Thesis Title

Multihospital Systems Wave of the Future in Healthcare

Date of Graduation

Fall 1987


Master of Public Administration


Political Science

Committee Chair

Kant Patel

Subject Categories

Public Administration


The central focus of this thesis addresses the question, "Are multi-hospital/multi-institutional systems the wave of the future in health care?" It seeks to demonstrate whether or not, this will be the principle organizational design for health care institutions in the years to come (i.e. short term future). All available data indicates that this form of organizational adaptation is much more than an idiosyncratic fluke of the health care industry. The paper examines the emergence of multihospital systems in the United States, with major emphasis placed on the reasons and rationale which favor this form of organizational design over that of the traditional freestanding, autonomous unit. The principle impact of environmental factors, both internal and external (e.g. rising costs, excess hospital capacity, federal regulation, computerization, specialization, and prospective payment), is that they can serve as the impetus for major organizational change. How these factors have served to catalyze the metamorphosis presently underway within the established communites of health care providers is presented as background material. Additionally, theoretical constructs in organizational design (reference to hospitals), are reviewed as background material to serve as a frame of reference for evaluating the effectiveness of the organizations. The paper concludes that although single entity, autonomous hospitals will not disappear completely, the industry leaders in the future will have to be part of a multihospital system.


© Jesus Alvaro Garcia