Although centralization and decentralization are commonly discussed in the context of business organizations and distinct, often “far-flung” subunits, the concepts are also applicable within a single building! Consider that, in the 1970s, most hospitals began shifting from centralized nursing stations to decentralized stations that were close to patients’ rooms. This trend was thought to make it easier for nurses to attend to patients and to maintain their charts.
a. Why did the shift from centralized stations to decentralized stations take place?
b. What problems could be created by the decentralized nurse stations that did not exist when centralized stations were more common?