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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Commodification of healthcare and the health and safety of healthcare workers: Findings of the PHASE in healthcare research project

Michael J. O'Sullivan, DrPH, Program in Health Management and Policy, University of Massachusetts, School of Health and Environment, 3 Solomont Way, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-4480, michael_osullivan@uml.edu and Craig Slatin, ScD, MPH, Department of Community Health and Sustainability, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 3 Solomont Way, Weed Hall, Lowell, MA 01854.

This paper describes how the commodification of the healthcare in the U.S. has endangered the health and safety of nurses, nursing assistants and others in healthcare care facilities. We question why identifiable hazards are overlooked by management and have come to be generally accepted as part of the organizational culture of healthcare. Using data collected from case studies conducted in two hospitals and two nursing homes with healthcare managers and workers, we explore the apparent paradox that a healthcare facilities, whose purpose is to preserve and protect health, are one of the most dangerous and unhealthy places to work with illness and injury rates higher than the most dangerous industrial sectors. Analysis suggests that conflicts exist between current healthcare management practices which are often responses to market-driven competition and worker health and safety. We believe that this conflict is a result of recent healthcare system restructuring that has resulted in privatization, insufficient government funding and regulation, managed care and market-driven competition. These factors, among others, have transformed the healthcare delivery system from one focused on social benefit to one focused on organizational survival.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Care Restructuring, Management

Related Web page: www.uml.edu/PHASE

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Issues in Health Administration

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA