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The adoption of complementary and alternative medicine by hospitals: a framework for decision making.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of healthcare management / American College of Healthcare Executives
Publication Date
Volume
46
Issue
4
Pages
250–260
Identifiers
PMID: 11482243
Source
Medline

Abstract

As a result of increased consumer awareness, personal preference, and limitations of conventional medicine, many individuals are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In response to this movement, many community hospitals are striving to be innovative providers. Society is leaning toward a more comprehensive style of healing that incorporates all aspects of wellness. During the last three decades, the public has increasingly used CAM. Arnold (1999) cited a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that reported that 39 million people sought either advice or treatment from a CAM provider and 42 percent of Americans used some form of alternative therapy. With the population becoming increasingly educated, aware, and proactive about wellness, many Americans see CAM as an effective alternative to traditional medicine. Healthcare organizations have responded, although slowly, to this trend, as new alternative medicine clinics, hospital departments, and research centers emerge throughout the United States. Although alternative medical practices are being used by an increasing number of people, there is still limited understanding of what CAM includes and how it influences health services organizations. Understanding this new market and its implementation in the healthcare setting is of interest to healthcare administrators. This article defines CAM, discusses its rising popularity, identifies its adoption in today's hospitals, and depicts barriers to its implementation. Finally, an analytical framework developed by the author is used to suggest factors for administrators to consider in CAM implementation in their organizations.

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