After a seven-year hiatus, the American Hospital Association plans this fall to survey its 5,000 hospital and system members on governance trends.
"We want to see what is different in the changing world of integrated systems," said Joseph Isaacs, the AHA's vice president of trustee and community leadership.
The AHA's last governance survey was completed in 1989. Since that time, hundreds of hospitals have merged and dozens of multihospital healthcare systems have been formed with new organizational structures.
The planned 15-page survey will identify the new governance structures that have been formed to oversee multiple types of operating units, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and group practices, Isaacs said.
"We want to see how the roles, responsibilities and functions have changed," Isaacs said.
Other topics will include board compensation and composition, governance structures, relationships between boards and chief executive officers, physician and medical staff roles and responsibilities, and community health improvement activities.
"As trustees see their fiduciary responsibilities diminish as they participate in corporate health systems, we hope the trustees view their links to communities with more importance," Isaacs said.
Isaacs said the AHA hopes to release the survey in early 1997.