Integrating Health Care Paradigms: A Wholistic Policy Prototype
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As health care provider roles evolve, we have become increasingly aware of a need to expand and integrate diverse health paradigms into a facility's organizational culture in order to create wholistic health care delivery systems. A concrete step toward this integration is policy development. The following is a policy prototype which can be used for establishing a desired organizational culture. The format can easily be adapted to the needs and nuances of different facilities. A literature review was conducted to research the subject matter needed for this policy formation. In 1996, the Nez Perce Tribal General Council (a community forum) directed Health and Human Services to develop a clinic policy which integrated traditional Native American, allopathic and alternative healing practices. The policy was developed using a modified Delphi technique with community groups, providers, and an internal policy committee. A final policy critique was conducted by multi-cultural nursing policy leaders in Polson, Montana, 1998. A policy can be an essential keystone that launches a vision into implementation. However, it is only effective if it is developed and accepted by persons affected by the policy's direction. Accountability and responsibility must be established to ensure implementation. Patient and employee satisfaction surveys provide an objective method for evaluating whether the policy, as a tool, was effective in bringing about the desired changes.