The role of the hospital administrator in patient education

The purpose or this study was to develop administrative procedures through which a hospital administrator could become involved in patient health education. Specifically, this direct involvement would entail his active participation in initiating, organizing, allocating resources, and helping to put into operation the American Public Health Association’s patient education model. Secondly, the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) management tool was used to provide a structured framework of producing a logical and ordered plan for implementing the program. To determine if these roles were appropriate and feasible, a survey of a number of hospital administrators was conducted. The methodology used in this study included the use of Likert style questions, fill-ins and free answer questions. These focused on patient education, the American Public Health Association's patient education model, and the use of PERT. The respondents were drawn from a "deliberately Selected” universe of 65 hospital administrators. This universe was selected based on the information obtained from the American Hospital Association's 1979 Guide to the Health Care Field; and from the specific criteria for participation developed by the researcher. The overall results showed that nearly all respondent hospitals had an ongoing inpatiant health education program, and one was in the planning stages. All the administrators expressed an interest in patient education. They felt that in their capacity they should be innovative policy makers; and initiators of medical care programs to meet the health needs of their communities. The administrators were also interested in the PERT management technique as a potential source for improving efficiency, productivity and cost containment. In conclusion, the results further indicated that the procedures designed for implementing the APHA's patient education program were feasible in a hospital setting.