Written in 1993, Creating the New American Hospital: A Time For Greatness by V. Clayton Sherman still has lessons for the twenty-first century hospital. Though issues such as the rise of managed care, cost constraints, litigation and malpractice, changes to Medicare and Medicaid, and low morale on the part of physicians and nurses, were only beginning to develop in the early 1990s — the Health Security Act was still a political possibility, as was even a move toward single-payer healthcare — the book remains vital reading as regards issues of management and professional development. Regardless of the economic framework of healthcare, the team concept is flexible enough to work and to create healthcare organizations that are profitable, productive, and – of course — save lives.
[...] The Book Creating the New American Hospital is a handbook of sorts, with direct commands/suggestions for managers looking to reshape their hospitals and work teams. The advice is conversational and to the point. For example, at one point, Sherman remarks advise organizations to stop doing supervisory training and management development until they are willing and able to make organizational change." (Sherman, 182) Sherman declares that the result of doing such things, for example, would lead to great increases in management morale and an empowerment of employees; once they are able to make changes, they will make changes, and those changes will be tied into the goals and benchmarks created by management (as opposed to changes designed primarily to suit individual managers, departments, or employees). [...]
[...] The anti-management team structure is fairly common in the literature these days. Management's job, according to Kreitner and Kinicki for example, is the facilitation of achievement through an understanding of the interconnectedness of employees, clients, customers, vendors, competitors, and other stakeholders. A manager is like an alpha wolf leading a pack. Thus the emphasis is on groups and group performance. Individuals join groups, or are assigned to groups, to accomplish various purposes. Formal groups are groups that organizations establish to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. [...]
[...] 127) The rotated managers are eventually moved back to their original departments, of course, but now, Sherman believes that these managers will have returned to their former departments with a new vision of how the hospital as a whole runs. The issue of poor temporary management is largely obviated, according to Sherman, because the associates/staff have the power to handle their jobs and even those emergencies of unexpected issues that may emerge without the need of a specialist manager. One is left to wonder why New American Hospitals should even have specialist managers, except that they are useful in reporting specifics to executives executives who are themselves not necessarily specialists. [...]
[...] 208-209) Finances and Profit The ultimate goal of these immense changes is not simply to reflect Information Age values or to provide superior customer service, but profit. Sherman claims that worker participation efforts and other movements toward the New American Hospital has led to significant changes, including a near-six million dollar movement from loss to profit in as six months, (Sherman, p. 29) Later in the book, however, he recommends financing changes and restructuring efforts out of profits (Sherman, pp. [...]
[...] A perceived role is the set of activities that an individual believes he or she is expected to perform. The perceived role may or may not greatly overlap with the expected role that originates with other members of the organization. Finally, an enacted role is a person's actual conduct in his or her position. It is more likely to reflect the individual's perceived role than the expected role. Sherman, in is follow-up text, has much more to say about choosing employees and developing them for teams. [...]
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