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Items filtered by date: November 2013

Friday, 29 November 2013 02:09

Hot Spot Analysis

Hot Spot Analysis


Introduction

In healthcare, there are different strategies that can be used to help in reducing the health care costs and also improve health care. Countries need to look for strategies to be used to make changes to the health care system so that it can improve the safety and quality if care which will help in providing measurable savings in the coming decade. According to the hot spotters, it tend to deal with the fact that five percent of people who have chronic illnesses usually make up more than fifty percent of all the health care costs. If we can assist in providing better preventive care to these people, it is possible for the cost of health care to be reduced. According to the city of Camden, it is reported that 1% of the patients tend to account for a third of the medical costs in the city (Gawande, 2011). Through focusing on the medical and social needs of outpatients of these people, the process helps in making the people healthier and cutting down the costs to half.


Hot spot strategy

According to Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, he reports that half of the Camden population is usually seen in the emergency department, in the local hospitals. Some of the problems which can be seen in the city include high crime rate, lack of integration with the local policing activities, problematic access to good health care, poor city leadership, and low income families. When advising a CEO in a city hospital, in Camden, it would be recommended that the CEO uses the hot spot strategy. I would recommend the CEO to use the hot spot strategy as it is a good approach for controlling the overall costs in health care through identifying the highest cost patients and also designing interventions which will be used for improving the health care of the patients and also reducing costs of their care.


Through using the hot spot strategy, the strategy allows the CEO to identify those areas where the patients are consuming a lot of money in seeking for treatment and determine strategies which can be implemented so that to reduce the costs. It helps the entire management of the organization to focus its effects on one specific issue.


Hot spot strategy is a good strategy for the CEO to use in a hospital that is located in an area where people are exposed to severe risks. Through the use of the strategy, it is possible for the hospital management to predict the people who are most likely to be to have a chronic illness within the next 5 to 10 years (Gawande, 2011). It is also possible for physicians to locate these people at risk from the houses in which they live in. This is a good strategy that will help the hospital as it will provide it with the opportunity of preventing diseases before they can become deadly and costly. This is a strategy that improves the health care services and also reduces the cost of healthcare in Camden.


The patients who usually seek treatment through the emergency department are those who have waited for long for the illness to get worse. This is because they fail to go to the hospitals immediately they feel ill and wait until the time they cannot withstand the pain anymore. This is because the patients have tried to avoid preventive care; thus, ending up being hospitalized with life threatening and expensive illness which is worse and costly (Gawande, 2011). The reason as to why they end up in the emergency department is because most probably they do not have enough money to seek preventive care.


Isolating hotspots is a good strategy for improving quality, cost, and access to health care because this strategy helps the hospital to reach out for patients in the city who fail to seek out medical care as a result of the high medical costs. The CEO of a hospital can use hot spot strategy which will help in reducing the number of times people visit the emergency department.  This can be done through mapping the people who usually visit the emergency department most times and the location where they live. When the hospital determines a hot spot, it is possible for the hospital to send its care providers to the homes of the patients and find out the patients who missed appointments and they can negotiate their behavioral contracts in order to avoid being evicted.


This is a good strategy that when implemented helps in saving money because the health care staff can be able to attend to patients from their homes, which help in reducing the chances of their sickness getting worse (Gawande, 2011). When the patients are visited in their homes, the care providers usually they might help in addressing the wounds of the patients and even reminding them to take their medications on schedule. This is a good strategy that will help in eliminating the number of times a patient will visit the emergency departments.


Through mapping the location where ill people require treatment most, it is makes it easy to prevent illness. In search a situation, if the people tend to have difficulty in accessing good health, it is possible for the hospital to determine a strategy which they will use so that to make sure that people in that location can access health services. This is a better strategy that will help in improving the cost and quality of services that they receive as the hospital will be able to determine the environment which is most likely to make people ill and develop a strategy that will prevent them from getting ill (Gawande, 2011).


Importance of hot spot strategy

A city hospital in Camden should be interested in Dr. Brenner’s idea because the hot spot idea is a strategy that helps in improving health care costs and quality in a city that which has problems such as low income families, high crime rates, and lack of integration with local policing activities, and poor city leadership. Camden is a city that tends to have poor leadership qualities where the policing system in the city has been unable to deal with the issues that are affecting its people exposing them to crimes and poor health care services. When the hospital decides to use the strategy, it will be able to reduce the number of trips to the emergency room with more than fifteen percent.


A hospital in the city of Camden, which is likely to have an extremely high number of chronically high cost patients, should ensure that they use this strategy. The model can be used to predict the social, demographic, and economic factors, which are likely to result to different chronic illnesses (Gawande, 2011). By doing this, it will be possible to provide prevention intervention to prevent illness among the people living under the conditions.


This can be done through making sure that each patient has a nurse whose main job is to improve coordination of care for the patient. The doctors should make sure that they seen the patients as usual, but nurses should ensure that they visit the patient for longer visits. This can be through making surveillance phone calls, consulting with doctors, and trying to recognize and address the problems before they can result to a hospital visit.


Healthstat

Something that Dr. Brenner was able to learn from the community policing approach which helped him in informing his strategy of better serving the community was the Compstat approach to policing. This is an approach which centered on mapping the crime and focusing resources on the hot spots. The Compstat approach is an organization management tool for using in the police department. It is an approach for crime reduction, resource and personnel management, and quality of life improvement.


This is an approach that Dr. Brenner was able to better serve the community through mapping crimes and identifying problems. Through learning about the Compstat approach, Dr. Brenner tried a healthstat approach in health care performance (Gawande, 2011). In doing this, he made block by block maps of the city and color coded through the hospital costs of its residents and then searched for the hot spots.  According to the doctor, he believed that the stats approach was a correct approach to crime, and believed that through targeting the people with the highest health care costs could help in lowering the entire health care cost of the city.


A hot spot approach is the best approach to recommend for the city even if the model improved the quality and access and wounded up costs more that it had been expected to administer. A hot spot is a strategy that is likely to increase the costs, but when Dr. Brenner was developing this strategy his aim was to improve quality and services.


Even if, the model would increase the cost, I would still recommend the model as this is a good model for ensuring that patients seek medication and frequently make visits to the hospitals so that the doctors can get the chance of checking them for any ailment that is developing and provide preventive and medication for the illness before it can become complicated (Gawande, 2011). If the patients do not visit the hospitals frequently it is possible for them not to notice illnesses such as cancer which tend to develop slowly without the patient noticing, which results to hire cost of treatment when it gets mild. Therefore, seeking treatment early will cost a little less than going for treatment at the moment the illness gets serious. At this point, the patient will be required to undergo through various process when trying to eliminate an illness such as cancer completely from the body.


Hot spot increase cost

When the hospital staffs decide to focus their attention on patients in a certain area who frequently keep getting ill and are in and from the hospital almost all the times, this process will require some amount of money at the moment, but in the long run it will save a lot for the patients (Smith, et al 2013). Understanding the environment that patients are in and the factors that are affecting their access to health will require the hospital to put in some efforts so that to make sure that patients can easily have access to quality health care. The amount of money that patients usually spend in the emergency room is a lot than what they spend when the hot spot model is implemented (Gawande, 2011). This is because the patients will not always be required to seek for treatment in the emergency room which is sometimes expensive than when they attend normal treatment in the other hospital department where bills are not very high.


This is an approach that the hospital can use to ensure that the patient receives services which are adequate and it will improve their health care and also they can be able to access health care easily. By doing this, cost will be reduced in the long run as patients will be aware of the strategies that they are supposed to use so that to avoid illness like good nutrition and live in an environment that is clean and safe (Smith, et al 2013).  The hot spot approach is a better approach that helps in reducing patients cost through eliminating their frequent visits to the hospitals as the hospitals can be able to keep track of the patents who require education and ensure that they communicate and visit them to remind them about their medication and also about appointments in case they forget.


