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Managing a respiratory care department is challenging. Health care is one of the few businesses in which the fees for services are dictated by the payers. Recent changes in focus and expectations in the overall health care industry have strongly affected the job of the respiratory care manager. There is now stronger emphasis on improving the management of human resources. Good human-resources management requires understanding the work force, minimizing staff turnover, and finding ways to do more work with fewer employees. Respiratory care managers must: marshal strong evidence and compelling reasoning to compete for funding; make evidence-based (or at least carefully researched) purchasing decisions; implement protocols to optimize patient and clinical outcomes (including work efficiency); implement patient-safety initiatives such as “care bundles,” to avoid preventable complications; and vigorously pursue initiatives that optimize the work flow and advance the professional status of respiratory therapists, such as rapid-response teams.
- Correspondence: Karen J Stewart MSc RRT FAARC, Neurology Trauma and Emergency Services, Charleston Area Medical Center, 3200 MacCorkle Avenue SE, Charleston WV 25304. E-mail: .
This article is based on a transcript of the 2007 Philip Kittredge Memorial Lecture, delivered by Karen J Stewart MSc RRT FAARC at the 53rd International Respiratory Congress of the American Association for Respiratory Care, held December 1–4, 2007, in Orlando, Florida.
- Copyright © 2008 by Daedalus Enterprises Inc.