Health Services Management as a Profession

Health services management was recognized as a distinct academic discipline in the early 1930s. This makes it a relative late-comer to a field including the long-established professions of medicine and nursing. In seeking professional status, health services managers have established and joined professional associations that, in turn, have developed and adopted codes of ethics. These vary in their level of proscription and prescription and the methods of enforcement, but all have the common thread of doing what is in the patient's best interest—usually as defined by the patient. The codes tend to emphasize beneficence, nonmaleficence, respect for persons (autonomy, truth-telling, fidelity, and confidentiality), and justice. Applying the ethical principles often used in clinical ethical decision making is sometimes strained, nevertheless they provide a useful starting point that is supplemented as needed by other principles.

A few states flirted with licensure of hospital administrators, but this appears to be a dead issue. In response to federal regulation that was stimulated by scandals in nursing homes, however, nursing home administrators are licensed in all states. Future scandals and abuses in the health services field likely will stimulate new government regulatory forays. As with state licensing of health professions such as medicine and nursing, regulation of HSO managers probably will include codification of ethical expectations.

It is noteworthy that managers in the health services field are often held to a higher standard than managers in business and other sectors of the economy. This may result in part from their association with the healing professions of medicine and nursing. It may also be a function of the not-for-profit tradition that is so dominant in the health services field. The higher standard also may arise from the expectation that none of those served by such an organization should have their trust breached—the trust inherent in the intimate, emotional, and vital relationship established in the process of delivering health services.

Anxiety and Depression 101

Anxiety and Depression 101

Everything you ever wanted to know about. We have been discussing depression and anxiety and how different information that is out on the market only seems to target one particular cure for these two common conditions that seem to walk hand in hand.

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