Reference

Gawande, A (2011). The hot spotters The New Yorker

Saunders, R Stuckhardt, L & Smith, M (2013). Best care at lower cost The National Academic Press


Published in Nursing
Friday, 29 November 2013 02:05

Managed Health Care Management

Managed Health Care Management

 Modern health care systems are complicated systems that are composed of structures, organizations, and designed to deliver   professional health services.  The health care systems are faced with the challenge of meeting the growing needs of medical care without putting much pressure on citizens through controlling the rising cost of health care. The leadership and management team should aim at achieving long term, sustainable, reliable and health care systems. Managers and leaders in managed health care system are expected to solve problems resulting from managed care and promote interests of patients and personnel.The management team has to meet the main goal of managed care of reducing the cost of health care in the country. 

The multidisciplinary nature of health care system in the country requires effective leadership qualities in organization, planning, risk management and cost control. Managers or leaders in charge of managed health care systems must meet the daily needs of ensuring there are effective use of resources and a coordinated utilization of resources such as manpower and facilities. Commitment to quality is essential in managing health care systems.  The leadership should engage staffs in meaningful problem solving to assist in improving efficiency.  The administrators/managers of managed care systems should align their management styles with the goals of the organization or institution and resources availability. 

Effective leadership is critical to achieving quality outcomes in health care. Several competences have been identified as key to ensuring the effectiveness in management of health care. The competences include self-knowledge, respect, trust, integrity, shared vision, participation, learning, communication, and change facilitator.  However, more research work is required to develop other competencies aimed at transforming management in health care to leadershiP.

References
 Barker A.M., Sullivan D. & Emery M. (2006). Leadership competencies for clinical managers. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

 
Published in Nursing

Employing Strategy in a Competitive Environment


Introduction

Brill operates in a challenging business environment. In order to achieve its mission, Brill must understand and respond to its environment. This paper presents an analysis of Brills environment. The paper has examines both the macro and specific environment with the aim of identifying the threats and opportunities that the firm is likely to encounter. The paper also presents the firm competitive strategy.


Environmental Scan

  1. Microenvironment
  2. Specific Environment

Micro environment refers to environmental factors that affect all business that operate in a given market (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). Politics is one of the micro environmental factors that may affect Brill Cleaning Company. Taxation is one of the political factors that are likely to affect the business. A change in taxation policy can have positive or negative impact on the business. However, this is not a significant threat as taxation policies are not likely to change in the near future. Environmental, labor and health regulations are also political factors that have some impact on the firm.


           The economic environment has the most significant impact on the business. Inflation is one of the economic factors that are likely to affect Brill Cleaning Company. Increase in the inflation rate is likely to affect the purchasing power of our customers thus affecting our sales (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). The company intends to respond to this threat by offering fair prices thus ensuring our customers are able to afford the services. Economic recession is also a significant threat to the business. Recession is likely to affect employment thus reducing the purchasing power of the market. Delivering affordable prices and expanding the company’s market share are some of the strategies that Brill will use to address this threat. 


            Brill must also consider the social-cultural environment. Income level is one aspect of this environment that the company is watching. A drop in incoming level is likely to affect the company’s sales and vice versa (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). Brill capacity to deliver affordable services will enable the company to deal with this threat. Consumerism is another social factor that is likely to affect the business. Consumerism refers to the willingness of the market to consume additional products (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). Brill will encourage the consumption of its product through effective services design, aggressive marketing and pricing. The technological environment will have an effect on Brill Cleaning Company but the environment does not pose a substantial threat.


Specific environment refers to environmental factors that affect a few businesses or industry (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). Rivalry is one the specific environmental factors. However, this is not a significant threat as many cleaning companies have not ventured into the middle income home cleaning market. The most significant threat in this specific environment is the threat of new entrants. Though many existing cleaning service providers have not ventured into the middle income market, they may join the market after witness the Brill’s success in this market. Minimal entry and exist barriers make it easy for new entrants to venture into this market. Brill will address this challenge by developing brand loyalty among consume. Brill will use a mix of strategies including; affordable pricing; aggressing marketing; superior service design, and excellent customer relationship management, to create brand loyalty.


Company’s Strengths

            Operation efficiency is one of Brill’s areas of strength (Zhibin, 2013). Brill has managed to make its operations efficient by creating efficient processes. The company has invested in technology to make the task of managing the supplier and customer relationships easy. The company has entered into strategic partnerships with suppliers of vital commodities such as fuel so as to reduce cost. The company has also created an appropriate work atmosphere so as to reduce employee turnover.  Brill has also created a lean and lateral organizational structure that empowers employee to make decisions. This has increased the company’s flexibility in terms of responding to threats and opportunities.


Management philosophy is also another significant area of strength. Brill Company has adopted the management by objective philosophy (Zhinin, 2013). This philosophy seeks to enhance a firm’s performance by establishing clear objectives and action plans for the company. Brill management team has established clear goals and provided precise strategies on how these goals are going to be realized. This has given the firm a sense of direction and a firm commitment towards ensuring the realization of the firm’s goals. The management team has also been efficient in acquiring and development a high performing team through its recruitment and training strategies.


Competitors and Competitive Strategy

            Winter Garden House Cleaning is one of Brill’s main competitors. The company has established itself in the home cleaning business after years of operations. The company poses the most significant threat due to the size of its operation. The company has a vast work force enabling it to serve a vast market. The company only concentrate on the high end of the market as it prices are beyond the middle income group. However, the company also intends to venture into the middle income market.


            Delivering competitive prices to consumers is Brill’s competitive priority (Alvi & Samdariya, 2012). However, Brill will rely on operation efficiency rather than volume in order to achieve lower costs of operations. Many companies that use cost leadership as a source of competitiveness establish large scale of operation so as to take advantage of the economy of scale. This strategy enables them to sell their services to many consumers and thus allowing them to lower their margins. Brill cleaning services will focus on establishing operation efficiency (Zhibin, 2013). Brills intends to invest in technology so as to streamline the management of customer and supplier relationships. The company also intends to create a lean structure thus enhancing the flexibility of the organization.


            Cost leadership is not sustainable source of competitiveness since other companies can easily realize the same advantage (Zhibin, 2013). Thus, Brill Cleaning Company cannot rely on cost leadership alone. In order to established sustainable competitiveness, Brill Cleaning Company intends to deliver the best experiences to the customers. This will be attained through an effective customer relationship management system. The system will ensure that customers are able to receive affordable, convenient and timely services. It will also ensure that regular customers are recognized and rewarded through discount programs. The system will enable the organization to create personal relationships with the customer thus establishing loyalty.


            Modification of Strategy

            Business growth is a vital part of Brill’s objectives. Brill has to grow its business in terms of profitability and market share. Market development is one of the growth strategies that Brill will utilize. This strategy entails offering existing services to adjacent market. Brill Cleaning Companies intends to roll out its services to other cities within the state. The cost leadership strategy will work in this strategy.


            Product development is another growth strategy that Brill Company intends to use (Panos & Etienne, 2007). Product development entails developing new services designs so as to provide them to existing and new markets. In order to grow in terms of sales and profitability, Brill has considered providing other services such as interior décor, painting and commercial cleaning services. This will enable the firm to expand its influence on the existing market and venture into new markets such as commercial estate cleaning. However, Brill will have to modify its competitive strategy in order to implement this growth strategy.


            Brill will have to shift from cost leadership to cost focus strategy. This strategy entails dividing the market into different segment and providing each segment with services that best appeal to the market at affordable rates (Panos & Etienne, 2007). For instance, instead of having the middle income home cleaning market alone, Brill Cleaning services will have other markets such as interior design market and commercial property cleaning. Brill will design services that appeal to these different markets.  


                        Impact of Global Competition

            Global competition may affect Brill’s strategy in various ways. Global competition may affect the availability of labor. Global competition has made the labor market fairly competitive. There is aggressive competition among companies in terms of attracting and retaining the best workers. Brill is likely to encounter tough competition for workers from hospitality and other cleaning businesses. This will have a significant impact on Brill’s human resource policies. Brills will have to provide high remunerations and benefits so as to attract and retain proficient employees. This will have an impact on the firm’s low cost strategy.  


