Hospital management is a broad area that relates to management of all aspects of a hospital. It may be termed as the pivot that coordinates all elements of a hospital, ranging from patient care to record keeping to taking care of items like the inventory of medicines to physical cleanliness. Thus, a hospital management professional has to be overseeing each and every element of the hospital.
Coordination -the soul of hospital management
In healthcare settings other than hospitals; a very great deal of coordination may not be required. However, with hospitals being the providers of high-tech healthcare that they are; a host of facilities and features need to be integrated and synchronized. This calls for a high degree of adaptation of technology. Technology has facilitated functions to an extent that could not be imagined in the earlier generation.
Specialties and sub-specialties
For this reason, many sub-categories of hospital management are specializations in themselves. There will be different people handling each area or department of the hospital. A person adept in intensive care, for instance, will be taking care only of this department. Or, a specialist in inventory management will be the sole in-charge of medical supplies. This is the actual way in which most hospitals function, although generally a management professional is trained to handle each of these areas and puts the knowledge of each of these into practice from time to time.
During their academic training and internships; most hospital management professionals are exposed to all these functions. Their work is generally rotated and shuffled from one area to another. They usually carry out functions within the allotted department for a fixed period of time, after which they are shifted to other areas. Over the lifespan of an entire career, a hospital management professional would have worked in just about every area of management.
Technology and non-technology
Hospital management staff works under strict rules of accountability and enforceability. The various functions in the hospital have to be coordinated very smoothly if the hospital has to be efficient. Although technology can help these professionals in a few areas; they need to use their skills intuitively on many occasions, without having to use technology. A couple of examples of this kind of function that come to mind are care and public relations with suppliers. Here, technology has no part to play, and it is the human element that matters more than anything else.
Ensuring that all aspects of the hospital are kept up-to-date is the most important requirement of hospital management. Just as how the true test of the effectiveness of technology is in how less intrusive it is for the user; in hospital management too, there should be no external trace of the work that has gone inside. If the hospital has to appear to be a healthcare entity in which everything is spic and span; the primary responsibility for ensuring this belongs to those in charge of management.