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Context and setting

  1. Top of page
  2. Context and setting
  3. Why the idea was necessary
  4. What was done
  5. Evaluation of results and impact

Good management practices play an increasingly important role in the delivery of health care services. Health care is one sector where no country has enough resources to cater to the needs of all its citizens. It is therefore imperative to manage health care services efficiently.

Why the idea was necessary

  1. Top of page
  2. Context and setting
  3. Why the idea was necessary
  4. What was done
  5. Evaluation of results and impact

Medical graduates in India are being prepared to provide leadership and to serve in managerial roles at primary health care centres. However, there is no training in the existing curriculum to acquaint them with these concepts. Further, the increasing complexity of health care delivery at the secondary and tertiary levels also demands a reasonable level of health care management skills. It is important that medical students, during their professional training, acquire the skills they need to succeed clinically as well as in leadership and management. This intervention was planned to assess students’ perceptions of the delivery of health care management training through a specially designed module.

What was done

  1. Top of page
  2. Context and setting
  3. Why the idea was necessary
  4. What was done
  5. Evaluation of results and impact

A module comprising of three sections was developed to deliver the concepts of health care management relevant to the needs of medical students. Section 1 introduced students to the principles of the management of health care services. Section 2 dealt with departments in a hospital, with special emphasis on the functioning of various hospital support services such as the medical records department, the central sterile services department, the hospital kitchen, housekeeping services, biomedical waste management, hospital information systems, etc. Section 3 focused on quality management in health care

The contents of the module were covered in a series of lectures in the internship orientation programme. Students also spent 1 day each at five hospital support service departments of their choice. Student feedback was obtained by a questionnaire comprising of items to be rated on a 5-point Likert scale and a few open-ended questions. Items on the questionnaire were designed to assess the perceptions of students regarding the relevance of the course content. Responses on the Likert scale were divided into two categories. ‘Agree’ and ‘Strongly agree’ represented one category and ‘Neutral’, ‘Disagree somewhat’ and ‘Disagree strongly’ represented the other. Data were analysed for probability of responses on this binomial model.

Evaluation of results and impact

  1. Top of page
  2. Context and setting
  3. Why the idea was necessary
  4. What was done
  5. Evaluation of results and impact

Analysis of data revealed a significantly positive response to the items: ‘There is a need to understand the changing health care scenario’; ‘Management is playing an increasingly important role in the health care sector’; ‘A medical student should also learn skills of leadership and management’, and ‘A short posting to various hospital support service departments during internship will help in orientation to hospital management’.

In the open-ended items, students indicated they felt that the session on health care management gave them a new perspective on the demands of the health care sector today. They understood the need and components of quality in health care. They wanted to learn more about the functioning of a health care institution. They also wanted to know more about employment opportunities in the health care management sector and the various courses available.

Lectures on health care management have been included in our institution’s internship orientation and postgraduate orientation programmes.