Many of us have visited hospitals for various reasons, we take treatments, or we accompany our family or friends. As only a few departments are familiar, we will see in detail about many other departments and its importance in this blog.

Departments of a hospital

X-Ray department

In a multi-specialty hospital, X-Ray department is further divided into three categories

  • Diagnostic radiology
  • Therapeutic radiology
  • Nuclear medicine

In general hospitals they have only diagnostic radiology and for therapeutic and nuclear medicine they refer for multi-specialty hospitals.

The main function of radiology department is to assist the clinicians in finding the disease through radiography, ultrasonic, computed tomography and magnetic resonance techniques.

There are some regulations to be followed before setting a radiology department and it is given by (AERB) Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the Babha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

The department should have adequate number of technicians both senior and junior and sufficient wheelchairs, Stretchers, and proper dressing rooms. The reception hall should be at the entrance of the department and separate waiting hall should be provided. After diagnosis the reports and films should be handed over to the patients or to their family or friends.

A doctor holding an X ray

Physiotherapy

In olden days, physiotherapy is given in person by nurses but nowadays due to improved technology, specialized training and sophisticated equipment, physiotherapy has been emerged has a specialized field. It provides post-operative and cardio-respiratory care in various orthopedic, surgical, and cardiac conditions.

The main objective of physical therapy is

  • To minimize physical disability
  • To assist each patient
  • To contribute to the comfort and well-being of the patient
  • To re-train him in activities of daily living
  • To accelerate the patient’s recovery and decrease his length of stay in hospital.

Physical therapy is prescribed by physicians, paediatricians, orthopaedic surgeons but finally the subject is evaluated and treated by physiotherapists.

In designing a physiotherapy department, one should pay attention on six functional areas,

  • Treatment area consisting of cubicles
  • Gymnasium
  • Hydrotherapy area
  • Space for office where clerical and administrative work can be carried out
  • Sufficient dress changing rooms for patients
  • Enough toilet facilities
Physiotherapy

Medical laboratory

Laboratory tests are done for confirmation of diseases and check for false diagnosis. In olden days tests takes more time but nowadays in very less time we get our results. Laboratory tests are in eight major fields which includes haematology, parasitology, urinalysis, histopathology, serology, biochemistry, bacteriology, cytology. Most of the laboratories are well equipped with automatic instruments and analysers.

In larger hospitals there are generally two hospitals one for indoor patients and one for outdoor patients. For outdoor patients laboratories are situated on the ground floor. This also includes blood bank, there should be proper waiting area for blood donors. After donating blood, the donor should be provided with snacks and juices. One medical laboratory technician can perform 35 tests per day, If he do less than that his performance is below average.

Pharmacy

This is the revenue generating department, so hospital administrator should examine and appoint a right person for this department. Experienced pharmacists should be employed, and he should know the modern trend, automation, prepacking and drug distribution. Hospitals in metropolitan cities uses computer-based ordering, pricing, and billing. Chief pharmacist is responsible to medical superintendent. He is responsible for developing a formulary, indenting medicines, receiving supplies, stocking medicines, dispensing, discarding expired medicine, issuing guidelines, ensuring labelling of medical containers.

Laundry

It plays a major role in hospital functioning. While we visit hospital we think of only about doctors and nurses, but laundry workers are doing their duties to the best. They collect dresses of the patients, bed liners, pillow covers from general ward, operation theatre, radiology department etc. This laundry department is generally located on the ground floor in open area, which has enough washing machines, and these clothes are dried in sun, and it is also disinfected.

The laundry supervisor should be very alert and always have a check whether there are any damages or any strains in the clothes. If there is any such thing happened the reputation of the hospital will be spoiled.

Food service

Food service is also another major department in hospital management, it supplies food for the patients according to what the dieticians has told them to follow. Some hospitals have only vegetarian diet food, but some hospitals have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet food. There should be storekeeper for checking the availability of stocks. The quality of food is more important and quality checking is done after preparing each meal. The cooking area should be very and clean and should be properly ventilated. One dietician can take care of 200 bed if the patient increases another dietician should be appointed.

Food

Sanitation and housekeeping

The hospital may have specialized doctors, trained nurses but cleanliness is one which decides the quality of the hospital. If it fails in that case the name and fame of the hospital will be spoiled. This is maintained by sanitation and housekeeping department. Following are the functions they perform,

  • They sweep and mop floors
  • Dust furniture, clean walls, windows, bathrooms daily
  • They collect garbage and dump it near the burning site
  • They sweep and mop patient’s room regularly
  • They assist staff nurse in shifting patients
  • They water indoor plants
  • They switch off lights and fans

Security

This department is kind of problematic one, because all forms of people enter the hospital for various reasons. They may unfollow the rules and regulations laid down by hospital management like visiting the patients in non-visiting hours, suppliers’ entry everything is viewed by security department. Separate pathways should be provided for these people and each of them should be under the surveillance of CCTV. There are some sensitive areas like cashier cabin, female ward, food service store, operation theatre etc, these should be viewed under almost care and safety.

Central sterilization and supply department

It plays a crucial role in the functioning of the hospital. It reduces the infection and prevent it to an extent. India is in below line when compared to other countries like USA and UK because of lack in sterilization. This process mainly involves cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing. The functions of this department are,

  • To prevent infection by sterilizing equipment and materials
  • To reduce the length of stay of patients
  • Receiving the equipment and materials
  •  Labelling and dating
  • To disinfect prior to sterilization
  • Issuing

ECG department

The staffing norms and ECG technicians vary with hospitals. An ECG technician can take 20 ECGs in one shift. ECG technician not only record ECG, but he also notes down the required particulars in register, setting up the ECG machine with ECG graph, tying the cord etc.

An ECG recording

Admitting department

Admitting department is a window of a hospital because any person who comes to the hospital first time reports at the enquiry office. The function of this department is to give information, admitting, transfer and discharge of patients. It also collects some advance payments before admitting the patients. It issues passes to the patient’s family members and explains visiting hours policy.

Medical records department

The importance for this department has been increased because of

  • Medico legal cases such as assaults, attempted suicides, deaths from criminal acts
  • Consumer cases
  • Research work

Its main function is to develop a procedure for the proper flow, developing a statistical reporting system, preparing births, deaths and communicable diseases reports, admission and discharge reports.

Public relation department

The focus of this department is for

  • Delivery of quality care at reasonable cost
  • Involvement of consumer forums
  • Professional management in hospitals
  • Maintenance and service of costly hospital equipment

Public relation officers should have complete first-hand information about the hospital, its philosophy, and policies. He /she is the brand ambassador of the management to represent the hospital and its viewpoint to the public.

Marketing and advertising

In olden days we have never seen hospitals advertising themselves. But in recent trend hospitals have started advertising themselves we may have seen in television, pamphlets, etc. The objective of this department is to solicit customers, create awareness and to make more profit. The main moto of the department should be bringing awareness among people not to solicit business and earn money from it.

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