6 Collaborative Leadership Practices that Will Transform Healthcare Organizations

For decades, U.S. hospital administrators and medical professionals have operated within a challenging, rapidly changing, and fragmented healthcare system. Today, this environment is even more complex as healthcare reform and market forces transform the way healthcare is delivered and managed.

CCL has developed a model that focuses on 6 essential organizational capabilities — along with key leadership practices — that foster collaboration and are essential for success in this new world order of healthcare:

  • Collaborative Patient Care Teams. While collaboration is important throughout the hospital, it is especially important at the patient interface. The ability to ensure patient care is determined not only by technical expertise, but also by the leadership effectiveness of all those involved in solving the presenting medical issues.
  • Resource Stewardship. In an age of increasing accountability, resource stewardship is both a big-picture, system-level obligation and a series of daily decisions. Hospitals need both patient-focused business professionals and business-minded clinicians.
  • Talent Transformation. Leaders of healthcare systems need to hire and develop talented individuals who can see the next wave of plausible solutions and innovations and lead transformational change. As part of a well-articulated business strategy, healthcare organizations need comprehensive strategies for identifying, hiring, developing and retaining leadership talent.
  • Boundary Spanning. The most pressing challenges in hospitals and health systems cannot be solved by one person, one specialty or one organization. They require expertise, ideas and support from multiple perspectives and stakeholders. Healthcare leaders must develop the ability to bridge departmental, cultural, organizational, and industry divides and lead across traditional boundaries.
  • Capacity for Complexity, Innovation, and Change. Healthcare leaders must navigate a continuous whitewater. While influencing, monitoring and responding to unfolding change, they must respond to demographic shifts in the workforce and among patients; technological advances; the tumultuous nature of employee relationships, insurance and reimbursement processes; and current regulatory practices. Effective leaders help move people from old established processes to new models of effectiveness.
  • Employee Engagement and Well-Being. Why are employee engagement and well-being leadership issues? Both impact the very mission of a healthcare organization. For example, research on healthcare effectiveness suggests that quality of care is positively influenced by nurses being satisfied with their jobs and feeling empowered in their roles. Without a proactive focus on employee engagement and well-being, the challenges of the next few years also have the potential to create new levels of burnout within the rank and file. Healthcare organizations cannot afford to let patient care suffer due to lack of ideas, skills, time, and talent.

In a time when many healthcare leaders are overloaded and uncertain, they may find assurance in knowing that when organizations strengthen leadership, they begin to pry loose some of their most intractable, resistant problems and uncover new directions, solutions, and opportunities.

Collaborative leadership has the power to transform hospitals and healthcare organizations, improving the system today and for the future — to the benefit of patients, families, and caregivers.

Learn more about the leadership skills needed in healthcare organizations in the CCL white paper Collaborative Healthcare Leadership: A Six-Part Model for Adapting and Thriving During a Time of Transformative Change. Read client case studies and find out about CCL’s healthcare leadership practice at our Web site.

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