A change of culture for healthcare
A new committee of healthcare specialists believes that culture change within the industry must be targeted in one of two ways: either their first objective is to ‘do what you do better’ or look towards qualitative growth.
CULTURE MANAGEMENT: Today the management of culture within healthcare is becoming more and more important. It is now viewed as a necessary part of the health system reform. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) reforms are based on the premise that any major cultural transformation of an organisation must be secured alongside structural and procedural change; this in turn will deliver improvements in both quality and performance.
Culture change can be seen as a lever for performance improvements. The industry is well aware of the limitations of a managerial perspective. A new committee of healthcare specialists believes that culture change within the industry must be targeted in one of two ways: either their first objective is to ‘do what you do better’ or look towards qualitative growth. Both objectives will be discussed in the Next Generation Healthcare Committee that will meet at the NGH Summit in Miami.
“Many commercial organisations maintain a competitive edge by pursuing a policy of cultural continuity, they capitalise on the lessons, working practices and traditions that have worked for their company in the past, for this to work they focus on the growth or reproduction and repetition.”
5 Cs of culture change
The second option is to look towards qualitative growth, this is a more appropriate option in a situation where the existing culture has become stale and a complete overhaul is required. This is also the position that the US healthcare system has found itself in.
“Second order change is often invoked in response to a growing crisis or deficiency in the existing culture, which cannot be addressed adequately by a change in culture but rather demands a fundamental change of culture. If politicians and management gurus are to be believed, health systems in many countries stand perennially on the threshold of such fundamental change.”
After seeing high profile reports in the US, which have documented gross medical errors, policy thinking is embracing the notion of culture change as a key element of health system redesign. Jeff Rose – VP Clinical Excellence, Informatics, Ascension Health wishes to address the committee on the principles published as ‘A Leadership Framework for Culture Change in Health Care’.
He believes it is key to outline the core elements, or ‘5 Cs of culture change needed to move the US towards the adoption of new tools and processes in healthcare that enhance care quality and provider adoption in the interest of high reliability environments.
It gives a simple and readily recalled set of principles by which the traditions and resistance of many healthcare organisations can be both led and managed by caregivers and executives so that expenditures on technology, information and evidence availability, collaborative processes and principles of high reliability human factors can speed our mutual journey to highest quality lowest cost medical practices in our rapidly changing world of technology, incentives and regulations.
What strategies are available?
Jeff Rose will be joined by representatives from Cleveland Clinic – Martin Harris, Chairman of IT Division and CIO; Catholic Health East – Mike McCoy, CMIO; MedStar Health – Gerard Burns, CMIO; and Sentara Healthcare – David Levin, CMIO and VP Medical Informatics.
Appeals for culture change in health systems have been a long time coming; it is now key to draw upon a belief that culture is related to organisational performance. Are organisational cultures capable of being shaped by external manipulation? If so, what strategies are available to managers wishing to encourage an appropriate organisational culture?
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