As in other organisations, committees play a very important role in hospital management. A committee may either be line or staff, depending upon its authority, but it is extremely difficult to make such clear-cut distinction in respect of various committees that are required to function in hospital situation.
However, in general, if its authority involves decision-making affecting subordinates responsible to it, it is a line committee. If its authority relation-ship to a superior is advisory, then it can be considered a staff committee.
Committees can be formal, if established as a part of the organisational structure, with specifically delegated duties and authority (e.g. finance and development committee) or they can be informal, organised without specific delegation of authority and for group thinking on a particular problem.
The essential character of the committee is that it is a group entrusted with dealing with a specific problem. Conferring with departmental heads by the administrator is not creating a committee.