Health Care Facilities: Purposes, Roles and Functions

Health Care Facilities: Purposes, Roles and Functions

  1. List and define 3 ways healthcare organizations integrate or consolidate.

Healthcare organizations integrate to improve the delivery of healthcare services and improve quality. One way in which healthcare organizations integrate is through the formation of an alliance. The healthcare industry is said to be unique because it creates opportunities for the development of cooperative arrangements with other competitor providers of healthcare. This type of arrangement eliminates the chances of duplication healthcare services while looking after the needs of the community. An alliance is defined as an agreement between organizations. They agree to share resources without the legal contract of joint ownership (Shi & Singh 2003). An alliance is less complicated form of integration when compared to acquisitions and mergers. The formation of an alliance is usually the first step taken when organizations are looking for benefits in considering a merger later on.

Another type of integration is through the formation of a network. A network is the result of alliances between several healthcare providers. The network can be established around one organization that acts as the core. Networks and alliances involve the sharing of resources and assets between two or more organizations. Another type of integration is the virtual organization. The virtual organization is created when the arrangements between organizations in alliance form a new type of organization. A virtual network is formed based on the contractual arrangements made between several organizations. The greatest advantage of a virtual organization is that less capital is required when it will decide to enter new markets because of the fact that it has no physical properties. The virtual organization can also unite scattered organizations and encourage an agreement borne out of mutual cooperation.

  1. List the Institute of Medicine’s 6 aims for improvement and discuss the overall effect of hospital consolidation been in terms of the healthcare systems and its ability to provide care that meets those 6 aims for improvement.

The Institute of Medicine has established six aims to bring about change within the healthcare system. The delivery of healthcare must be safe. Healthcare providers must be careful in handling patients and to make patient safety as the number one priority (Cuellar & Gertler 2005). The second aim is to make healthcare effective. The delivery of healthcare services must be effective in the sense that it must coincide with the developments of science and technology. There should be no case of overuse or underuse of the latest techniques in patient treatment. The third aim is to design healthcare as patient-centered (IOM 2001). The patient must have a say on how his or her own health condition is treated. The wishes of the patient must be respected as he or she is encouraged to play an active role in healthcare decisions. The fourth aim states that healthcare should be timely. Unnecessary delays are a waste of time and should be considered as a defect to the system. The patient deserves to get prompt attention and immediate care.

The fifth aim is to make the healthcare system become efficient in providing service. Healthcare organizations are highly encouraged to reduce waste, costs of supplies and equipment and space. Equitable healthcare is the sixth aim. Racial, cultural and financial differences should not be obstacles in providing high quality care to patients. The six aims of the IOM seek to improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients. These aims, if realized, will result into efficient and effective delivery of healthcare services.


Cuellar, A. & Gertler, P. (2005). How the expansion of hospital systems has affected consumers. Health Affairs, 24, 213.

Institute of Medicine [IOM]. (2001). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved November 23, 2008 from

Shi, L. & Singh, D. (2003) ‘Delivering health care in America: a systems approach’, Jones & Bartlett Publishers

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