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So You're on the Hospital Board!, 4th ed.

So You're on the Hospital Board!, Fourth Edition, is a new American Hospital Association (AHA) booklet by Richard J. Umbdenstock that serves as a short, non-technical orientation for new hospital trustees. The book provides an overview of the present health care system; the key issues facing providers, patients, and payers; and the roles and responsibilities of the hospital governing board. New to this fourth edition are discussions of the board's role in continuous quality improvement, the current debate over health care delivery and financing reforms, and the recent changes in insurance and payment programs that increasingly place hospitals at financial risk.

The booklet is divided into seven sections. The first three sections provide a general overview of the American health care system and the people whom hospitals serve. The fourth section describes the three main organizational components of a hospital: the board of trustees, the chief executive officer (and the employed hospital staff), and the medical staff. Among the new features of this fourth edition are updated, comparative hospital statistics and a sample position description for the hospital board member.

The fifth section outlines the board's responsibilities for ensuring that the proper culture and systems exist for continuously improving the quality of patient care. The sixth section describes the past and current efforts of hospitals toward self-regulation, particularly through the voluntary accreditation process of the Joint Commission. This section also describes the nature of government regulation and touches upon the current proposals for introducing further reforms into the health care system.

The final section surveys the roles of various hospital associations in monitoring the legislative and regulatory activities that affect hospitals. This section also describes opportunities for trustees to gain further knowledge and to become advocates for hospitals and the patients they serve. The booklet concludes with an updated and expanded bibliography.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Umbdenstock, Richard J.
Publication:Health Care Financing Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 1992
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