Longwoods Blog

by Mark Hundert and Robert Crawford


[This article was originally published in Healthcare Quarterly, Volume 6, Number 1.]

Writing in this journal in 1998, Brunelle et al. described a transformed healthcare system in which hospital trustees had become “advocates and champions of the constantly escalating needs of their individual hospitals” (Brunelle et al. 1998). Despite the myriad changes in the healthcare system that have occurred since that article was written, the observation still rings true today. Unfortunately, while many boards have concentrated on advocating on behalf of their hospitals during this period of transition, not enough attention has been paid to rethinking and restructuring hospital governance to better meet the challenges of change. This series of articles will draw upon the experiences gained from operational reviews of hospitals across Canada to suggest approaches to building more effective governance through:

  • Effective and efficient board structures and processes.
  • Long-range planning.
  • Financial oversight.
  • Quality oversight.

The Province and the Hospital

Although most hospitals are private entities, owned by the hospital’s corporation, and governed by an independent board of governors/directors, they are significantly dependent on the provincial government for their operating and capital funds. The public holds the provincial government accountable for the funding, organization, delivery and, to a large extent, quality of hospital (and other health) services. Because of both the public’s perspective and the amount of public funds being provided to hospitals, governments have increasingly stressed the accountability of hospital boards for the use of these public funds and for the quality of care, effectiveness, efficiency and the long-term viability of hospitals.

More here.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 9:59 am and is filed under Longwoods Online.