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Unformatted text preview: C H A P T E R O N E A Brief History of Healthcare Management In many ways, healthcare management is a “hidden” career. When we think of a hospital or a clinic, we tend to think of physicians, nurses, and other caregivers. The myriad of people who work in the organiza- tions that support health services delivery organizations, like insurance and managed care companies and government policy-making and reg- ulatory agencies, are even more invisible and are not who we think of when we hear the phrase “health services.” However, they play very im- portant roles in making health services available and accessible. Think of medical dramas on television or in the movies. Rarely do you see a health services executive among the characters, and when you do, it is many times in a rather unflattering light, such as the greedy executive who is more concerned about money than patients. The news media also tend to focus on hands-on caregivers in health services orga- nizations or to present executives in these organizations negatively. This book will help you see the range of work options that are avail- able to health services executives. It will also help you see that careers in this field take many different directions and many different paths. Most of all, we hope that this book will help you see the incredibly important role that healthcare executives play in health services deliv- ery in the United States. While these executives may often be hidden 1 and work behind the scenes, they have a tremendous effect on the avail- ability, accessibility, and quality of health services in our communities. They help to provide an environment in which physicians, nurses, and other caregivers can practice effectively and efficiently, and they help provide safe, comfortable, and compassionate places for people to receive health services when needed. Although they are concerned about the business side of healthcare, ultimately they are concerned about the health of people in the communities they serve. There is not one term for the field we are talking about or the peo- ple who practice it—healthcare management, health services adminis- tration, and other variants can be used interchangeably. People who practice in this field may be called health services executives, health- care administrators, health services managers, or other similar names. This can be confusing if you are new to healthcare, but it will become second nature. Another source of confusion is the fact that adminis- trators may be identified by the specific type of organization in which they work, for example, as a hospital executive or nursing home admin- istrator. However, the meaning of such terms is usually clear....
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This note was uploaded on 08/21/2011 for the course AHS 300 taught by Professor Paustian during the Fall '08 term at University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- Fall '08