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What are the effective ways to translate clinical leadership into health care quality improvement?

Authors McSherry R, Pearce P

Received 13 May 2015

Accepted for publication 15 June 2015

Published 4 February 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 11—17

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JHL.S46170

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman


Robert McSherry,1 Paddy Pearce2

1School of Health and Social Care, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, 2PKP Consulting, Yarm, United Kingdom

Abstract: The presence and/or absence of effective leaders in health care can have a stark consequence on the quality and outcomes of care. The delivery of safe, quality, compassionate health care is dependent on having effective clinical leaders at the frontline. In light of the Kirkup and Francis reports, this article explores some ways of translating clinical leadership into health care quality improvement. This is achieved by exploring what is clinical leadership and why and how this is important to health care quality improvement, clinical leadership, and a duty of candor, along with the importance clinical leadership plays in the provision of quality care improvement and outcomes. Clinical leaders are not predefined roles but emerge from the complex clinical setting by gaining an acquired expertise and from how they then internalize this to develop and facilitate sound relationships within a team. Clinical leaders are effective in facilitating innovation and change through improvement. This is achieved by recognizing, influencing, and empowering individuals through effective communication in order to share and learn from and with each other in practice. The challenge for health care organizations in regard to creating organizational cultures where a duty of candor exists is not to reinvent the wheel by turning something that is simple into something complex, which can become confusing to health care workers, patients, and the public. By focusing on the clinical leader's role and responsibilities we would argue they play a crucial and pivotal role in influencing, facilitating, supporting, and monitoring that this duty of candor happens in practice. This may be possible by highlighting where and how the duty of candor can be aligned within existing clinical governance frameworks.

Keywords: governance, candor, safety, outcomes
 

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