             Brill Cleaning Company will address this challenge by embracing strategic human resource management philosophy. This entails view the human resources as a source of competitiveness for the firm. It entails align the companies recruitment, training and compensation strategies with the competitive strategy of the organization (Alvi & Samdariya, 2012). This philosophy treats employees as assets rather than cost drivers. Though the firm may have to offer high compensation packages, this approach will ensure that the firm receives optimal performance from employees.


             Global competition will also affect the availability of capital (Algis & Virgilija, 2008). Brill company need additional financing in order to execute its growth plans. Global competition has increased competition for capital. Globalization has made the movement of capital across borders possible. This implies that Brill has to compete with both local and international business so as to obtain finances. This means that Brill has to offer high rate on return to financiers in order to receive financing. Brill intends to overcome this challenge by focus attention on internal sources of finance. A strong financial performance will enable the organization to retain sufficient levels of profits that enabling the company to finance its growth.


References

Algis Z. & Virgilija Z. (2008). The Integrated Evaluation of the Micro Environment of Companies Providing Services. Transport Journal. 23 (3): 266- 272

Alvi S. & Samdariya P. (2012). Positioning in a Competitive Market. Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce. 3 (4): 85- 90

Panos C. & Etienne D. (2007). Achieving Profitable Growth, New Strategies for Businesses. Oil and Gas Journal. 95 (21): 42- 48

Zhibin J. (2013). Modeling and Optimization of a Product-Service System. Journal of Computer and Operations Research. 40 (8). http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/1348166702?accountid=32521 


Published in Business Studies


Usefulness of Data and Reports in Medical Management


Introduction

Of all the activities concerned in running health care, the utilization of data and information for medical management, and particularly for provider profiling, continues to take on ever increasing importance. The ability of medical mangers to intelligently use data and information to better manage health care delivery system has been a key factor distinguishing those plans that are at best, adequate performers. The initial focus for many medical reporting activities has been historically been inpatient care. Due to the cost of inpatient care, managing hospitalization remains prominent and useful part of the overall management of utilization.


In order to make data more useful to end users, certain general requirements are essential. The entire process of providing health care is dependent on data collection analysis and interpretation. Medical decisions such as diagnosis depend of effective collection of data.  There are valid types of data that are used in medical and healthcare practice. They range from simple narratives, texts, to numerical data, recorded signals, and photographs. These data are collected by different health care professionals. Medical data has several uses. They are the basis of proper treatment of patients and they also input in management of health conditions in a society (Shortliffe & Barnet, 2009).  It is this importance of data in healthcare that makes their management a crucial element of effective medical care.  


The term Six Sigma is a Greek derivative of a statistical heritage. Sigma is a representative of the amount of disparity or inconsistencies that are exhibited by a measurable outcome. In running of organizations and businesses, Six Sigma is an exceedingly disciplined enhancement system that helps persons and organizations/institutions eliminate pricey problems, to develop and deliver perfect goods and services and manage the institution more strategically. It enables institutions to establish a leadership vision, set of metrics and objectives to realize improved institution results using a five-phase problem solving methodology referred to as DMAIC (Define, measure, analyze and control). Six Sigma was developed in mid 1980s by Motorola.  Application of statistical and supplementary analytical tools in a different discipline is the core of Six Sigma.


The key objective of the six sigma methodology are the completion of a measurement-based strategy that concentrates on improvement of a process and reduction of variation through the application six sigma tools.  One of the fundamental propositions of the six sigma is that a process can be repetitively evaluated and improved significantly in terms of time used resources required, quality measurement, cost and other aspects. The Six sigma offers employees the best methods and tools of solving problems. The Six sigma has several applications in healthcare. It is applied in business improvement (administrative and logistics) and improvement of outcomes of medical processes (clinical and patient safety).  According to a white paper prepared by Six Sigma Qualtec, the main reason for the application of Six Sigma is to realize excellence in healthcare through alignment and optimization of processes, and eradication of process-generated faults and flaws.  Managed care system is usually under pressure from both private and public organizations to reduce medical errors.  Cases of misdiagnosis and mistreatment are high in some diseases. Selection of medications such as antibiotics is also prone to errors which affect the quality of medical care.


According to Kaplan & Jeffrey (1990), managed care is data management. They site accountability as a key element in the success of managed care. The decentralized nature of managed care demands effective control and monitoring of each of the delegated role. One way of ensuring that these divided roles and function are controlled is to institute data management. Six Sigma provides the necessary tools for management of data and improvement of processes.


Six Sigma can be used to reduce medical errors

According to Buck (2010), the administration of medication and laboratory process are some of complex systems and processes in a healthcare set-up. Buck and other staff members applied Six Sigma with an aim of reducing errors made in medication processes and laboratory processes. The efficiency of using Six Sigma in reducing errors was utilized in the experiment. Medication errors meet Ferraco definition of a high risk process. They have a high probability of errors, and they occur in high frequency. According to the institute of medicine, medical errors result into 98,000 deaths annually. Such errors are likely to cause severe injury to the patient. Conduction of laboratory tests is also prone to many errors. Buck conducted a pilot project that focused on reducing medication errors and aligning laboratory processes at Froedtert hospital. They concluded that use of Six Sigma error reduction strategy is a powerful tool of identification, quantification and control complex hospital systems such medication and laboratory processes.


Effective communication is an integral part of managed care.  It is highly essential in high-intensity units and high-stress environments. These environments increase chances of making medical errors. Both the care professions and patients are likely to commit human errors as a result of illness severity. In 2012, Mistry, Alton and Frush applied a couple of performance strategies to improve handoff communication among high risk children in high-intensity units. The performance improvement strategies used by the group were effective in reducing handoff time from 13.0 minutes to approximately 2.4 minutes. They also significantly reduced the time taken to conduct critical laboratory tests such as chest radiographs and cardio-monitoring. Time is an important element in management of health conditions and disease. Sometime it is the only thing separating life and death.


Efficient communication is, therefore, crucial in ensuring effective communication between healthcare professions. Effective communication is also essential in the transfer of critically ill to intensive care system. In 2012, Silich et al applied a quality improvement project using Six Sigma to correct issues that lead to delayed transfer of patients.  The application of the project enabled the group to identify eight key steps that are involved in the transfer of patients. Pre-intervention data and analysis of root cause of delays enabled the group to establish a transfer time limit of 90min per patient.   Six Sigma methodology reduced patient transfer time by 60%. Application of Six Sigma helped the organization to identify the crucial elements in the transfer process. These elements include poor process flow, poor communication, lack of a standardized writing process, over utilization of equipments such as remote cardiac monitoring and insufficient understanding among the care giver on the importance of time during the transfer process. The methodology instituted certain changes that led to improved transfer time. Some of the changes included having a clean bed in the ICU ready at all times. The second change was the creation of electronic bed duties notification through installing of tracking software in ICU.


Laboratories are crucial elements of any medical or health care system. They provide data that is used to make decisions. Therefore, accurate data and results from the laboratory are essential for physicians and patients.  The three major phases of laboratory testing (pre-analytical, analytical and post analytical) are prone to errors. Errors at these stages affect decisions made by physicians and consequently the patient. It is, therefore, crucial for any health institution to conduct regular evaluation of the process to identify possible cause of errors. This can be effective through sigma metrics. As a quality management tool, Six Sigma phases can be used to reduce both human and defect errors in laboratory processes. (Coskun, Inal, unsal & Mustafa, 2010)


It is estimated that community health centers and designated low income primary health care centers serve more than 18 million citizens annually. Most individuals served by CHCs and PCCs are uninsured. They face an uphill task in accessing medical especially specialized treatment. CHCs and PCCs do not have specialty care and heavily depends on transfer of patients to safety net providers. The referral process is sometimes characterized with unnecessary delays, which affects the quality of services offered to a patient.    Safety net providers are the responsibility of providing care services to these individuals (Deckard, Borkowski & Boisette, 2010). Health care providers I these facilities are faced with a great challenge of providing services to a population with high incidences of chronic diseases. They also have challenges in accessing physicians.  The limited capacity of these facilities makes are referral to safety net specialty ambulatory care clinics. Application of lean Six Sigma in community health centers and primary care clinics helps to reduce used in the referral process. It reduces total referral processing time by 30%.  Process improvement methodologies help in reducing complexity of processes. These statistics are based on a case study that was organized by Jackson health System.


