A well-managed healthcare organization is essential to ensure expediency and quality in healthcare services, from the utter chaos of the nineties to contemporary healthcare organizations, Department of Health has evolved to be cost-efficient and cost-effective and yet do not negotiate on the quality of care provided in healthcare institutions. We must endeavour to understand the meaning of organization in healthcare and its various structures to understand the magnitude of its importance to any industry. Healthcare statistics deals with the statistical techniques to collect analyse and use the data that is collected in hospitals and other healthcare agencies. This information is required by the management in order to make certain key decisions on the operations of a healthcare organization. This information is also invaluable to third parties like government agencies and other institutions that need this data to make forecast and make strategic decisions for the healthcare industry and other sectors of the economy.
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Definition of Healthcare Organisation
An organization is a systematic arrangement of two or more people or entities that fulfil common roles and share a common purpose and have the following characteristics:
- Every organization has a distinct purpose or mission which is typically expressed in terms of goals or set of goals.
- Every Organization is composed of people
- All organizations develop a systematic structure that defines formal roles and limits the behaviour of its members.
Thus it can be said that the term “organization” refers to an entity that has a distinct purpose, includes people or members and the development of a systematic structure wherein rules and regulations are created, the line of authority and responsibility are clearly defined and responsibility is delegated with concise job descriptions. (Wolper, 2004)
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Establishment of the Organisation
The Department of Health was established in 1919 to bring together the medical and public health services of the central government and subsequently the National Health Service was created to bring together hospitals and other healthcare service providers”. The DHS is strategically located at various areas in London in Richmond , Leeds , waterloo amongst other, their website is http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/index.html which can be accessed on the internet for any pertinent question or information required regarding healthcare services provided by them. (Department of Health Care, n.d)
Types of Reporting Structures
The reporting structures of healthcare organizations do not follow the traditional line and staff systems they are more complex and are generally called matrix reporting structures. Reporting structures are essential in order to maintain control and sustain accountability and responsibility in an organization.
There are three types of structures in reporting within an organization, as dreikorn has explained “
Direct Functional Reporting: Solid line reporting means that the entire organization of the functional discipline reports to the functional discipline executive” (2004)
“System Accountability: Under this system employees are accountable to several lines of authority at the same time i.e. the nursing staff is accountable to the HR department as well as their nursing manager” (Dreikorn , 2004)
“Combined Direct Reporting and System Design : In a structure that combines functional leadership with solid line reporting the division head is responsible for disposing all resources available to it, but it is the hospital management that finally takes all responsibility for all resources deployed”( Dreikorn, 2004 )
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Assimilation of Statistical information
According to Horton “healthcare organizations also need to collect and analyse raw data, they need this data for the improvement of their patient care system and the quality of care provided. Administrators also need to statistics to understand the greater need of resources for a particular service.”(2004)
“Accrediting agencies also require statistical data for their analysis. In order to maintain the physician speciality mix, hospitals need to analyse the data on the types of patients who visit the facility. Third parties also need statistical information in order to better understand the government also need healthcare data for its various services.” (Horton, 2004)
The institutes and agencies that use healthcare statistics are “Hospital , cancer registries, nursing facilities, home health, hospices, mental health facilities, drug and alcohol facilities, outpatient facilities, managed care organizations, health care researchers (Horton 2004)
Study of Biostatistics
Biostatistics is that area of healthcare that is dedicated to statistical research in healthcare, as well as, other fields of medicine and biology .According to Sullivan “Biostatistics is the study of statistical principles in medicine, public health or biology. Statistical principles are based in applied mathematics and include tools and techniques for collecting data and summarizing analyzing and interpreting those results” (2008).
It has also been described as “A discipline concerned with the treatment and analysis of numerical data derived from biological, bio-medical and health-related studies. Biostatistics is more than just a compilation of computational techniques, the goals of biostatistics include:
Improvement of the intellectual content of the data, organization of the data into understandable forms” (Gertsman, 2008)
Healthcare Care Statistical Information Used By Other Agencies
There are a number of organizations who benefit from healthcare statistics and it has been already been discussed above, however an example of the kind of organization who require healthcare statistics are :
National Centre for Health Statistics: which provides data on vital events and provides information on health status as well
Agency for healthcare and Research Quality: supports research designed to improve the quality of healthcare, to reduce its cost, to improve patient safety and to address medical errors .
” (Perrin et.al., 2001 )These are only a few of the organisations that require statistical information for the preparation of the various reports and analyses.