Do all of our clinicians feel part of the team?
Clinicians have the major influence over patient care. They need the support of the organisation in terms of the resources and processes necessary to implement their decisions. Effective engagement of your clinicians in strategic planning and decision making is essential for successful change, organisational performance and innovation.
It is a two way partnership. If managers want clinicians to invest, then managers must in turn demonstrate that they invest both emotionally and intellectually in its staff as well. Engaged clinicians are willing to exceed the expected level of effort and feel inspired to do their best work. They are personally motivated to help an organisation succeed, and feel a sense of being part of a greater whole and being valued for their contribution. Little real progress is possible without the involvement of the doctors and other clinical staff.
Engagement can be undermined by:
- failure to apply CORE values consistently to underpin decision making and strategy - if decisions are not made within these values, staff have a perception that management is hypocritical, and trust is eroded
- lack of structures to support the involvement of clinicians of all levels in decision making and influencing organisational activities
- neglecting to focus on removing the things that impede clinicians in performing their work - this may be as simple as reducing paperwork, getting equipment fixed rapidly, or transparently communicating what steps are in a process
- poor internal communication.
Consider the following when you are engaging clinicians in your WOHP project:
- commence interactions with a discussion of the issues they face in managing their patients
- use data that is specific to the specialty or unit who you are engaging with
- use case studies to illustrate the effect of patient flow issues on the patient journey.
Tools and resources
Prepared by A/Prof Sally McCarthy, Whole of Health Program Clinical Lead.
Referencing current theories and research, this is a background context paper around medical engagement and why it is important for the Whole of Health Program.
Peter Spurgeon , Paul Long , John Clark , Frank Daly , (2015) "Do we need medical leadership or medical engagement?", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 28 Iss: 3, pp.173 - 184 Peter Spurgeon, Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
The purpose of this paper is to address issues of medical leadership within health systems and to clarify the associated conceptual issues, for example, leadership versus management and medical versus clinical leadership. However, its principle contribution is to raise the issue of the purpose or outcome of medical leadership, and, in this respect, it argues that it is to promote medical engagement.
This King's Fund report builds on earlier work linking strong medical engagement to high performing organisations but focus more on what good medical engagement looks like and how to create it. Lessons are drawn from a study of 4 NHS Trusts with acknowledged high levels of medical engagement.