One of the key elements of managed care is management of risks. Continuous risk assessment ensures quality improvement. In managed care, risk assessment is achieved through incident report trending, quality assurance information, and measurement of customer needs and requirements to help focus risk management efforts on the most important types of processes and concerns. It is crucial to focus on the main ground of failure in a system such as cause of unreliability, wastefulness or frustration. The process of risk management needs to be scientific and well documented. Six Sigma provides such a risk management tool (Youngberg, 1996).


References

Barbara Youngberg (1996). Managing the risks of managed care. Aspen publishers. USA.

Coskun A., Inal T., Unsal I. & Mustafa S. (2010). Six sigma as a quality management tool: evaluation of performance in laboratory medicine. Retrieved from http://cdn.intechopen.com on 2/5/2013

Deckard J., Borkowski N., Daiz D., Sanchez C. & Boisette A. improving timeliness and efficiency in the referral process for safety net provider. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mistry K., Alton M., Frush S. (2012). Using Six Sigma to improve handoff communication in high-risk patients. Retrieved from http://www.ahrq.gov on 1/5/2013.

Shortliffed H. & Barnet O. (2009). Medical data: their acquisition, storage, and use. Retrieved from   http://wang.ist.psu.edu on 2/5/2013.

Silich J., Wetz V., Coleman C. et al (2012). Using Sigma methodology to reduce patient transfer time from floor to critical care beds. Journal oh healthcare quality. Vol 34, issue 1 pgs 12-14. Retrieved from  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1945-1474.2011.00184.x/pdf  on 2/5/2013.

Kaplan, Jeffrey (1990). Managed care is data management. American college of physician executives. Vol. 16 Issue 4 pg 3.


 

Published in Management
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:50

Monotheism

           Monotheism


Monotheism dominates the main Abrahamic faiths in the world such Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. The history of monotheism is convoluted and tortuous. It is also obscure. In essence Judaism, Christianity and Islamic religions are founded on monotheism and the belief in one God. The Ten Commandments are a good illustration of the Jewish believes in one God. They confirm the truth of his existence. Disapproval and disavowal of idolatry is also key in Jewish teachings. However, it is imperative to note that idolatry is not only the absence of other gods by also the denial of singular existence.


The second commandment states “you shall not have no other gods before me.” The commandment does not also contradict the existence of one God. The bible also prohibited Israelite from worship other gods (Joshua 24:14-15). The bible requires Israelite to revere God and to serve Him with sincerity and faithfulness.  The verses also expose the presence of other gods among other societies.  Maimonides spell out the particulars of idolatry law in his Mishneh Torah. The 12th chapter, he has a titled on laws concerning idolatry and its customs. Maimonides define adulatory and explains the various forms of idol worship. Maimonides outline the history of man’s acceptance of the existence of one God in the first chapter of law concerning idolatry. Originally, man was in contact with his maker, but human error during Enosh generation and the wisdom of that generation was confused.  This generation believed they would please God by venerating the forces of nature that serves God. They started building temples and alter to the suns and stars and offering sacrifices to these objects. The community at this period of its evolution practiced polytheism.


The succeeding generations, according to Maimonides were associated with false prophets and other impostors who asserted that they were receiving communication from heavenly bodies. As the years progressed, the name of God continued to diminish among human beings. Human being became acquitted to physical building such as temples, which they had been taught to obey and serve. Some wise groups believed and worshipped stars. However, few individuals such as Methuselah, Noah, Enoch, Eber and Shem continued to worship God the creator (Zeeshan, 2006).    


The critical time for development of monotheism in Judaism is the establishment of what may be called as the religion of Moses given by him to the Israelites. Moses or mosaism dominated the early lies of Israelites, according to Pentateuch (Gnuse, 1997). Moses is considered to be the founder of the Israelite religion and Israelite society. According to the Old Testament, the name given by some to God was Yahweh. The Israelite traditions envisaged Yahweh as the creator of all. This idea is also seen from the Egyptian hymns to Amun of the 14th century B.C and in other Egyptian religious text of the 2nd millennium. Moses contradicted the existing order of worship heavenly objects and reintroduced the concept of monotheism. Abraham was succeeded by his son Isaac and then Jacob (Smith, 1997).


These three generations believed in the existence of one God, and they established a nation that was based on the believed of one God. Jacob generation faced a massive drought and famine that forced them to relocate to Egypt. They borrowed adulatory from Egyptians. The bible also reveals David and Solomon as other monotheists’ monarchs of Israel. Once in captivity, Israelite worships other gods. However, the concept of worship the god of Abraham is rejuvenated when Moses, who said to be sent by God, leads the children of Israeli to Canaan (the Promised Land). However, once Israelite entered Canaan, they started worship other gods as witnessed by some sections of the society worship the gods of agriculture and fertility. By the 18th century, the idea of worship one Go was emphasized. The bible refers to religion of other communities as idols or false gods. (Amos 2:4). The Babylonian captivity is also attributed to strengthening monotheism among Israelites.  In Isaiah 45:5, the bible states “I am the lord, and there is no go….” (Michael, 2005). However, Israelites undergoes periods of polytheism. The major time as indicated above, in which the society accepted polytheist include the Egypt and the Babylonian   captivity. Some current churches belief in the same Yahweh God, who was worshiped by the founders of monotheism. The concept of the holy trinity (God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit) represents some of the modern aspect of monotheism.


Despite changes in monotheist Abrahamic, the concept of monotheism has remained relatively unchanged. The Muslim belief I one Supreme God (Allah) while the Christians belief in God the father.


Islamic monotheism also shared the same original roots with Christianity. The two religions agree on account of Abraham as the founder of monotheism. They give a similar account of the life of Abraham and only differences from the time Abraham is relocating (International progress organization). The concept explains on how the Islam belief I divinity of God.


In conclusion, it is clear that monotheism remains one of the few concepts of God that has not changed. The three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islamic) remains to be monotheist religions. The religions share a common origin, and this may explain why they belief in one Supreme God. The entire evolution of these religions illustrates how the concept of monotheism remains static over time. Despite the fact that there was worshiping of idols, the Israelites were delivered to the land of Canaan where they re-established the existence of one God.


The concept has been closely associated with human civilization.  Most religions have undergone massive changes. The evolution of religion is associated with changes in belief. However, the change processes that Abrahamic religions have undergone have retained the monotheism in the context of human being.   The major books used by Christianity, Islamic and Judaism, retain the divinity of God as the key teachings.


Work cited

Hans Kocher. The concept of monotheism in Islam and Christianity.  International Press Organization. 1982; Pg 241-247

Mark S. Smith. The origin of biblical monotheism: Israel’s polytheistic background and the Ugaritic text. Oxford University press 2001; Pg 243.

No other Gods: emergent monotheism in Israel. Sheffield academic press. Sheffield, England.

The god of Israel: Ancient person’s growing understanding. History and literature of the bible. 2010; Pg 8.

The history of monotheism. Http://www.chabad.org on 7/5/2013.

The holy bible. New king James version.

Walt Whitman. The emergence and evolution of belief, religion, and the concept of God. Evolution and literature web. 2009; Pg 4-7

Zeeshan Hasan. The evolution of monotheism. Http://sites.google.com on 7/5/2013.


