To explore the current and pending strategic agenda of Ontario hospitals (the largest consumers of the provincial healthcare budget), a survey of Ontario acute care hospital CEOs was conducted in January 2004. The survey, with an 82% response rate, identifies 29 strategic priorities under seven key strategic themes consistent across different hospital types. These themes include (1) human resources cultivation, (2) service integration and partnerships, (3) consumer engagement, (4) corporate governance and management, (5) organizational efficiency and redesign, (6) improved information use for decision-making, (7) patient care management. The extent to which an individual hospital's control over strategic resolutions is perceived may affect multilevel strategic priority-setting and action-planning. In addition to supporting ongoing development of meaningful performance measures and information critical to strategic decision-making, this study's findings may facilitate a better understanding of hospitals' key resource commitments, the extent of competition and collaboration for key resources, the perceived degree of individual control over strategic issue resolution and where systemic resolutions may be required.
BACKGROUND: Although the published literature on alcohol beverage taxes, prices, sales, and related problems treats alcoholic beverages as a simple good, alcohol is a complex good composed of different beverage types (i.e., beer, wine, and spirits) and quality brands (e.g., high-, medium-, and low-quality beers). As a complex good, consumers may make substitutions between purchases of different beverage types and brands in response to price increases. For this reason, the availability of a broad range of beverage prices provides opportunities for consumers to mitigate the effects of average price increases through quality substitutions; a change in beverage choice in response to price increases to maintain consumption. METHODS: Using Swedish price and sales data provided by Systembolaget for the years 1984 through 1994, this study assessed the relationships between alcohol beverage prices, beverage quality, and alcohol sales. The study examined price effects on alcohol consumption using seemingly unrelated regression equations to model the impacts of price increases within 9 empirically defined quality classes across beverage types. The models enabled statistical assessments of both own-price and cross-price effects between types and classes. RESULTS: The results of these analyses showed that consumers respond to price increases by altering their total consumption and by varying their brand choices. Significant reductions in sales were observed in response to price increases, but these effects were mitigated by significant substitutions between quality classes. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that the net impacts of purposeful price policy to reduce consumption will depend on how such policies affect the range of prices across beverage brands.
To determine the future needs in manpower for pediatric care as it relates to pediatric specialists, a study was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics to see the needs of manpower that will provide access of pediatric care to all. A pediatric plastic surgery survey was set in the form of a list of questions that was mailed to the respective societies with pediatric plastic surgeons as members. The survey was reviewed, and the results were studied. The outcome is presented in the form of findings related to the overall practice of plastic surgery. Based on the percentage of pediatric care that is provided, there were two types of pediatric plastic surgeons. Those with the high percentage of pediatric care tend to stay near health science centers; however, both groups tend to spend time (each to a different extent) tending to other plastic surgery problems. Today we have adequate access to care in the health system for pediatric plastic surgery problems despite the shift in the health care environment. Managed care continues to use the pediatrician as a "gatekeeper" in determining the overall access for patients with problems related to pediatric plastic surgery.