As a healthcare professional, I have always been amazed by the manner my superiors can effectively cope up with the rapid transformations within the health care industry. In some instances, I have witnessed failed attempts to implement health care programs within the various health care facilities I have worked in the past. They have always been super responsive in managing the general healthcare set and also managing professionals. Positive change in the health care establishment is mandatory for the management to keep up with the latest remedies in the industry (Al-Abri, 2007). However, it is evident that the process of management of change especially within a profession with a diverse crop of experts is a daunting task to any management. Handling rigid structures and healthcare staff, access to the appropriate resources and adjustment of some of the well-running programs has been a serious challenge in health care setting. In this paper, I discuss the possible future significant challenges to decision making by the health care leadership. I also provided a positive review of my personal and professional commitments in addressing possible future problems for the management of change in the healthcare industry. The prospect of challenges in the management of change in healthcare systems for the future is huge. Therefore, the establishment of credible approaches to these challenges is vital in the setting up of the necessary changes in health care systems.
Among fellow professionals, there has been an instinct of the willingness to abandon the existing facility operation for a better one that guarantees future success. With the changing environment, almost all the experts do agree on the necessity of a disruption of the existing systems with other exhibiting aggressive action and other moderate toward this goal. I have, however, noticed a significant complacency and lack of an internal urge to start off the change. In healthcare facilities where change has been successfully implemented, it has always been external forces that have come in and set up strategic leadership skills leading to the much-needed disruption (Merild, 2015). Therefore the rigidity and lack of transformational leadership compound into complacency within the existing systems even with demonstrated need for change in the healthcare systems.
One of the recent changes within in the healthcare systems within the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the provision of quality health services at cut costs. These provisions have provided a platform for change and complacency in the sight of such provisions may leave a health care to provide several miles behind in the industry. Rigidness and complacency within the initial systems have the implementation of appropriate policies that are in line with the ACA. Not many health practitioners and nurses have welcomed the idea of payment based on service quality rather than the volume of patients (Merild, 2015). For such reason and others, I have observed the common obstacles to a change in the course of operation and the possible evolution of these challenges in the future.
Internal impediments are the major factors I have heard of from most individuals in leadership positions in the healthcare system. Some of the CEOs of top performing healthcare systems have reiterated the fact that they already have their future-focused systems through provisions, such as those of the Medicare Accountable Care Organization. However, their embracing of a new course is hampered by the lack of good positioning regarding infrastructure, compensation models, and analytics, which are important operating fundamentals. Outdated and less-effective infrastructure is one of the major factors that is claimed to hamper the management of change in the healthcare systems.
Another internal factor that I have observed and heard of from institutional leaders is the cultural misalignment and resistance with the physicians and other medical care staff. I have been personally involved in persuading a senior colleague who appreciates the fact that change is inevitable but still wants to cling to the current and past health care system operations. This behavior greatly hampers the entire process as some of the staff members are key stakeholders within the management of the health care system.
An external factor that I have noted as well with most health care institution management is the market competition. Most of them are wary of the challenges posed by the market competition to the strategic adoption of value- based system of professional payment rather than the volume- based payment approach. As in other industries, the value-based payment may play to the advantage of some health care institutions more than others. Although I would settle for the value-based system, the volume-based approach provides a lucrative prospect that every institution must reckon with as well.
Managing change in the future in the health care industry will not be faced with minor challenges. I do envision myself in leadership and managerial positions making key organizational decisions involving the management of change. I do recognize even now that, management of change requires the commitment of time and resources by the health care institutions leadership. I also acknowledge that the powerful endorsement of change in this profession would require the mutual consent of all the professionals involved. In a leadership position to effect management of change in the healthcare industry, I would adopt a variety of personal and organizational strategies discussed below.
Internal issues would be my main point to address as a leader in the health care system. As a precaution to the management of change, I would carefully evaluate every invitation to change and preserve the values that matter to the operation of the health care system and the staff. Acquisition of the knowledge of the most important things will be therefore important in developing appropriate responses to the need for change. This need means I would adopt more of a proactive approach than a reactive one.
To address the inflexibility of staff, I will advocate for an open kind of institution management devoid of strict hierarchal and bureaucratic leadership style. This will create a flexible management style that is open to change and directly empowers the contribution of the staff and professionals. In this kind of the Directorate, the system would realize the true value of the staff input in implementing every single change involving health care. I would, therefore, eliminate blanket requirements and instead focus on those that suit the particular medical facility (Al-Abri, 2009).
Also, I will establish teamwork that instills the spirit of a shared vision within the health care system. I believe that through a common vision, the introduction and implementation of change would be shared as well and made manageable for the entire institutions health system. Within a shared vision, it would be easy to create shared organizational values and adopt a value-based payment approach for the healthcare services offered by the organization.
In a management capacity, I will clearly define the goals, objectives and the vision of the proposed changes in the organization. Through this clarified path, it will less complex to monitor the expected outcomes of the system change and evaluating the fulfillment of the purpose of the change process. The installment of appropriate corrective mechanisms in the course of implementing the change will be important in ensuring that the change is properly managed to its success.
To avoid hindrances that are associated with the lack of adequate infrastructure to implement change, I will ensure the changes made are optimized to fit within the human and capital resource requirements and limits of the organization. The exploration of best alternative solutions that have good economic implications on the system change would be important.
In conclusion, the management of change within the health care set up is faced with similar challenges over the years. The solution to effectively managing change is the ability to make the process less complex to everyone involved. However, both internal and external challenges do arise in the process. To overcome these challenges effective and institution-specific approaches must be established. In a leadership position, I would recommend transparent and open management, the establishment of teamwork and shared vision, and operation within the limits of the institution as some of the strategies in overcoming challenges in the management of change. These strategies will provide a credible basis for implementing the desired changes within the health care systems. The effectiveness of management of change is dependent on the ability of the organization to de-freeze the old habits, implement and solidify new ones and then re-freeze them back to fit within the institutional system operations.
Merrild, P. (2015). The Biggest U.S. Health Care Challenges Are Management Challenges. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 22 February 2017, from https://hbr.org/2015/02/the-biggest-u-s-health-care-challenges-are-management-challenges
Al-Abri, R. (2007). Managing Change in Healthcare. Oman Medical Journal, 22(3), 9-10.
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