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Recent studies have confirmed that the management of healthcare institutions is entering a problematical and challenging era. With increased demand for quality services, rapidly aging population, and the introduction of new and intricate technology, contemporary healthcare institutions are demanding for qualified managers and leaders who have a stock of experiences and competencies in leadership and health care management.  Despite the increased complications in the management of healthcare institutions, education programs have failed to offer the required management skills among healthcare professionals. If the current management trend continues, healthcare institutions are likely to face serious challenges in the future

Based on the current trend in modern healthcare institutions, managers are likely to struggle with the management of their self-identity. Presently, there is increased competition between professionals’ clinicians and healthcare managers. Despite their clinical role, healthcare managers also engage in management role thus creating conflict between professional and personal pursuits. In reference to the ever-increasing need for leadership and management services in modern and future health care institutions, clinician managers are likely to have their clinician's responsibility sidelined by managerial role. For instance, a study conducted in 2000 by the American Medical Association in America confirmed that there exist tension between clinical professional role and managerial demands for resource reallocation, cost control, and leadership efficiency in American healthcare institutions[1].

Negative perception in managing healthcare institutions is also likely to be a major challenge in future healthcare institutions. So far, the prevailing harmful perception on the management of healthcare entities has proved to be a regrettable challenge especially among front line and middle managers. Individuals who hold leadership positions are in most cases criticized for being corrupt and ineffective.  By referring to the current perception and stereotype on health care leaders and managers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals who assumed leadership positions are likely to loss clinical visibility and respect. Future health care managers have a responsibility of dispelling the suspicion that choosing a managerial track is because of inability to pursue their clinical career. The hybrid roles of healthcare managers also conflicts with the personal value and professional codes of ethics. The increase in the complexity in management roles and limited tangible recognition or rewards for their additional role and responsibility is also likely to increase pressure among healthcare managers.

The intricacy in the management of human resources is also likely to be a future challenge in healthcare institutions. At present, a good number of healthcare institutions have a challenge in recruiting and maintaining skilled and competent healthcare professionals. This is owing to the increased competition for the services of clinicians especially in developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom. The reduction in health professionals compared to high global population is also likely to pose a serious challenge in future. For example, in a research conducted in the United Kingdom by Schulz and Alton in 2004, future health care managers are likely to have a challenge of increased responsibility and lack of clear definition of their role in the health care system[2]

Consequently, if no immediate action is in place to counter the experienced threats in the management of health care institutions, future healthcare institutions are at a risk of having ineffective managers. Apart from the challenge of managing human resources, future healthcare managers are also likely to face the challenges of maintaining their identity and dealing with negative perceptions of their role. However, collective responsibility can have a critical role in dealing with the identified challenges. 

Bibliography

American Medical Association, Institute for Ethics, and Organizational Ethics in    HealthCare: Toward a Model for Ethical Decision-making by Provider         Organizations. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 2000

Harman, Laurinda. Ethical Challenges in the Management of Health Information. Sudbury,           Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2006

Schulz, Rockwell, and Alton Cornelius Johnson. Management of Hospitals and Health      Services: Strategic Issues and Performance. Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2003

[1] American Medical Association, Institute for Ethics, and Organizational Ethics in HealthCare: Toward a Model for Ethical Decision-making by Provider Organizations (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 2000), 65

[2] Schulz, Rockwell, and Alton Cornelius Johnson. Management of Hospitals and Health Services: Strategic Issues and Performance. (Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 2003), 89

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