Hospital Departments/Services

Hospital Departments/Services

Administration
Includes hospital president, administrator and/or chief executive officer and support staff. The main department function is to develop an effective medical staff of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals and to supply that staff with adequate equipment and facilities to provide high-quality health care while, at the same time, maintaining a cost-effective environment.

Admitting
Provides for the processing of patient admissions, discharges and transfers.

Auxiliary
Self-governing membership organization founded by individuals from the community to assist the hospital in promoting the health and welfare of the community. Many auxiliary members volunteer in the hospital and also raise funds for specific hospital projects.

Business Office
Responsible for day-to-day business procedures, which deal primarily with patient accounts (posting, billing and collections), accounts payable and payroll.

Central Service/Supply
Responsible for sterilization, storage and distribution of sterile equipment and supplies to the nursing, surgery, emergency, laboratory, radiology, and other departments.

Chaplain Program
Administers religious activities and provides pastoral counseling to patients and their families and to the staff.

Communications
Provides instantaneous and reliable communication through administrative, patient and public telephones, electronic paging, and emergency dispatch. This department may also be responsible for alarm systems and intercom systems.

Dietary Services
Prepares and serves food to patients and hospital personnel and also provides nutritional care and education to patients.

Emergency Services
Responsible for evaluating the medical needs of emergency and non-emergency cases entering the emergency department and determining the appropriate treatment. Patients not requiring immediate treatment for injuries or illnesses of a traumatic nature may be referred to an outpatient clinic or other hospital services, thus relieving the patient load in the emergency department.

Engineering and Maintenance
Provides for maintenance of the hospital’s physical plant, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, utilities, telecommunications and clinical engineering equipment.

Environmental Services/Housekeeping
Provides for maintenance of a safe and sanitary hospital by controlling solid and liquid wastes, radiation exposure and pathogenic organisms. The department also handles the daily cleaning routine, scheduled project work such as window washing and floor waxing, and cleaning of patient rooms during and after a patient’s stay in the hospital.

Foundation (Development Office)
Not-for-profit organization established within a hospital to solicit gifts, money and other donations to provide support for hospital programs and services.

Intensive Care Units
Specialty nursing units designed for treating patients facing life-threatening situations.

Laboratory
Performs laboratory tests for all types of patients as ordered by physicians and as required by the hospital’s routine procedures.

Marketing
Develops and implements the hospital’s marketing plan to promote hospital services.

Medical Records
Maintains all records and documents related to patient care to meet medical, administrative, legal, ethical, regulatory, and institutional requirements of a hospital.

Nursing Services
Encompasses all activities related to nursing care performed by nurses and other professional and technical personnel.

Occupational Therapy
Assists patients in restoring or maintaining skills necessary for performing daily living tasks to their maximum capacity.

Outpatient Services
Provides treatment to patients who do not require admission as inpatients. Such a department might not be located within the hospital complex, but serve as a freestanding outpatient clinic.

Personnel/Human Resources
Provides for the planning and management of the hospital’s human resources, including recruiting, interviewing and screening job applicants, providing benefits and maintaining salary scales, and providing orientation for new employees.

Pharmacy
Controls the preparation, dispensing, storage, and use of drugs. It generally services inpatients, outpatients and clinical and emergency patients.

Physical Therapy
Treats disease and injury by physical means, such as application of light, heat, cold, water, electricity, massage, and exercise.

Planning
Identifies the health needs of a community and the appropriate service opportunities to meet those needs.

Public Information/Public Relations
Responsible for internal and external communications, including media relations. Also handles special events and product promotion.

Radiation Therapy
Provides medical applications of this clinical specialty that is devoted to the treatment of patients with cancer and other tissue growths by ionizing radiation alone or combined with other forms of therapy.

Radiology (X-ray) Department
Performs examination, testing and diagnostic services for inpatients, outpatients and emergency patients through a radiographic (x-ray) process.

Respiratory Therapy
Provides ventilatory support and associated services to patients, such as pulmonary function studies and blood gas analysis, administration of oxygen and certain potent drugs through inhalation or positive pressure, and teaching of breathing exercises.

Social Services
Generally responsible for the coordination of discharge planning, which is a centralized program to ensure each patient has a plan for needed follow-up care.

Surgical Department
Provides diagnosis and treatment through surgery. Surgery can be performed on inpatients or outpatients.

Volunteer Services
Responsible for the coordination of the volunteer services provided in the hospital.

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