Published in History
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:41

Fast Food Restaurant Analysis

Fast Food Restaurant Analysis


Introduction

Evidence shows that there is a current increase in the number of fast food restaurant stores in the world. Starbuck fast food store is among the largest and biggest fast food chain restaurant. Starbuck fast food restaurant was founded on July 7, 1912. The chain store started as one opening, which was established, in New York which was called Automat. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardhat are the founders of this fast food chain which has become one of the popular food stores in the world. Some texts and research work claim that Starbuck started as Automat was the first food chain restaurant that provided services and products to customers in early 1910s through 1930s. Starbuck is an international fast food restaurant store that provides food and beverages to millions of people. It also offers comfortable and healthy atmosphere for its customers in all its outlets.


Market Strategy

Based on the market research conducted, it is clear that a good number of fast food restaurant stores are entering in the market of fast food store. Starbuck has to reconsider some of its strategies so as to defend its operations from the current competitors who have entered into the market and have also established their market segment. This food store has to ensure that it takes into consideration the core health implications it has towards those clients who seek services from the company. Another thing that the fast food store has to work on is to open chain store and extends its services to those parts of the world where it has never operated. It will have to come up with products that suit the residents so as to have customers, (Eric, 2008).


Product

Starbuck fast food stores focus on establishing a menu that attracts its customers both in price and health wise. In order to have enough clients each time, customer’s menu changes with the client’s requirements simply because what may be fashionable today, may not be fashionable tomorrow. In order to work on this aspect, Starbuck has established some strategies that ensure that new products and services replace the old ones when need arise. The food store knows that products change with time and place, and that is the reason why it changes or introduces the right product at the right place. Starbuck will introduce the fresh ingredients when developing a variety of local products depending on the location of the chain store. To bring a change on what it offers to the customers, the food restaurant will come up with new products. In each of its different stage of lifecycle, the Starbuck fast food restaurant will have a portfolio of products, (Bruzzo, 2011).


Price

It is true that price change is one of the vital customer determinants in most of today’s business operations. The customer’s perception of value will help the firm enable to establish a well strategized system that operates in a positive approach. The quality of products provided to the customer has a direct relation to the price. Some customers may have compromises of the quality of a good if the price is low. When deciding the price of its products, the fast food restaurant will have to look at the integrity, and brand it offers to the customers. Customer’s perception of value of a given product is determined by the price charged. Starbuck will charge a considerable price to its products and services, (Bryan, 2012).


Promotion

Promotion is one of the most vital aspects in the field of the marketing mix in an organization. This covers all types of organization marketing communications on how to reach its customers. Starbuck will use advertising strategies such as an online, magazine, newspaper, TV, and radio. So as, to reach more and more of customers, the fast food restaurant will use promotional methods such as direct mail seminars, telemarketing, promotional offers, and sales among others, (Stickney, 2010). In order to encourage customers on buying and using the fast food restaurant products and services, Starbuck will use promotional devices such as press advertisement and TV adverts to give customers more details on the usefulness of its products. The purpose of the above communication strategies of the Starbuck fast food restaurant is to encourage the target customers. This moves the target audience to some aspects where the customers may be encourage visiting one of the food chain stores, doing some recommendations to a friend, buying the product, or increasing the purchase and use of services and products provided by the fast food store, (Floyd, 2004).


The message provided by the firm should gain target audience attention and help in keeping their interest. This will encourage them go to the next stage which focus on the customer’s desire to get what is offered. Starbuck must ensure that it uses the right method, the right information, at the right time for the right customers.


Place

Place in the business operation, does not entirely mean the distribution points or the physical location of the firm. In this case, Starbuck has ensured that it has well established fast food stores in different parts of the world so as to meet the customer’s desires and demands at all times.


Evaluation

Starbuck offers the best services to its customers. One of the things that had a positive influence on my perception towards Starbuck fast food restaurant is that it offers food and beverages at considerable prices as compared to its competitors. It is very rare to buy products in Starbuck and come to realize that they are cheaper in similar outlets. This shows that the firm values its customers, and that is what has made Starbuck fast food restaurant grow. Another positive influence about Starbuck is that it has established its outlets in areas where customers of all class have access. Starbucks locations are everywhere so as to target customers who want food and beverage services. It has gone beyond to develop feature drive-through windows as a convenience to its customers, (Stickney, 2010).


Apart from the positive influence, there are also negative influences of this firm. It is clear that the Starbuck offers a variety of its services. The specialty in this industry is a great problem simply because of the rising and growing number of competitors. The current problem is the whether the market growth will continue or will eventually stop. The firm is exposed to volatile price fluctuations of the products it uses in producing the end results of its customers. Things such as dairy products and coffee are susceptible to variation of price something that may affect the operation and growth of this firm in the industry, (Hogan, 2011).


Evidence shows that Starbuck, unlike its competitors always had new opportunities for the firm developments. Despite the fact that the firm strongly operates its more than three quarters of stores in one area, it has to establish stores in other places so as to expand its operations and build a greater market segment.


Recommendations

Starbuck is one of the few largest and ever growing fast food restaurants in the world. The management of this firm should be aware that it has a burden of operating in a highly competitive market. Bearing in mind that the firm has similar and powerful competitors, the management should ensure that any restaurant outlet is carefully developed and designed in a way that it fits the needs of the local target customers. The management should first listen to the local needs of the environment before developing the store. The firm should open new fast food restaurant stores in those areas it has never operated so as to attract new customers who will increase the firm’s market segment, (Stickney, 2010).


Reference:

Bruzzo, C. (2011). Starbucks to expand technology relationship with AT&T. Retrieved from, http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/pressdesc, on May 7, 2013

Bryan, A. (2012). The Gluten Free Guide to Fast Food Restaurants: Diamondhead Studios

Eric, S. (2008). Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal. HarperCollins Publishers

Floyd, C. (2004). The Great Fast Food Challenge. Retrieved from, http://www.Franchise-chat.com/resources/fast_food_challenge.htm, on May 7, 2013

Hogan, D. (2011). Selling 'em by the Sack: White Castle and the Creation of American Food. New York: New York University Press

Kotler, et al (2005) "Marketing Management", Prentice Hall

Stickney, C. P. (2010). Financial Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis, and Valuation: A Strategic Perspective: Cengage Learning


Published in Sociology
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:33

Blackface Minstrelsy

Blackface Minstrelsy


Stereotypes, Racism, and Development of Modern Theatre

Introduction

The Blackface Minstrelsy was not only famous for its lively dances and songs, but also for the infamous use of offensive dialects and outlandish stereotypes (Clayton, 1986). Blackface Minstrelsy is a distinct form of American entertainment that involved theatrical expression of the African American life in speech, dance, and song (Dwayne, 2001). This form of music derived its name from a group of white performers who used burnt cork to blacken their faces. In this kind of musical entertainment, white Americans masquerading as African Americans performed dances, dialects and songs, inspired by African American slave workers in the southern plantations (Crawford, 2001). However, it was not until later on in the century that African Americans began taking part in the Minstrel Shows (Hampson, 1999).


During the pre-independence period, African Americans who were living in the plantations became significant elements for portrayal through music (Mahar, 1999). The whites used dance, speech, and song to ridicule them. They presented them with negative attributes presenting them as undesirable humans. This research paper describes the Blackface Minstrelsy, in terms of the differences between George Minstrels and Christy’s Minstrels, and the implications of the 19th century Blackface Minstrelsy entertainment on the development of musical theatre in America and on social issues such as racism.


Stereotypes and Racism

In the 19th century, Minstrelsy entertainment was the cruelest shows (Cockrell, 1999). It had comedy at its heart, which was often cruel in nature. The various performances depended on ridiculing and making fun of particular groups of people along aspects that are considered sexist, racist, and bigoted, in the modern society. Some of the common presentations included portrayal of characters with terms such as shrewish mother-in-law, dumb wife, the slow-witted black man, the German black-head, the ugly girlfriend, the stingy Jewish man, the Irish drunk, and other cruel forms of stereotyping (Hampson, 1999). The performances drew upon certain common stereotypes of specific groups of people and made the negative connotations of people even stronger.  The white actors of the Blackface Minstrelsy wore straw hats and striped trousers. The first Minstrel show gave rise to a character called “Jim Crow” based on hateful stereotypes of African Americans (Crawford, 2001).


