Transparency can mean different things depending on the application or usage of the term. The quality of being able to see through, the extension of open and honest communication, or being undetected or invisible are all referencing the same term but in different contexts. Transparency attempts to encourage organizations to try and be more open with their mechanisms of direction. This can be accomplished with the adoption of social media sites allowing the public to scrutinize its operative and administrative endeavors to some degree but still maintaining privacy standards. Transparency is characteristic of businesses wanting to show they are based on ethics and want to gain the trust of customers and build on that trust. It has become evident that hospitals leaning toward or becoming more transparent are vocal about their mistakes and investigate and learn from these mistakes. Becoming more transparent elicits a safer environment. Anytime a mistake is made, the patient should know about it and possibly retain their dignity. Nursing is modeled and structured around the concept of an obligatory sense to patients being the first element of concern in questionable situations. The moral search for doing the right thing and the full disclosure and apology for mistakes is smart from a financial standpoint.
For transparency to move into the future and maintain some relevancy, it will have to advance with the changing times of technology and human existence. One way to do this would be to use reported errors or mistakes as an opportunity for educational advancement. Refocus the direction of the material into a bundled format so a structured or organized format is presented instead of the usual one thing taught at a time. There needs to be more recognition of the openness aspect in relation to the notion that something is being done after the mistake is reported and it does not appear to be just a tattle session. The incorporation of more empathetic or caring aspects should be highlighted. Courses should be developed that enhance the staff’s interactions with patients and each other when mistakes do occur. Studies should focus on the willingness of staff to be honest with the administration when mistakes do occur.
Public disclosure of physicians and other medical personnel should enable patients to choose the provider that they see as the proper fit for their situation. Some of the recognizable characteristics or elements of transparency are the attributes that a lot of people associate with the term. Openness is the most important attribute that the population associates with the term. The word is also indicative of how any issue should be handled when a mistake is made. Another term that was related to transparency was the word disclosure. Disclosure is the exposure or revealing of an unknown. This word is synonymous with transparency. Sharing is a term used often when asked about transparency. Verbal definitions are the names given to an object. The ostensive definition gives the meaning to words. The word appears to be very tunnel-visioned in nature. Transparency in relation to areas of impact ability has a broad range from nurses, doctors, and any healthcare worker, and to governmental and stakeholder interests in the organization. Performance transparency is indicative of making known to the public the quality or success of an interaction with the provider or personnel. In June 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order 13877 which mandates that healthcare providers publish the cost of medical procedures before the patient gets the procedure. The current administration has been actively trying to keep the idea of transparency on the forefront and added some addendums to further expand some provisions regarding cost sharing and surprise emergency room fees.
Transparency allows the ready availability of information consumers may be interested in exploring. With the components that it set forth, consumers may compare service providers and opt for the service or provider most appropriate for them, whether it be distance, transportation, or any other factor for the choice they make. Many insurance companies are simplifying the process by including cost estimator applications on their websites before opting for a provider or service. It is also causing physicians to take time in choosing who they refer patients to due to the liability and accountability associated with them, especially on a value-based contract. Hospitals are now providing more accessible information to the customer when it comes to resource costs, patient outcomes, and quality of internal initiatives which reflects a collaboration between departments that unify the organization.
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