Health service management is a profession that provides leadership and direction to organizations that deliver personal health services.

It involves managing divisions, departments, units, or services within these organizations.

The goal of teaching health services management (HSM) is to equip students with the skills necessary to effectively manage health services. Management involves getting things done by working with and through people to achieve organizational goals and objectives.


Health Service Management involves getting people to work together harmoniously, utilizing resources effectively to deliver health services to individuals and the community they serve.

Definition of Terms


  • Management is the process of influencing others with the specific intention of getting them to perform effectively and contribute to meeting organizational goals. (Drucker, 1967)
  • Management is the process of making efficient use of resources and getting people to work harmoniously together to achieve organizational objectives/goals.
  • The process of getting work done through other people.


  • The process of influencing others to work towards a common goal. (Bennie and Nanas, 1985)


  • An influential person who has the ability to lead a group or department without necessarily holding a formal position.


  • A formally and officially responsible individual for the work of a specific group or unit. For example, a ward in charge or a school principal is officially accountable for ensuring that their respective units accomplish their tasks effectively.


  • Refers to the legitimate right granted to a manager or leader by an organization to direct and command subordinates. It empowers them to act in the best interests of the organization to achieve its goals.


  • The ability to influence others to act or behave in a certain way. It can be derived from various sources, such as rewards or coercion.

Nursing Management:

  • Nursing management is the process of working through nursing personnel to promote and maintain health, prevent illness, and alleviate suffering.
  • The role of a nurse manager is to plan, organize, direct, and control available resources to provide effective and efficient care to groups of clients.


Management has been applied since the beginning of civilization. In communities, people have always worked together to grow crops, build temples, etc.

The manager who is stiff causes “a red tape” i.e. a breakdown in organization. In proper management, information should flow from subordinates to the supervisors and vice-versa.

In management, there is control of resources including human resources. Resources including human resources are considered under 4m’s i.e.

  • Manpower
  • Material
  • Money
  • Movement

Manpower resources cannot be bought from shelves like any other resources. This means manpower is not always available particularly in the right kind.

Management enhances teamwork as opposed to work in isolation. This therefore requires a manager to be flexible in order to succeed.

Health Service Management means getting people to work together harmoniously using resources effectively to deliver health services to the individuals and the community they serve.





May or may not have an official appointment.

Appointed officially to the position.

Has the power and authority to enforce decisions as long as followers are willing to be led.

Has power and authority to enforce decisions.

Influences others either formally or informally.

Carries out predetermined policies, rules, and regulations.

Has a variety of roles beyond that of a manager.

Carries out specific functions, duties, and responsibilities.

Manipulates resources (people, money, etc.) to achieve organizational goals.

Strives to obtain results by making rules, remaining in control, and reacting to situations.

Achieves power through influence and charisma.

Achieves power by virtue of his/her position.

Focuses on group process, information gathering, feedback, and empowering others.

Performs all five functions of management.

Chooses to achieve goals through passion, heart, and charisma.

Is accountable for self and subordinates’ behavior and performance.

Has individuals who believe in what they say, known as followers.

Has subordinates who follow their rules.

Influences people to work willingly for group objectives.

People follow them on a voluntary basis.

Has no well-defined accountability.

Manager is accountable for self and subordinates’ behavior and performance.


Concepts of Management.

These are the most important concepts in health care management;

  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Equity


  • Effectiveness refers to the extent to which an organization or individual achieves their goals and objectives. OR It is a measure of how well an organization or a person is meeting his or her goals e.g if the goal of the hospital is to provide high quality health care and it succeeds in doing so then it’s working effectively.
  •  It focuses on the outcomes and results of actions taken. In management, effectiveness is measured by assessing whether the desired outcomes have been achieved and if the organization is fulfilling its purpose. This can include factors such as meeting targets, satisfying customer needs, and achieving desired outcomes.


  • Efficiency is concerned with maximizing output or achieving the desired results with the least amount of resources, time, or effort.  OR It’s a measure of how well an organization or individual is using its resources to achieve its goals. If money and materials have been used well and less wastage then the organization is working efficiently. If costs are too high or materials are being wasted then the activity is inefficient. Efficiency means doing things right, using resources wisely and with a minimum of wastage.
  • It focuses on optimizing processes and minimizing waste. In management, efficiency is measured by evaluating the ratio of inputs to outputs. This can involve streamlining operations, reducing costs, improving productivity, and eliminating unnecessary steps or activities .


  •  Equity refers to fairness and justice in the distribution of resources, opportunities, and outcomes
  • It emphasizes equal treatment and consideration of all stakeholders. In management, equity involves ensuring that decisions and actions are unbiased and that everyone has equal access to resources, benefits, and opportunities. This can include promoting diversity and inclusion, addressing discrimination, and creating a supportive and inclusive work environment 
  • Access to basic health care is a right  to all people, however this does not happen in real life for many reasons. Health inequality is a result of unfair distribution of health services and may be associated with low economic status, poor geographical location, and other factors.


Nursing  management is the body of knowledge related to performing the functions of planning, staffing, directing, organizing and controlling (evaluating) the activities of nursing. 

Nursing management is the field of nursing that focuses on leadership and overseeing of nurses. 

Nurse manager is a person responsible for translating the administrative reasons into operational plans and acting in the middle and first line level of hierarchy.

Roles of an effective Nursing Manager.

A nurse manager works along four main dimensions.The dimensions are geared towards her own development and offering quality and clinical standards.

  1. Enhancing the patients experience by;
  • Inspiring patients’ confidence.
  • Develops a culture of person centered care in their area of responsibility.
  • Is approachable, identifiable and accessible.

2. Promoting safe and effective clinical practice.

  • Offers clinical leadership and teamwork.
  • Provides evidence based and clinical effective practice.
  • Develops a culture of continuous quality improvement.
  • Focuses on patient safety.

3. Manages and develops performance of a team.

  • Role modelling.
  • Facilitates learning and development i.e create a learning environment.
  • Ensures effective and efficient use of resources.

4. Contributes to delivery of organizational objectives.

  • Creates political and strategic awareness.
  • Contributes to service development.
  • Recognizes the links with national initiatives and advocates on behalf of patients.
  • Empowered clinical leader.
  • Inspires and motivates the team.
  • Has proper recognition of their role.
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