An active discussion is the key to an interesting and engaging online course. Discussion in this course is designed to simulate a classroom discussion. Be sure to read what others have written and then add substantively to the discussion. It is important to start the discussion at the beginning of the week to ensure that the discussion has been exhausted before moving on to the next module.

CASE STUDY: You are the administrator of a very successful small family practice clinic in a rural city with a population of approximately 4,000 residents. You also are the office registered nurse (RN). The office consists of two family practice physicians who have been in business for over 30 years serving this farming community and one part-time community health outreach coordinator. 

The average age in the community has steadily increased over the years since many of the younger generation are moving to larger communities. There are two hospitals (Valley View General and Appleton Hospital) within close proximity of the clinic. The bulk of the referrals go to Appleton Hospital, despite Valley View General having a contract with the nearest trauma center for many specialized services provided by traveling physician specialists and telehealth services.

While the services provided by your two physicians range from birth to death, the needs of the community have shifted in the past five years to more complex care required of the aging population. However, in tracking the monthly visit volumes of recent months, you notice a decline in volume, even during flu season. You also note that the average patient is much younger and healthier than in previous years. A colleague shares with you that Valley View General, in partnership with the local public health department, has recently opened a satellite office in a neighboring community. The satellite office is staffed by midlevel providers, with specialty services provided by synchronous telehealth onsite. There are also several grant-funded community outreach programs being implemented through the local public health department.

Based on your opinion and what you have learned so far in this course:

1. From a strategic perspectives, what is really going on in this case?

Now applying your assigned readings, let’s go through the questions one at a time:

2. What important factors were unnoticed with respect to the organization’s continued success? Why do you think they were missed?
3. What workforce solutions would you recommend implementing in an attempt to recover patient volumes and better serve this community from a health care and public health perspective? As you work together to propose workforce recommendations, consider different types of professionals and paraprofessionals and what roles they would have in serving the community.