Perspectives on healthcare leader and leadership development
Elaine S Scott
College of Nursing, Graduate Nursing Science Department, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA
Abstract: Healthcare delivery systems are complex entities that must merge the best of administrative and clinical practices into a new model of leadership. But, despite growing recognition that healthcare organizational leaders must partner with clinical leaders to address patient safety, evidence based practice, financial sustainability, and capacity, tensions between the groups remain. Healthcare is based in large, bureaucratic entities organized in administrative hierarchies with clinical or product line silos that thwart collaboration, limit inter-disciplinary engagement, and foster mistrust. Around the world healthcare accessibility, fragmentation and affordability issues challenge healthcare systems whether they are centralized, socialized systems or free market private and public enterprises. In response to these concerns, healthcare organizations are struggling to address the ‘how’ of integrating clinician competence in patient management with the financial imperatives of modern day delivery systems. To redesign healthcare services for effectiveness and efficiency and to improve patient safety and outcomes, organizations must redefine leadership using new paradigms that promote the development and diffusion of improvements and innovations. Current research evidence shows that there is a need for not just formal administrative leadership, but also a need to develop integrated leadership processes throughout healthcare delivery systems. Shared leadership concepts framed in the context of complexity leadership theory (CLT) provides a vehicle for rethinking old definitions of leadership and for mobilizing the collective energy of healthcare organizations.
Keywords: complexity leadership theory (CLT), shared leadership, healthcare, leaders, leadership
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