The main actor of a minstrel performance, “Jim Crow” was termed the “ignorant negro”, and expressed a slowness to think and understand. This nature of cruelty was common when the actors were performing racist imitations. The “ignorant negro” walked on stage talking in an uneducated manner to imply the deplorable state of the African American. The name may have been a reflection of the laws that discriminated against blacks after the American Civil War. This would definitely create a fury among people in contemporary society. For instance, the popularity of Minstrel performances contributed to the popular stereotypes such as the “happy-go-lucky-darky and other racist slurs.  The 1960 civil rights movement led to the demise of the Minstrel shows (Crawford, 2001). Today, the minstrel shows are no longer performed even in historical commemorations because of the likely negative perception due to its historical controversies stemming from the cruel stereotypes.


The Blackface Minstrelsy led to the introduction of cultural patterns that are still existent in American culture (Cockrell, 1999). Minstrelsy was originally black music, but the acts that were the most successful were those performed by white actors. The songs and dances of African American origin were imitated by the whites. Members of the African American community wondered how a nation that allowed slavery could be free. As America became wealthy, it became strong and defeated the British. Slavery was the source of mockery for the American; however, with the influence of Minstrelsy, Americans became passionate about resisting   loss of innocence.   The patronizing vision of the slavery life in the plantations was the same as simple, and ideal presentation of the family life in the television sitcoms of almost 100years later.  The phenomenon of the African American culture was widely discussed, often sympathetically.


The African Americans developed original music but were exploited by the actors of black minstrelsy (Hampson, 1999). The songs were altered to degrade them and make them less appealing. Therefore, there was a difference between the two forms of presentations. The difference was in the flavor of sadness in their original songs, which was notably non-existent in their original songs. This depicted their dissatisfaction with the treatment by the Blackface Minstrelsy actors (Crawford, 2001).


The mainstream left impacts that refuse to die and elements of its existence have been witnessed in some recent performances. For instance, the cartoons that were developed produced by Warner Bros were judged to be racist and so were removed from television shows including movies such as Holiday Inn. The efforts to reintroduce it as an essential sign of America’s authenticity have been met by resistance due to its historical identity. Perhaps, it is the end of the minstrel presentation.


In the late 19th century, the reconstruction of the blackface minstrelsy ushered in the development of the voice of African American culture. Enhanced by the success of African American performers in the minstrel stage serious programs were introduced to supplement that genre with slave songs, sacred songs, and popular ballads. They are still popular today and are credited for the preservation of the 19th century popular songs and the dissemination of gospel, jazz, and blues, which represents the full blossoming of African American musical imagination.


The Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels and Christy’s Minstrels

Brooker and Clayton’s Minstrels and Christy’s Minstrels are the African American troupes that were formed after the achievement of America’s independence. The all-black minstrel troupes began to rise in the 1860s when they were considered as the real thing or authentic. The two troupes were similar in terms of their objectives. The blackface minstrels had been claiming that they were recently released slaves, but many of them were not and were mistakenly seen as authentic. The advent of the original African American minstrels rivaled the white troupes. Despite the insufficient budgets and limited revenues, their public appeal sometimes rivaled that of the white troupes. The formation of the all-African American troupes was inspired by the state of slavery of the African American people (Hampson, 1999). Their aim was to use song to foster their objectives for freedom and social justice.


Inspired by Virginia Minstrels, Edwin Christy and George Christy, his stepson, formed the Christy’s Minstrels, in 1984 (Cockrell, 1999).  Christy’s Minstrels were influential in the transformation of the Minstrel show into a fixed three-act form. George Christy was considered the greatest blackface comic of the era. A style introduced by the original Christy’s Minstrels, the troupe’s typical performance preceded the three-act structure developed by Christy’s Minstrels. In the three-act performance, the first troupe danced onto the stage and exchanged sang songs. The second troupe administered a number of performances including the pun-filled stump speech, a significant precursor to the modern-day stand-up comedy. The third troupe performed the slapstick plantation skit or a parody of a famous play. Minstrel performances were popular in the nineteenth century as the entire town turned-out.


          Booker and Clayton’s Georgia Minstrels was the most popular troupe in the northern regions United States. It gained popularity after the performance in New Orleans, in 1887. Georgia’s minstrel, contrary to Christy’s minstrel, managed to draw members of the white community it its audiences. For instance, in 1896, in Memphis, it drew one thousand white Americans out of the five thousand that attended. This is actually a positive change compared to other African American Minstrel troupes that did not encourage participation of white Americans in their shows. Booker and Clayton’s Georgia Minstrels claimed to be the first pure troupe because of the disregard of the blackface. 


            These two African American troupes became increasingly popular among the black community (Crawford, 2001). The African American community took pleasure in seeing their culture observed. They disregarded blackface performance condemning it as facilitating comfort of the enemy. The all-African troupes reinforced racism because they did not entertain members of the white community in their shows. They often ridiculed those who were racists and champion the abolitionist cause. The only difference is that the group Georgia’s Minstrels were more open to members of the white community than Christy’s minstrels whose main aim was to realize liberation from slavery. Through their success, the white troupes were challenged, and their popularity shifted towards the African Americans who were the pioneers of this genre of music and dance.  With their participation, they could make their voices heard and respond to ridicule.


Contribution of Minstrelsy to the Modern Theatre

The Blackface Minstrelsy is the fundamental routes of the contemporary music, drama, and comedy (Toll, 1974). It began as a practice which had no objective more than to create and expose stereotypes about particular groups in society. In the period prior to the civil war, the Minstrel shows were dominated by white singers and dancers. However, they imitated the black singers working in the plantations. They dominated the shows for many years ridiculing African Americans as being uneducated, ugly, slow, and so on. However, by 1863, many Minstrel shows were owned and operated by African Americans, for instance, the Philadelphia’s Ira Aldridge owned by an African American who participated in the advocacy for the eradication of slavery. However, the majority of the troupe’s audience consisted of the African Americans because the troupes were unfriendly to the whites who attended as members of the audience. The scenes of the Minstrelsy involved a rowdy beer-hall atmosphere, vulgar sound effects, and obscene humor inappropriate for respectable women.


Therefore, several shows during the mid-19th century attracted men as the majority of persons who formed part of the audience (Dwayne, 2001). However, later on in the century, endeavored to clean up the shows so as to give way to shows that appeal to both the women, men, and families in terms of lack of obscenity and inappropriate language. This paved way for the introduction of the traditional Vaudeville which still exists in the present (Abbott & Seroff, 2002). In 1905, Vaudeville started its own publication; a magazine called Variety is still published to date. Vaudeville shows became popular shows embraced by everybody because they lacked the improper and vulgar language which had traditionally been the characteristic attribute of the original performances. This is a significant development because it led to the utilization of music to present positive messages regarding essential issues in the society.


 After the independence from the British colonialists and civil war, profound changes in the minstrel theatre occurred. An increased number of African American musical entertainers entered the frame. The Minstrel troupe music was originally introduced by the African American slaves. However, the whites imitated them and through the performances earned proceeds while undermining the efforts of the African American singers. The African American troupes soon took over the minstrel music with well known singers such as Bert Williams and Billy Kersands including popular song writers such as James Bland. Focus shifted from the personal level differences between the American blacks and white shifted. For instance, Georgia’s Minstrels and others presented themselves as “natural children of bondage”. The romanticized image of the pre-independence era was mixed with genuine elements of protest against oppression and elements of African American culture.


