What are the management functions that a healthcare manager should understand?


Write 400600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.*As a health care manager, it will be important to understand the management functions, which include planning, organizing, controlling, and leading.Choose 2 of these functions, and compare them.Discuss the differences and similarities of the 2 functions.Describe which level of manager (for example, supervisor, manager, director, and so on) would handle each function.


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As a health care manager, understanding the management functions is crucial. These functions, including planning, organizing, controlling, and leading, play a critical role in the success of healthcare organizations. Therefore, learn how these functions differ, what similarities exist between them, and which level of manager is responsible for each.


Healthcare providers are obligated to provide quality care services to their patients while minimizing operational costs. This can be achieved through utilizing various management functions that ultimately lead to higher productivity and efficiency. Two important functions that form the foundation of healthcare management are planning and organizing.

Planning is the process of defining an organization’s objectives and determining how to achieve them. It involves setting goals, developing strategies, and creating action plans. In healthcare, planning may involve determining how to allocate financial resources, developing plans for employee training and development, or designing patient care pathways.

Organizing entails structuring an organization’s human resources and work processes. This includes creating systems and processes for managing workflow and staff responsibilities, determining staffing needs, and assigning roles and responsibilities. Organizing also involves the development and implementation of protocols and procedures, which govern how employees should perform their duties.

While both functions are crucial for an efficient and effective healthcare organization, they differ in several ways. The planning process involves setting goals and developing strategies to achieve them. In contrast, organizing primarily deals with structuring an organization’s resources and systems to implement those strategies. Planning is more of a creative process, while organizing is more technical.

It is also important to consider which level of manager is responsible for each function. For example, planning is usually the responsibility of top-level managers, such as executives or directors, who oversee the organization’s strategic direction. On the other hand, organizing is generally handled by middle-level managers like supervisors or managers, who oversee and manage daily operations.

In conclusion, planning and organizing are critical management functions in healthcare. Although they share similarities, understanding their differences can help healthcare managers effectively allocate resources, structure workflows, and ultimately achieve organizational objectives. Knowing which level of management is responsible for each function is also crucial in ensuring the proper execution of each function.


1. To understand the importance of management functions in healthcare management.
2. To compare and contrast two management functions – planning and leading.
3. To understand the differences in handling these functions at different managerial levels.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of planning, organizing, controlling, and leading as management functions in healthcare management.
2. Students will be able to identify similarities and differences between planning and leading in healthcare management.
3. Students will be able to explain which level of management would typically handle each function in healthcare organizations.

Planning and leading are two important management functions that are essential for the effective functioning of healthcare organizations. While both functions are critical, there are differences in the way they are performed and the level at which they are managed.

Planning is the process of setting goals and objectives, deciding on strategies, and determining the necessary resources to achieve these goals. This function is typically performed at the top level of management, such as by directors, executives or administrators. Planning involves analyzing the current situation, identifying potential problems, and developing plans to address them.

Leading, on the other hand, involves motivating and directing people to achieve organizational goals. It includes providing guidance, support, and encouragement to employees to help them perform at their best. Leading is typically performed at the middle or lower management level, such as by supervisors or team leaders. Effective leading involves building relationships with people, understanding their needs, and providing them with the necessary resources to succeed.

One similarity between planning and leading is that both functions require good communication skills. Leaders must be able to communicate effectively with their teams to provide direction and support, while planners need to communicate with different stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Another similarity is that both functions require a deep understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, and goals.

However, there are also differences between the two functions. Planning is more focused on analyzing data, setting objectives, and developing strategies, while leading is focused more on people and relationships. Planning is a more analytical function, while leading is more people-oriented. Additionally, planning tends to be more top-down, with decisions coming from upper management, while leading is often more democratic, with input from team members.

In conclusion, both planning and leading are essential functions of healthcare management. While there are similarities between the two, such as the need for good communication and an understanding of the organization’s goals, there are also differences in focus and level of management. Understanding these differences can help healthcare managers be more effective in their roles and achieve better outcomes for their organizations.

Solution 1: Planning and Organizing Functions

As a healthcare manager, understanding the management functions of planning and organizing is crucial. Both functions are key pillars in initiating project implementation and ensuring that goals and objectives are achieved. The planning function involves the identification of an organization’s goals and the means to achieve them. Planning takes into account the healthcare needs of the community, available resources, and market demands to create a practical roadmap for successful operation.

