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Posted on April 1st, 2012, by

Management and leadership are two separate, but related, activities. As every industry healthcare has its specific approaches to management and leadership, but the common ideas of effective management and leadership are the same. To improve the work of healthcare institution, to develop the new approach and to make the healthcare system more effective it is necessary to understand the difference between management and leadership, to know their features for healthcare and to forecast the future of healthcare system. Effective leadership and management are essential to scaling up the quantity and quality of health services and to improving population health.Ā  (WHO, 2010)

Management and leadership in health care

First of all it is necessary to define leadership and management in healthcare. The most precise definition I found was:

“Health Care Management is the study of some aspects of health care, including the areas of health care policy, international health care systems, economy of health care, quality assurance, as it relates to the prevention, treatment and management of illness.”¯(Wingfield, 1)

Defining leadership was the complicated tackĀ  Webster gives the following definition: “a person or thing that leads; directing, commanding, or a guiding hand” (Webster, 1977). Ā Another good classical definition of leadership is:

“Persons who, by word and/or personal example, markedly influence the behaviors, thoughts, and/or feelings of a significant number of their fellow human beings (Gardner, 1995).

Finally, the article of Susan D. GilsterĀ  helped mr define the leadership in the healthcare as the “art of influencing and engaging colleagues to serve collaboratively toward a shared vision.”¯ (Gilster, 2002)

Studyinf this definition, I I concluded that management is the job, and leadership is the talent.Ā  As Sir Liam Donaldson, Chied Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, wrote:

“A leader must be able to inspire and be seen to have integrity. These qualities will develop more easily by someone who works in a team, who learns effectively and who communicates and explains policy. A leader who sees quickly to the heart of a problem will be able to position himself or herself and be able to gauge situations correctly.” (Donaldson, 2010)

The role of finance in management and in leadership in healthcare

I agree that the management of health care institutions is similar to management of business enterprise, because it involves conventional business procedures and practices. Manager or senior administrator of healthcare facility usually has the same duties and functions as the CEO in the business-company. That is why top-managers of the digest heal care facilities in the country are usually having great administrative experience, but their medical experience often is poor. Ā Top-manager of big hospital has to work on “establishing policies and frameworks, managing human resources, allocating budgets and other financial resources, maintaining and managing IT systems and databases. He engages with all medical staff and health care facility personnel, and apprises them of their roles and responsibilities.”¯ (eHow, 2007)

A hospital administrator has to manage the business side of the hospital to ensure smooth running of the hospital on all fronts. However, as in every other industry “senior management must be willing not only to invest money and resources, but also take part in discussions and lead by example.”¯ (Townsend, Gebhardt, 1997)

Thus, the effective manager in healthcare industry has to be the good businessman, too.

“Health financing systems have three important, inter-related roles: to raise sufficient funds for health; to pool them to spread the financial risks associated with paying for care; and to use the available funds to purchase and provide the desired health services.

To make informed decisions, policy-makers seek evidence on the advantages and disadvantages of different financial strategies and institutional arrangements and timely data to allow them to monitor and modify their financing systems. Many also seek technical and policy support from WHO as they modify their financing systems.”¯ (WHO, 2010)

The role of quality in management and in leadership in healthcare

It is obvious that management and leadership in healthcare system requires qualified top-managers and talented leaders.

“One of the signs of excellence in a manager is the ability to anticipate problems, not just react to them.” (Donaldson, 2002)Ā  High qualification on managements is necessary to run the whole healthcare facility, though the talent of leadership is required to inspire personal for work. As was stated on the site of World Health Organization:

“Strengthening leadership and management requires the fulfillment of four main conditions: adequate numbers of managers deployed, managers with appropriate competencies, functioning management support systems and a work environment that expects, supports and rewards good management performance.”¯ (WHO, 2010)

Quality healthcare management includes the financial growth and viability of the healthcare organization. A healthcare organization can realize quality healthcare management only when it is fully staffed with medical and managerial professionals and is able to invest in the most advanced equipment. A key function of quality healthcare management is being able to provide quality healthcare that the average person can afford

The role of information technology and in leadership in healthcare

Information technologies change the healthcare system greatly. Without mentioning new medical facilities, I’d like to stop on the role of IT in management in leadership.Ā  It-specialist in healthcare has to smooth functioning of a clinic, hospital department or doctor’s office. Effective manager and good leader should be able to manage and code information in medical records, arrange coded information from medical records for reimbursement purposes, administer inquiries and perform vital tasks. (AABAA, 2003-210)

Now the top-management on the national health system tries to integrate new model of health history, however the integration goes on very slowly, because it needs not only technical resources, but the skilled personal. Often the absence of talented leader causes the feel of tiredness at personnel. Physician feels that he has not enough time for quality care about his patients and so on. This is one of the reasons of the healthcare system reform necessity.

The role of human resources in management and in leadership in healthcare

Acute shortages and the uneven distribution of health workers within and between countries amount to a global health workforce crisis. (WHO, 2010)

Example of the new program effectiveness

Edifecs, Inc., the proven leader in HIPAA 5010 and Healthcare Channel Modernization solutions, announced today that it has bolstered its senior leadership team with key hires from a cross-section of industries and verticals. Chanbir Mann (Chief Operating Officer), Todd Feinroth (SVP, Sales) and Venkat Kavarthapu (VP, Client Services) all joined Edifecs in 2009.

“We grew our revenues more than 50% in 2009 and expect to grow even more spectacularly in 2010. We want to ensure that we can maintain the high levels of customer service and delivery capabilities that our customers expect of us,” said Sunny Singh, CEO of Edifecs. “This team brings experience from diverse businesses such as enterprise software and services from large organization to young companies.” (Edifecs, 2009)

Conclusion

Understanding of difference between management and leadership is one of the keys of improvement the health care system nationwide. The specific feature of leadership and management in healthcare industry is the combination of medical and administrative experience.Ā  Movement towards the idea of difference of leadership and management along with IT integration and health workers training is required on the modern stage of health care system development.

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