The Human Cost of a Management Failure: Organizational Downsizing at General Hospital

By Seth Allcorn; Howell S.Baum et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

The First Set of Interviews

VAL KASMAN, OCTOBER 5, 1993

I’ve been a Manager III for four years and here for nine. I manage the operations of ten departments. My duties include budgeting, human resources, operations improvement, patient and physician relations, program development, and marketing. I report to Jacob Dohrman and I have twelve direct reports and about 515 employees, down from 529.

I do not believe that my role will change much over the next year or two. The hospital will have to recruit a new director who will have to get oriented. I believe Dr. Lewin has ideas about how ambulatory and the hospital should work together; for example, radiology currently handles outpatient services. In the future, outpatient services may be split off and run by ambulatory. This would reduce the scope of my responsibilities. I also anticipate some mergers or breakoffs of my departments. I am less certain about the long term. There might be one administrator for ambulatory and hospital services.

My staff are likely to be affected by the downsizing. In one case, a Manager II may be cut; this was the employee’s idea. Some departments may merge while others may have their outpatient responsibilities removed. There is also the possibility that some of my departments might pick up new responsibilities during restructuring.

Jacob has no one to report to; he will be a candidate for the Director’s role. He also has to deal with medical center consolidation and the development of one patient registration system, one medical record system, and one department of nursing. It is hard to say how he will fit in.

Some of the recent changes are the reductions, Dr. Lewin’s appointment, Frank Wirth’s departure, and attrition due to the hiring freeze, which has created maldistribution. There is a need to redirect the department heads’ attention to the low census; they are used to managing with a full hospital. Now their jobs may not be needed anymore.

-21-

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