Healthcare management is a wide field that is entailed with the administration of hospitals and their affiliate networks, the healthcare systems that have been set up by the government or worldwide organisations such as the United Nations and the public health care sector. Healthcare management therefore, is entailed with carrying out the management tasks of this colossal industry so as to ensure that it runs efficiently and effectively. However, as noted by Glouberman & Mintzberg (2001), this not the case, healthcare management encounters numerous problems that arise from all facets of the industry. Therefore, this essay aims at identifying the major problem that is most experienced in healthcare management and explaining in details how that problem comes about. The essay will also discuss its impact and the extent it has affected healthcare management.
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Major Problem in the Healthcare Management
The healthcare is the largest industry in the United States and in many of the developed countries. Therefore, due to the magnitude of the industry, it has multiple decision makers who have differing opinions. This leads to emergence of conflicts in goals and objectives in the industry consequently making managing it almost impossible. This phenomenon has become the major problem in the healthcare management. This problem was explicitly explained by Glouberman and Mintbergz framework, as illustrated in the diagram below.
According to the Glouberman and Mintbergz framework, the bottom left quadrant represents the world of healing in which the main players are the doctors. This quadrant is characterised with short time and mostly intensive medical interventions by these professional medical folks. For instance, in the North American countries like the United States and Canada, doctors are not employed by hospitals on the permanent basis. They can be private and entrepreneurs who want to maximise their income from their services. They are paid as per the services they deliver to particular hospitals. Therefore, they make brief appearances in these hospitals, in case the patients need specialised treatment that will cure them (Carter, 2002).
The bottom right quadrant shows the world of care in which the constituent members are the nurses and others healthcare providers. They have a direct interaction with the patients, as they are responsible for taking care of them. It should be noted that these people are employed by the hospital on a salary basis. They are responsible for the majority of the operations in the hospital, as they form the largest part of its operating budget. This component of the healthcare industry is run by internal management that differs in hierarchy or arrangement from one hospital to another. The managers in this case are responsible for executing management roles such as controlling, staffing, organising and planning. However, they are not involved in clinical operations in the hospital, since they lack the competency of executing medical operations. This clearly illustrates the conflict that arises in healthcare management, as managers employed by the hospitals can only control what they can (Carter, 2002).
The quadrant with the world of community represents the board of directors or the hospital trustees. It is evident that the majority of the board of directors are community members from where the hospital is located. They are the faction of hospital management that is mandated with crafting the hospital policies and appointing the senior managers. This fact points out the inconsistencies that have cropped up in the healthcare management. This is because the board of trustees is composed of people who have little or no knowledge on the healthcare issues or on how it should be delivered, as they work not for the institution and they do not provide medical services to the public (Carter, 2002).
How this Problem has Impacted on Healthcare Management
As a result of the failure of the healthcare management to define the overall managers of the system, this problem has spiralled down in which the managers and doctors have come up with a common ground on which they resolve their differences. As identified by Glouberman and Mintzberg, doctors and managers tend to incline towards the nurses for immediate coordination of the hospital activities, despite their lack of authority and competency to handle these operations. This problem has further been pushed down into the social healthcare system that is consented with overseeing that patients get adequate treatment in hospitals. However, this does not happen as patients who visit hospitals are treated hurriedly and discharged back to their family members who are expected to take care of them until they fully recover. This has made the hospital drift away from the communities such that they longer have direct impact on its control. The government and insurance companies that are responsible for paying their clients’ treatment bills and funding these hospitals have no direct control on their operation.
It is evident that this conflict in the healthcare management is dire and there is an urgent need to reorganise the management at the hospital and system levels in all facets of the industry, or else the problem will continue to spiral out control and the consequences will be dreadful.