Quarterly scientific journal

Modern approach to the operation of a hospital

Christos Karasoulos


The health sector is characterized by diversity due to its singularity but also the many professions associated with it (e.g. doctors, nurses, nursing attendants, managers, suppliers etc.). This kind of diversity has resulted in a dramatic increase of health costs leading hospitals into using business techniques to reduce costs. Purpose: The purpose of the present review was to explore the possibility of operating a hospital standards of operational policy. Material and Method: The methodology followed is based on searching and reviewing research studies and scientific articles abstracted from an international database (Scopus) and from the Greek and international literature between the years 1996 to 2012, using keywords such as: hospital, business, health expenditure, supplies, total quality management. Results: The review of literature shows that hospitals suffered from mismanagement, excessive expenses and insufficient health care services. The application of Lean Six Sigma methodologies and TQM helped to reduce costs, the continuous control problems encountered in raising the level of benefits. Conclusions: The hospital cannot be associated with a business, because the hospital is meant to care for the public in general as opposed to businesses that aim at increasing their profits. However, adopting techniques of the business field, the hospitals have the ability to control operating costs and curb costs, therefore, the modern hospital can function as an ‘idiosyncratic’ form of business.

Keywords: Hospital, business, health costs, commissions, total quality management, Lean Six Sigma

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