A Study of administration of the maintenance department of Hillcrest Memorial Hospital Waco, Texas.
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As will be noted in the preceding Historical Sketch, Hillcrest Memorial Hospital experienced a long period of steady growth from its beginning prior to World War I up through World War II. Since then it has grown much more rapidly and this rapid expansion appears likely to continue in the immediate future. According to current writers in the field of hospital literature and to the project reports of previous studnets of Hospital Administration, it frequently happens during periods of growth that departments or sections of the hospital not directly connected with patient care are overlooked, both as to allocation of adequate space and equipment with which to operate, and as to administrative and methodological improvements to better enable them to cope with their increased responsibilities. The maintenance department is frequently cited as a case in point. In this regard, Mr. A. D. Barnes had this to say; "I am certain that in any planning for new hospital facilities the major thoughts are given to those for patient care; and that of course, is as it should be. A hospital is primarily for patient care or for research which will improve patient care. I also believe that too many times the fact is over-looked that if these facilities are to function at their best, it must be made possible for engineering and housekeeping to contribute their best efforts." In this general area lies the crux of the problem at hand -- that of making it possible for the maintenance department to more readily contribute its best efforts to the over-all goal of the facility, which is the best possible patient care at the least practicable cost. To be more specific, the recommendations resulting from this study will suggest changes designed to (1) improve the efficiency of the department, (2) improve contorl over individuals therein, (3) improve control over major equipment serviced, (4) provide the business manager with the necessary tools to cost the efforts of the maintenance department against the appropriate revenue-producing activities, and (5) provide the administrator with documentation which will enable him to evaluate on a current basis the work of the department, and, through cost histories, to determine the point at which it is no longer economical to repair a given piece of equipment. The discussion portion of this report will be presented under four headings entitled, Records, Personnel, Organization, and Preventative Maintenance, respectively. This does not mean that four separate studies are involved because all are inextricably interwoven. It is handled in tihs way only for continuity and clarity of presentation.