Conclusion

Racial prejudice and musical development are the two results of the 19th century Black Minstrelsy (Dwayne, 2001). It had both positive and negative results. The black minstrelsy actors ridiculed and portrayed African Americans are elements of humor. Since the pre-independence time in the United States of America, the African Americans had been musically imaginative. The challenge of slavery led them to create songs to help them fight for the cause of independence and abolition slave trade. Due to the challenge of slavery, white singers and dancers took advantage of their musical items to instigate social prejudice based on race.


They used terms that are derogatory and representations that were demeaning. For instance, they wore striped trousers to describe how they were dressed in the plantations. The Blackface Minstrelsy was humorous and contributed significantly to the contemporary theatrical performances. However, they achieved that at the expense of the happiness of the African Americans. However, because of independence and subsequent abolition of the slave trade, the African Americans took over the creation of minstrelsy entertainment, a step that liberated them from ridicule and that paved the foundation of contemporary music such as the blues, jazz, and sacred music.


Bibliography

Crawford, Richard. Ed. “Black, Whites, and the Minstrel Stage:An Introduction to America’s Music” New York, NY: Norton W. W. & Company, Inc., 2001

Dale, Cockrell. “Demons-of-Disorder” Oxford: Cambridge University Press, 1999

Encyclopedia.com. "Minstrelsy."International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2008.  Accessed March 14, 2013. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3045301572.html.

Hampson, Thomas. (1999) “I Hear America Singing- Daniel Decatur, Emmet and the American Minstrel (1815-1904)”, Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/icon/emmet.html

Henderson, Clayton W. “The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (Vol. 3.)”  New York, NY: MacMillan Publishers, 1986

Jason, Dwayne V. “Antebellum America, 1984-1865: Blackface Minstrelsy” Pembroke, NC: University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2001

Eric, Lott. “Love-and-Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy” Oxford University Press, 1993

Lynn, Abbott & Doug, Seroff. “Out-of-sight: The Rise of African American Music” University Press of Mississippi, 2002

Robert, Toll. “Blacking-Up:  The Minstrel-show in 19th C America” New York: Oxford University Press, 1974

William, Mahar J. “Behind the burnt Cork Mask” Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1999


Published in History
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:28

The Rock’s Adventure

The Rock’s Adventure


Hello I’m shimmer let me tell you a little secret of mine, when it all started. I was taking a nap on the floor in the old pet hospital, and out of nowhere a young lady kicked me. “What was that,” the young asked with confusion. Shaking my head I hollered, “You kicked me the rock!” the lady was shocked, “You are a talking rock!” She picked me up and replied, “Hi, my name is Kelly I’m a rock collector, and this is my pet dog Pearl. Pearl sniffed me and sneezed. Kelly asked, “Would you like a bath because you’re very dusty.” After my bath, I shimmered like the waves in the sea, but then my tummy growled sadly. “You need to eat,” Wendy said worried. After my lunch, I asked, “Do you want to know my secret?” Wendy nodded her head eagerly like a child.


It all started when I was a little rock living with my parents and siblings. On the beach, a lady stepped on me, and I got stuck. When I fell, out I was in a strange position. I didn’t know where I was, then a rock greeted me and his name was Dr. Limestone. He let me work at the hospital, but I had to go to the rock school and learn to be a nurse. I helped Dr. Limestone until a person kicked me outside of the hospital. Then you found me, and now I’m here. “Do you miss your home?” Kelly asked “Yes I do that place was called pet hospital.” I said sadly wiping my tears. “I know that place!” Kelly yelled, so Kelly drove me to the pet hospital.


We drove and drove until we got lost. I was panicking like a cat running for its life. The worst part is that we didn’t have a map! Kelly calmed me down, and the sun was setting, so we had to sleep for the night. At least Kelly had blankets and pillows from her last camp out. It was very cold, and my foot was colder than a bear with frost bite! Wendy still had her hot cocoa, and we drank some of it. We got outside to our surprise we saw a tiny hole in the ground, and two rocks came. They gave us food and made a warm fire. Until morning packed up and thanked the rocks for helping us. Then we drove to the hospital I was glad to be back.


I was happy to see Dr. Limestone stone back, but I missed home. When I grew, I went back home where I was born on the sand beach. As the waves hit the shore, I would which it disappear in the sea. Even though, I was a busy mother that had three kids to keep me busy, I always had time to remember all my adventures.


Reference:

Fletcher, D. J. (2002). The Lore Adventure: Book Two: Kintu: The Discovery of One: iUniverse


Published in History
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:17

Homeland Security

Homeland Security


Homeland security refers to the national effort of preventing terrorist attacks in the United States. It reduces the vulnerability of the US to terrorism and reducing the damage from the attacks which have occurred (Bullock, et al 2011). The term homeland security did arise following the reorganization of the many government agencies in United States in 2003 so that to form the Department of Homeland Security in US after the attacks that occurred on September 11. It may be use in referring to the actions of that department, the US senate committee on homeland security and government affairs or US House of Representatives committee on homeland security (Bullock, et al 2011). The department of homeland security was focused on the federal preparations in dealing with terrorism while still trying to manage other duties like border security, emergency, and custom management. The national strategy for Homeland security is describes homeland security as a determined nationwide effort to preventing terrorist attacks with US.


 It is the goal of the homeland security to develop human capital. The job is usually developed through human capital that is developed through hiring and training of Americans to keep the United States safe. Human capital can also be developed through vital interest of US. Through securing the vital interest, it is a sign that homeland security is created so those to protect the people of the nation while it still brings in capital (Bullock, et al 2011). Because the United States department of homeland security also includes the federal emergency management agency, it is also responsible of preparedness, recovery, and response to natural disasters.  The people who are usually engaged in homeland security is responsible of monitoring the transportation systems of the nation, maintaining effective collection of tariffs, ensuring safety of the sea ports and air, protecting the nation’s fisheries, managing the immigration process and facilitating legal immigration, and responding to and preparing for technological and natural disasters etc.


The areas, which are included in homeland security, include the international and domestic intelligence activities, border security that includes both the land, country borders, and maritime, biodefense, detective of radiological and radioactive materials, emergency response and preparedness which includes police, fire personnel, volunteer medical, and emergency management (Bullock, et al 2011). It is the role of the local police to collect vital information which when analyzed correctly can uncover the presence of terrorism. In improving communication and coordination between all the agencies that are concerned with a home security, the local police are supposed to communicate to the federal government, and they should be willing to transmit any information to other local government. The local police are usually seen as the ears and the eyes in the local community who are considered as important collectors of raw data that are to be given to the intelligence process so that to help the analysts connect the dots.


In every state, there is a type of homeland security apparatus that have been set up so that to advise the legislature and the governor. The state police in homeland security assume a large role because they are the largest state public safety agency (Guiora, 2005). The state police serve as the principal point of contact for the national intelligence agencies and the federal law enforcement. The local and state fusion centers are designated focal points that connect the federal intelligence community to the local and state intelligence collectors and analysts on the counter terrorism threats. In most cases, the state police are usually the ones who manage the state fusion centers. The main duty of this center is to move counter terrorism intelligence from the local level to federal community and from the federal level to local law enforcement. The development of the homeland security, the government of the US has had the ability of ensuring that incidences such as what happened on September 11 do not occur ever again.


Strategic objective and associated principles of homeland security

The guiding principle of homeland security includes protecting the constitutional rights and the American values. The department has made sure that it shows respect and preserves the individual rights that are enshrined in the constitution and protect the privacy of visitors and citizens. It ensures that it uses all hazards approach to the management of emergency which allow the department to respond effectively on emergencies whether they are caused by the enemies or nature (Guiora, 2005). The other principle is building trust through partnership and collaboration. In order for the department to succeed, it understands that it requires help from all levels of the government, the academia, private sector, and also the general public.


