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Introduction

In this chapter, you will learn to

  • Identify the variety of occupations and roles in a healthcare organization

  • Distinguish between measures of qualifications and competency for each healthcare role

  • Recognize the impact of healthcare organizational behavior on health information protection

  • Comprehend the nature and importance of third-party relationships in healthcare

  • Differentiate the categories of significant third parties to the healthcare organization

  • Anticipate security and privacy issues related to third-party relationships

There are few organizations with more diverse workforces than healthcare organizations. To begin with, healthcare organizations employ or contract for services that result in a self-contained ecosystem. From the construction of facilities to housekeeping to dining services, healthcare organizations have staffing for power generation and full support services. This is all to enable patient care in emergency or disastrous conditions. If that is not enough diversity of workforce composition, an extremely rich mixture of highly educated and talented physicians, nurses, administrators, and medical technicians provide the direct and indirect patient care. Added to that, the numerous environments in which healthcare is delivered brings even more variety to the categories of caregivers and support personnel that are necessary. Healthcare is delivered in hospitals, clinical offices, specialty diagnostic centers, and even the home. In regard to information privacy and security, most of these categories of caregivers in all of these environments will use (and must protect) individually identifiable health information. This chapter introduces these categories of healthcare organization staff members and their various qualifications.

You will also examine the role and impact that third-party organizations play in healthcare. As mentioned, healthcare organizations require many different types of workers to accomplish their mission, and the organizations cannot have a payroll that includes all of them. That would be too expensive. A third party must provide some products and services on a contractual basis. Some of these third parties, such as medical-supply companies, serve only healthcare organizations. Others, such as data centers, serve all types of organizations with similar requirements. In either case, if the third party handles patient information for the healthcare organization, additional contractual agreements will be in place.

Identifying Workforce Dynamics: Personnel, Professions, and Proficiency

If you walk into any healthcare organization, you will find a wide variety of occupations. There are people performing roles ranging from janitorial services to open-heart surgery. There are teams cleaning rooms and others delivering babies. People perform clinical, administrative, and support services to care for patients. The variety of occupations and different levels of education and competency that exist in healthcare is unique compared to any other industry. The U.S. government identifies almost 50 categories of healthcare professionals, not including the profession of healthcare administration (finance, facility management, senior executives, and so on).1 What is incredible is the interdependencies of these occupations. From the lowest skilled, entry-level employee to the most senior executive or seasoned physician, the entire organization works in an interconnected ...

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