It appears that, based on this statement, the author believes two things: (1) the number of doctors employed in university hospitals as compared to private hospitals in other regions - or most other regions - is consistent with his own region and (2) employing fewer doctors leads to poorer quality of care. There is a serious weakness with the author’s first argument based on the logical conclusion that it is very unlikely for the author to know the number of doctors that are employed at different hospitals in other regions, let alone in a sufficient number of hospitals that would allow him to make such a confident conclusion. Furthermore, even if these statistics were known, it would still have to be compared with the number of patients at each hospital, which the author does not take into consideration. Perhaps if he had provided a statistic that showed the number of doctors per patient, would his argument be stronger. The second argument is also flawed for similar reasons. Less doctors working in a hospital does not necessarily mean that the hospital is of poorer quality than another hospitals with a greater number of doctors employed. The experience, knowledge, expertise and other factors of each individual doctor are completely ignored in such a simplistic evaluation. Had the author, at least, considered one of these factors in his statement, his argument might have held greater merit.
His next point about the success rate in treating patients being lower by 20% in university hospitals does, at first glance, appear to be a much stronger point in supporting his position. However, there is no indication how the author determines what constitutes a “success” or what exactly is being measured when he refers to the “success rate in treating patients.” Whether the author is referring to the number of patients that survive a surgery, or the number of patients that walk out of the hospital with a smile on their face is completely ambiguous. Furthermore, this position ignores the fact that it is possible that the cases and patients that the university hospitals treat are much more serious than those treated at the private hospitals from which the author is taking his statistics. This would seriously undermine the author’s position that the success rate is 20% lower, given the fact that the chances of survival - assuming that is what he is referring to - are much lower to begin with.
Finally, the author’s use of economic statistics such as profit and salary clearly demonstrate his lack of understanding of what the key success factors of a hospital truly are. Although it may be true that a hospital has to remain profitable in order to continue to operate, there is little correlation between the profitability of a hospital and the number of patients that are treated, healed and helped by the staff at that hospital. There are any number of factors that could affect the profitability of a hospital - or of any operation, for that matter - such as the region in which it operates and the taxes it pays therein, the cost of utilities and other overhead that are not under the hospitals control, to the salaries of both the medical and non-medical personnel employed at the hospital. However, it is unlikely that any of these items has a direct correlation with the quality of care at a university hospital or a private hospital.
The author’s focus on these types of factors clearly shows that his argument is seriously flawed. Had he been able to prove, with supporting evidence, that the patients are less satisfied with the level of care they get from a university hospital as compared to private hospitals, it is possible that he would have done a more effective job at supporting his position. However, the author’s focus on factors that have such a low correlation with quality of care in a hospital degrades his argument to a nonsensical level.

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