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Healthcare Management, second edition

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Title: Healthcare Management, second edition

Edited by: Kieran Walshe & Judith Smith

Publisher: Open University Press, 2011.

Reviewer: Paul Veitch, nurse consultant, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust

 What was it like?

This newly revised edition of a well-known text, offers a comprehensive overview of the complexities of healthcare organisation and management. It is a welcome and timely addition to the genre. The demands on healthcare systems to reform in the light of global financial recession requires those charged with that reform to consider carefully the evidence underpinning such reform, now, more than ever before. This book offers help along the way.


What were the highlights? 

There are 27 chapters divided into four parts, with some 498 pages. The book is packed with figures, tables, and summary boxes with additional websites and lists of resources. It is well referenced, with additional recommended reading lists and these features combine to make it a thoroughly modern reference book. The inclusion of self-assessment exercises will be considered a boon by students studying the topics, but also for others who simply require some assurance that we have been able to comprehend the subject area.

Strengths & weaknesses

The editors have brought together a range of highly experienced contributors and the resulting content is suitably impressive. This new edition meets its stated aim of bringing an international dimension to the likely UK readership, endearing itself to me because it is a helpful, well-integrated praxis between the academic and the operational. The inclusion of a social care perspective was welcome and those involved in the design of services will value the exposure to chapters on the built environment and on informatics.

The voice of the end user of healthcare was present but perhaps not loud enough. This is increasingly important because it remains a central test of quality. This, however, was my only criticism of a comprehensive, well-written and engaging book.

Who should read it?

Experienced managers and researchers will find this volume reliable and up to date. Aspiring managers will do worse than looking to it as a window into the wide world of resources available to them.

Significantly, all nurses would do well to recognise that healthcare management stretches further than their immediate line manager. Healthcare management encompasses a range of disciplines and makes a vital contribution to healthcare across the world. It is important for all nurses to be at ease with the majority of topics within this book as increasingly nurse’s practise in, and need to adapt to, rapidly changing environments.

The book is also available on Kindle.

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