I need help defining a management function under the viewpoint of a  health care management role.  

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are five types of managerial functions, which suit to each organizational or corporate leader according to their own business personality traits. These functions are:

  • planning
  • organizing
  • directing/leading
  • controlling
  • staffing

In order to understand them at a simple level, imagine the captain of a boat. In order to ensure that the boat will always be safe to travel on, and that it will withstand any change in the environment, the captain needs to plan ahead for the care of the boat, organize how it will be used, lead the travels, and control situations when they may turn into chaos, should something go awry. All this being said, perhaps one of the most difficult managerial functions is planning.

Planning entails the development of an on-going business improvement model that will change as the environment changes, as the needs or demands change, and as the clientele changes. 

In a health-care environment the process of planning involves just about the same action plan as any other business. In the particular case of health care management planning involves:

  • measuring productivity by determining labor input vs. output
  • previewing and looking over budget expenditures
  • having an emergency procedure in place
  • looking after the safety and security of employees
  • establishing protocols of conduct, etiquette, employee relations, and patient confidentiality
  • developing and revisiting business action plans according to the changes in demographics, epidemiology, and community resources.

As you can see, there is this, and then a lot more that is covered in the process of planning. This is because planning is done for prevention and for averting shifts that may result in dis-serving the population of target customers that you want to retain.

The International Journal of Health Planning and Management published an article based on planning titled "Demographic diversity, communication, and learning behavior in health care groups" (Curşeu 2012). This article relates in part how the current economic developments have impacted communities in several different ways. In some cases, there is a shift where new demographics which may come with cultural differences that affect communication.

Since the health care field is one of the most solicited as far as needs-basis, it is imperative to plan ahead for these changes. It is also imperative to plan for these economic changes as well, as the supply and demand will inevitably suffer a lack of balance.

Hence, planning requires looking at trends and patterns in the present to avoid surprises in the future.

priscillaabere | Student

Management may be said to be the art of conducting and directing; it is characterised by the process of leading and directing all or part of an organization, often a business, through the deployment and manipulation of resources. functions of management includes:

Planning – determining the long-and short-term

objectives (ends) of the institution or unit and the

actions (means) that must be taken to achieve

these objectives.

Staffing- Selecting the personnel to carry out

these actions and placing them in positions

appropriate to their knowledge and skills

Organizing- Mobilizing human and material

resources so institutional objectives can be


Directing- Motivating and leading personnel to

carry out the actions needed to achieve the

institution’s objectives.

Controlling- Comparing results with

predetermined standards of performance and

taking corrective action when performance

deviates from these standards.

Decision Making- Identifying a problem,

searching for solutions, and selecting the

alternative that best achieves the decision

maker’s objectives.

Success of management depends on learning and using

the management functions. These functions include

planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating and

controlling. These functions represent these activities

expected of managers in all fields. Managers develop

skill in the implementation of these functions as they

gain experience in th role of managers. health workers also use the same functions in fulfilling their responsibilities.