Organizing, on the other hand, involves the management of resources and the establishment of a functional structure that ensures the fulfillment of the organization’s goals. Resources include human capital, capital expenditure, and technology infrastructure, among others. It entails developing an organizational chart, job descriptions, and assigning responsibility and accountability.

The similarity between the two functions is that they are both future-oriented. Planning and organizing focuses on developing and implementing long-term strategies that provide the foundation for a successful healthcare organization. Planning and organizing both require a high level of coordination, decision-making, and communication.

The difference between the two functions is evident in their focus. While planning focuses on selecting strategies that achieve an organization’s objectives, organizing involves the allocation of resources to support the implementation of the strategies. Planning function is usually the responsibility of higher-level managers, such as directors, executives, or CEOs, while organizing is predominantly undertaken by mid-level managers like departmental managers and supervisors.

Solution 2: Leading and Controlling Functions

The two vital management functions for healthcare managers are leading and controlling. The leading function focuses on inspiring, motivating and influencing employees to achieve goals. This function is critical in healthcare since health workers interact with several clients every day who require proper care. A healthcare manager who can effectively influence their staff can provide an excellent quality service.

The controlling function is the process of facilitating organizational advancement and maintaining stability. It ensures plans are implemented efficiently while maintaining order and harmony within the organization. Controlling function ensures adherence to regulations and policies by checking the performance status of the healthcare organization regularly.

The similarity between these two functions is that they both relate to employee supervision. Leading involves the motivation and guidance of subordinates, whereas controlling seeks to adjust and regulate employee performance in meeting organizational objectives. The two functions require good communication skills, hence promoting effective leadership.

The difference between the two functions is that leading involves the development of vision, strategies, and communication of goals to the subordinates to attain individual and organizational objectives. On the other hand, controlling focuses on intervening when actual performance fails to meet the set standards by creating feedback loops. The controlling function is mostly in the hands of mid-level managers like supervisors and managers. In contrast, leading is handled by all managers.

In conclusion, healthcare managers need to understand management functions to remain competent in their field. Effective healthcare management requires the application of the above functions, which helps in providing quality services that meet customer satisfaction. Both planning and organizing, as well as leading and controlling, require different levels of management, as discussed above.

Suggested Resources/Books:

1. “Principles of Healthcare Management” by Seth B. Goldsmith
2. “Management Functions for Health Care Administrators” by Lawrence F. Wolper
3. “Essentials of Health Care Management” by Bernard J. Healey and Paul R. Torrens

Similar Asked Questions:

1. How do healthcare managers use planning in their day-to-day work?
2. What is the difference between leading and managing in healthcare organizations?
3. What are some best practices for organizing teams in healthcare?
4. How do healthcare managers measure and monitor performance?
5. How can healthcare leaders effectively communicate with their teams?

Comparing and Contrasting Planning and Controlling:

Planning and controlling are two of four management functions that are vital to health care managers. Planning involves evaluating the needs of various aspects of the healthcare organization and developing strategies to meet these needs. Controlling, on the other hand, is about overseeing and monitoring the execution of these strategies to ensure that they are meeting desired outcomes.

One of the main differences between planning and controlling is their focus. Planning has a forward-looking and proactive focus, where healthcare managers are identifying possible future scenarios and developing strategies to tackle them in advance. Controlling, however, is more reactive, as healthcare managers monitor and adjust strategies in real-time to ensure that goals are being met.

Another difference between the two functions concerns the level of management that would typically handle each. Planning is often the responsibility of upper-management or executive-level employees who are responsible for creating long-term strategies and vision for the organization. Controlling, on the other hand, is usually the responsibility of middle-management employees who are responsible for evaluating and adjusting day-to-day operations.

Despite their differences, both planning and controlling are essential in healthcare management. While planning provides the foundation for a successful health care organization, controlling ensures that the daily operations of the organization are carried out efficiently and effectively.


In conclusion, understanding the functions of management is crucial for healthcare managers. Two of these functions, planning and controlling, hold different attributes and require different levels of management. Planning is focused on developing strategies and envisioning the future, whereas controlling deals with overseeing daily operations to ensure that the organization meets its goals and desired outcomes. By understanding these fundamental differences, healthcare managers can better allocate responsibilities and effectively meet the needs of both the organization and its patients.

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