2009 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 317-327
Background and objectives
Effective hospital management requires utilizing limited medical resources to repeatedly make decisions based on information by hospital administrators, and to achieve the hospital's goals on the mission statement.
Therefore, one of the most important duties performed by hospital management experts is to develop an evidence-based information reporting system in a comprehensive manner for decision-making. The following report explains this process to introduce department-based cost accounting to hospitals in Sri Lanka, from the viewpoint of sorting data.
During the development survey phase II in the “Evidence-based Management for the Health System in Sri Lanka” which was conducted from October 2005 to October 2007, one national hospital (a tertiary care institution) and one district hospital (a secondary care institution) were selected as pilot hospitals in the Northwest Province of Sri Lanka. After conducting a survey on the present situation of medical treatment information and accounting information, a department-based cost accounting system was introduced. Thus, a system to prepare a monthly report was developed.
During this survey, the process was carried out whilst explaining to personnel of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance, the necessity of cost accounting in hospital management and its effective utilization in policy-making from the initial stage of the survey. However, not until the information was actually obtained and revealed by cost accounting (conducted at their own hospitals), could the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance understand the importance and necessity of collection and analysis of detailed cost information such as the costs of medical and health care services.
By introducing a department-based cost accounting system to hospitals as a managerial accounting system, it was found that the information necessary for hospital management (covering accounting and medical treatment of the entire hospital) could be gathered and processed more efficiently. The activities by hospital management experts can be processed to sort and organize hospital data. Therefore, sorting data with the aim of department-based cost accounting is considered extremely useful as a basic duty by hospital management experts.