The department ensures that it foster homeland security expertise across several disciplines through education and outreaches in order to operate as an essential resource for the nation. Another guiding principle is applying risk management where the department uses quantitative and qualitative risk assessments in informing resource decisions (Guiora, 2005). The resources are targeted at the most significant vulnerabilities, potential consequences, and threats. Another guiding principle of homeland security is that it is flexible. The security measures, response, and preparedness are always capable of meeting with diverse needs in the changing world. All its strategies are flexible and have promised to be creative in defending the country against all threats.


The department works an integrated response team. The department was formed to unify with the capacity of the federal government to deal with the major disasters, terrorist threats and other emergencies. The federal, local, state, and tribal institutions usually take part in the government efforts in disrupting terrorist activities and also in preparation for and responding to the major disasters.


Homeland security has various objectives in making sure that the nation is safe. One of the objectives includes protecting the nation from dangerous people. It is the objective of the department to ensure that it reduces the likelihood of terrorists from entering the country (Guiora, 2005). Its objective is to strengthen the border security and gain the effective control over the nation’s borders between the land, ports, sea, and air. It aims at defending the homeland with layers of security.


The department ensures that all the security officers including police enhance the security of the nation, community, and the state. This helps in reducing the risk of potential terrorism or any activity that might threaten the nation. The second objective of homeland security is protecting the nation from dangerous goods. The department is responsible of guarding against and reducing the risk of radiological and nuclear attacks. In order to perform this objective, it has implemented and developed measures that are aimed at preventing a successful introduction of radiological and nuclear weapons in the country either through sea, air, or land. It is responsible of detecting and preventing chemical and explosive attacks. The third objective is protecting the critical infrastructure and key resources in the nation (Guiora, 2005).


The objective of the homeland is to mitigate the potential vulnerabilities of the critical infrastructure and key resources in the nation so that to ensure resilience and protection. It ensures continuity of the government operations and communication through improving its ability to continue performance of the essential functions which includes the protection of the government facilities, personnel, nation communication infrastructure, and national leaders across all the potential range of emergencies. These responsibilities come with the protection of the transportation sectors including rail, passenger aviation, highways, pipelines, transit, air cargo, and maritime. The fourth objective is ensuring emergency preparedness and response.


The department has empowered the governments and Americans in all levels to be prepared, ready, and capable of responding to adverse incidents. It assists in the provision of medical preparedness against threats on public health. The objective of the department in strengthening response and recovery is through reducing the immediate loss of property and life from adverse incidents. The fifth objective is maturing and unifying the department. It is the responsibility of the department to improve the performance and governance of the department (Guiora, 2005). It ensures advance intelligence and information sharing through making sure that actionable, timely, and complete intelligence information reaches the correct individuals.


Policing change in homeland security

The three functions of police and homeland security are problem solving, external partnership, and organizational change. These are functions that are needed so that to prevent from the nation from terrorist attacks. In order for the society, to continue moving forward the participation of the police in homeland security requires a drastic change. The relationship between the police and homeland security require improving so that the community can improve on public society. The relationship between homeland security and the police should have more respect for one another so that they can work effectively. The police need to make sure that they share information with others when they are asked to so that to continue protecting the United States and the community (Forrest, 2006).


Lack of communication appears to be the main issue that needs to be changed drastically between the homeland security and the police. This is a major issue that should be changed as the homeland security should have better communication with the police so that to be able, to protect the country in the right manner through the corporation and work in the community in a way that has a positive impact. The participation of police requires drastic changes because of the variables that are affecting it are also changing. Some of the variables which affect the police include technology and demographics. With the way there is the advancement of technology that keeps moving forward, the police agencies should ensure that they change with the advancement of the technology in order for them to keep the society safe and also homeland security in keeping United States safe from attacks from the terrorists (Forrest, 2006).


When participating with homeland security, the police are supposed to adapt and change alongside the communities that they work hard to keep crimes from occurring and ensuring that everyone is kept safe from the people who decide to commit criminal acts. Police are required to receive training and education so that they can be able to change with the drastic change in technology. The technology is sweeping the country more on the area of surveillance, and the police should be ready for the change so that to have automated systems which will help them in monitoring data. It is the responsibility of the police to collect raw data that might pose as a threat to the society and delivered to the intelligence department (Forrest, 2006). Therefore, they should ensure that they have education and technology facilities which will help in facilitating the process and detecting any crimes.


New strategies

The police usually have experience in anti terrorist and counter subversive activities, but the challenge that the police are facing today involve taking on the enemies who are fighting in asymmetric ways, which tend to mock the constitutional safeguards. This is an incident that makes it hard for the police to balance criminal rights with the powers that they have when they are faced with such kind of adversaries. There need to be new theories, models, and laws that will help the police to be up with the task of assisting in collecting, coordinating, sharing, and analyzing the intelligence which is necessary for successful access and response to the threats happening in the modern day. Therefore, it is time to consider the role of the police in the society and the extent of police involvement in the nation security and defense carrying the risk of intrusion in the civil liberties (Guiora, 2005).


The strategies that the police can engage to in homeland security are through creating good communication links. According to the department of homeland security, it has stated that in order to have advancement in countering terrorism, technology issues, and manmade and natural disaster, there is a need to have better communication, sharing of information, and information collection between the police who are carrying the responsibilities. The police should ensure that they develop good communication with one another for them to engage in homeland security so that they can work with each other while setting their egos aside. It is necessary for the police to ward towards one goal, which is the prevention of crimes.


When the police decide to collaborate, it will enable them to accomplish the objectives that homeland security is meant to accomplish (Forrest, 2006). The police agency should not consider a single agency as being superior to other, but work together in serving the country. Another strategy that the police can engage in is the type of technology. With the advancement of technology, it brings along vulnerability. The advancement of technology provides the criminals and mostly the terrorists a new strategy of committing crimes. However, this advancement also provides the police officers an innovative tool of bring the criminals in the standstill. The advancement in technology and communication is new strategies that the police are supposed to use and be aware about as it can take policing to unknown limits. Making changes in the police agency will help in making the police be compatible with the department of homeland security. It is the custom of the police to help the citizens be safe through the actual policing behavior.


Reference

Coppola, D Haddow, G & Bullock, J (2011). Introduction to homeland security Elsevier Publishing

Guiora, A (2005). Homeland security CRC Press

Forrest, J (2006). Homeland security Greenwood Publishing Group


Published in History
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:12

To the UNIV 200 Instructor,

To the UNIV 200 Instructor,


E-Portfolio Reflection

Over the duration of the past semester, I have been challenged by the content of the course, including discussions of the course materials presented by the instructor, and the students’ interactive research, discussions, and presentations. The impression that I had about learning was confined only to activities of the conventional classroom. The experience has been enlightening and exciting unlike the past learning experiences that I have had. I think that this course provided me with a great preamble of university life. It is worth the assignments and efforts it warrants to obtain success in it. I have witnessed a progress in my capacity for learning and ability to relate issues and derive meaning.  I have learnt several new techniques and sharpened the skills that I already had. The discussion topics have shaded light on important issues in society, making learning a relevant experience. I am developing and changing as a person thanks to the course (111) and the immense input of the instructor.


I chose the pieces that I have included in my portfolio based on the significance of the issues discussed in society. In particular, the debate about gun ownership is a controversial issue. On its part, the disparities of health between women and men are also a pressing health issue that has implications for health planning and management activities. I must say that the experience that I have gained in the course 111 have greatly impacted on my development both as an academic thinker and writer. In addition, it has built the foundation required to excel in the next course 112 and in complex future academic endeavors, which require a firm foundation of excellent thinking capacity, writing skills, and comprehension of societal issues.


In terms of application, the idea of the e-portfolio is even more interesting. It gives me an opportunity to put together activities of the course in one electronic page. This is very fundamental because it makes it possible to relate learning activities and reflect on personal academic development. In addition, the instructor can assess student progress and provide guidance accordingly. It eliminates the time and place difference and provides a platform for the instructor and student to discuss critical learning messages. Research skills, time management, application of technology, self-evaluation are some of the vital skills that I have learnt, and which have great potential implications for my academic future.


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