The Principles of Healthcare Management

An organization is viewed as a system composed of subsystems interrelated with each other. It has input, output, process, feedbacks, and a goal to achieve. Every part of the system is important and each has a role to play, none should be taken for granted.

To become successful in their own field, the organization is guided into its intended goals through sound management and leadership. Organizational management is defined as the activities involved in planning, leading, coordinating, and organizing. These four functions are fundamental to an organization and are highly integrated, thus, a competent leader is needed to implement these functions and manage the organization (McNamara, 1997).

The US health care system is just lke any organization, the only difference is that it is considered as the most expensive in the world, taking into account that 14 % of its Gross National Product (GNP) and 1/5 of the Federal budget is allocated and used in it alone. Although the system is considered as very advanced and competent, people are becoming worried about the growing rate of expenses being incurred by it.

Health care process is defined as a scientific and organized approach to health care for individuals, group of persons such as families, and community for promotion of health and prevention of illness. Health care is the sum of all services by all health disciplines.

Health care process should be holistic, and implementation should involve the different levels of the country, starting from an individual up to national level. Moreover, it should be preventive, promotive, curative, and rehabilitative. Health care system is composed of different medically inclined professionals such as physicians, nurse, midwife, dietitian, pharmacist, physical therapist, diagnostic services, and social workers in the community.

In every organization, a leader takes the headship and manages it. A manager is seen as someone who works toward the goals of the organization by utilizing its resources in an efficient and effective way. In some organizations, managers could be more than one, and could range from top, middle, to first line managers.

Top managers are expected to oversee the entire organization and engaged more in conceptualizing and strategic matters, with minimum attention to details of everyday happenings. On the other hand, the middle managers are those who are in charge of departments or subsystems in the organizations, and works directly under the top manager, while the first line managers are the one who takes care of the day to day details and actions of a group of workers.

Managers face various demands in everyday work, thus, to perform their function, managers assume different roles. According to Henry Mintzberg, managers have ten common roles, divided into three groups, namely interpersonal, decisional, and informational roles.

To make sure that the information is provided in the organization, the manager takes the interpersonal role.

They may assume the role of a figurehead who embodies the organization in all formality matters, a liaison who interacts with people outside the organization, and the leader role who takes care of the relationship between the employees and the management. Just like a healthcare professional, interpersonal roles are highly assumed since they deal with different people inside and outside their workplace.

All managerial works are linked together by informational role. The manager is in a good position to obtain information because of the relationships with persons involved in interpersonal roles.

The manager can receive and gather information, thus performing the monitor role. A manager assumes the role of disseminator when special information is transmitted into the organization. Lastly, the manager assumes the role of a spokesperson when he or she disseminates organizational information into the environment.

Since managers have distinctive access to information areas, they are placed at the center of the organization’s decision making.

The entrepreneur role initiates change, while the disturbance handler role is assumed by the manager when dealing with threats being faced by the organization. In behalf of the organization, the manager negotiates with others, thus assuming the role of the negotiator. Lastly, by deciding where to allocate the organization’s efforts, the manager assumes the role of resource allocator.

In an organization, the four managerial functions are considered as essential part of the system. The first to define the major managerial functions was Henri Fayol.

It was during his term as a CEO of a huge mining company in the late 80s when he noted that every managers, at all levels, whether it is profit or nonprofit oriented, must carry out these functions: planning, organizing, commanding, controlling, and coordinating (Jones et al. 2000). However, it was Daft who condensed the managerial processes into four, namely, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (Daft, 2003).

Planning as described by the American Heritage Dictionary is the act of creating a scheme or program with the purpose of achievement, realization, or enactment.

Another definition describes planning as a deliberate procedure of identifying the actions and decisions that will determine what an organization’s future will be and the process involved in getting there. It is a crucial part of the management process, thus it requires knowledge on the organization’s environment, both internal and external. Planning is a process that must be done thoughtfully, deliberately, and completely by the management (Berra, 2006).