Some leadership skills are innately acquired, while others are learned at duty through active participation and trial and error. Some leaders or individuals in C-level roles are naturally blessed with the ability to inspire others, uplift and motivate their subordinates and be good role models. However, leadership skills in a complex healthcare field may differ from that of a C-level business executive.
Healthcare workers deliver high-quality patient care when led by effective leaders. Not only do the patients benefit from effective leadership in the healthcare team, but the overall productivity of healthcare staff increases. In addition, teams with effective leaders are more cohesive and aligned to their goals of providing optimal medical care to patients at all times. Here are eight tips to become an effective leader in healthcare.
- Effective health policies
An effective health policy comes from effective leadership and management. The healthcare system must understand which areas require change and a new policy to revamp its role. If your healthcare system fails to be consistent and understand where change is needed and in what direction, you may need better health policies. Specifically in public health, where a load of patient care is greater, thus more responsibility falls on a leader’s shoulders. If public health and leadership excite you, consider exploring the doctor of public health online at Tulane University. It’s a dynamic program that equips students with the right skills and connections to become better leaders and healthcare managers.
- Recognize and recruit the right talent
Healthcare is a fast-paced industry with constant changes. Therefore, you need fast and motivated people with the acumen and talent to help your team achieve your goals. You must have a keen eye for change and innovation to recognize and recruit the right talent. Notice where your organization could benefit from a change or 180-degree shift. The ability to see these changes or opportunities for growth comes from innovative thinking and the determination to take risks. As a leader in healthcare, you need a team that won’t shy away from responsibilities or challenges. They don’t have to be the same as you, but you and your team must share the zeal to move forward and provide the best care for your patients.
- Track and record everything
The best way to effectively lead your team is by tracking and recording their progress. Not only does this help manage assumptions and expectations about work, but it filters out underperforming team members. Healthcare is a serious business, and a minor shortcoming could cause someone to lose their life. Therefore, you need serious and driven individuals. Most likely, your healthcare institution would already have a data management system. Use patient or staff data to analyze your facility’s performance and plan better outcomes where performance is lagging. With tracking data, you can identify high-performing and underperforming individuals. In addition, it will make it easier to spot where more training and supervision are required.
- Risk Management
As a leader in healthcare, you need risk management skills to identify and plan to avert risks. Risk management in healthcare is about improving your facility’s administrative and clinical aspects to detect, assess, and mitigate risks. Previously, risk management efforts in healthcare focused on providing adequate patient care by reducing negligence and improving safety. Instead, risk management now focuses on identifying and mitigating risks throughout the healthcare system. For example, it includes detecting financial and budgeting discrepancies and the risk of adopting new technologies or legal policies.
- Employee engagement and motivation
From primary healthcare providers to high-level staff like surgeons and department heads, employees in the healthcare system are responsible for providing high-quality medical care. As a healthcare leader, you must ensure everyone is driven and motivated and stays on track for what they’re assigned to do, even in situations like the pandemic when chaos takes over. Making sure your employees are engaged is a constant effort. Try helping your employees by knowing when and where they need your supervision, support, and guidance. Make them feel committed to their role of serving patients and contributing to society’s overall health and safety. You can ensure your employees stay on track through good salary packages and healthy working environments.
- Welcome change
If change intimidates or holds you back from achieving greater things, it’s an obstacle for the entire organization. If you’re resistant to change, your employees will follow suit, resulting in a lack of quality patient care. To become an effective leader, you must know where change is required and how your healthcare system and patients could benefit. It could be introducing new medical facilities or hiring more staff.
- Prioritize customer service
Patients are the primary clients of your healthcare system; therefore, focus on providing them adequate care and service. Like a B2C business where “the customer is king,” healthcare facilities must prioritize adequate patient care. Not only does this ensure the safety, health, and well-being of your patients, but it increases patient confidence and turnover. Everyone wants the best services for their healthcare needs. If your facility fails to provide that, patients would be better off going to another facility or seeking a different consultant.
- Communicate your vision and goals
Effective leaders have a clear and concise idea of their vision and goals. Effective leaders don’t shy away from sharing organizational goals with everyone. Through effective communication and important metrics, sharing goals and planning for them becomes easier. Effective healthcare leaders strategize plans for improving patient care and service with their team members, incorporate patient feedback, and give everyone the chance to chime in. They are also responsible and serious about failure or poor results, which doesn’t stop them from moving forward.
Effective leadership is necessary for pivoting your healthcare organization through innovation and change. It includes readjusting and reinventing your focus and organizational goals to adopting a customer-centric model that puts the needs of patients first. The right healthcare policies provide various solutions for varying situations. Since healthcare is a multi-faceted system, always be looking for change to improve patient care.