The current state of the business industry in America is one of power and control; so much so that some of the fields being blanketed by it are those that one would never expect to be controlled.
Today, hospitals are largely controlled by business professionals rather than actual doctors and individuals trained in medicine and healthcare. Traditionally, medical staff offices in and pertaining to hospitals were established so that medical records of patients and their individual needs were kept private from business-related ventures, acting freely and outside of the hospital’s administrators. However, claims of ineffectiveness in hospitals around the country have prompted board members to call for a clean slate, appointing new, business-oriented officials.
As expected, doctors did not welcome this decision with open arms. It was met with a large number of medical professionals quitting, as well as a number of legal battles. The problem that this poses on a larger scale however, is that doctors and medical professionals are being pushed out of their authoritative positions within our country’s hospitals.
Previously, physicians were the sole leaders of hospitals and had final say as to how patients were treated. But, with the ever-increasing expenditures that hospitals faced and the concern of low quality service, business executives began to take the reigns of operation.
According to the previously linked New York Times article, less than 5% of the United States’ hospitals are run by professionals with actual medical training. This has led to doctors that have devoted years of their lives to becoming highly trained individuals in the field of medicine feeling like nothing more than employees under a larger organization.
At one point in time, doctors were seen as defenders of patients’ well being, questioning and disputing whatever administrators brought forth if they felt that it was not the best decision. Now, it is essentially a struggle for power. More often than not, decisions are made by the board members that go directly against a medical professional’s advisory. For example, discharging patients too soon in order to save money.
While changes like this may look dismal, there are still facilities in the country run by chief executives with actual medical backgrounds rather than business executives whose decisions are based on profit margin. In this hospitals, quality of care and service were roughly 25% higher than those run by individuals without medical training; a statistic worth considering for the sake of our nation’s health.
If the country is to make a change in this industry, we must take a step back and look at why this corporate takeover occurred in the first place. Both parties are to blame to some extent, but deciding who fits the title of leader best within hospitals is the ultimate goal.