Involving clinicians in hospital management roles: towards a functional integrative approach
Author: Dalmas, Miriam
Source: The International Journal of Clinical Leadership, Volume 17, Number 3, December 2012 , pp. 139-145(7)
Publisher: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Abstract:The business of running a hospital is a complex one. Managing a hospital effectively is becoming truly dependent on excellent collaboration between professionals across the organisation. This research was mostly concerned with how the 'empowerment of those that deliver healthcare' will be achieved in the Maltese setting. It explored the challenges facing a small part of the healthcare providers involved, i.e. the medical clinicians working at the major acute general and teaching public hospital on the Maltese Islands.
An attempt was made to describe the managerial roles assumed by clinicians, defining the nature of the roles that the management of hospital envisages for them, exploring the clinicians' attitudes towards the expected increases in their managerial roles, assessing the possible effects of these increases in terms of patient care, and determining the resources needed to facilitate the integration into, and the adoption of, the concepts of this new environment. Sixteen unstructured in-depth interviews which were conducted with a selection of eight clinicians (all medical professionals) and eight personnel working either at director level or above in the management of the hospital or in the topmost positions of the Health Division. The interviews were analysed using the grounded approach method.
The study showed that presently medical doctors have almost complete autonomy on patient care and on all decisions related with the patients, however clinicians have almost no control over resources; financial or human. All participants acknowledge that more involvement of clinicians in the strategic, decision-making and resource allocation processes of hospital management is inevitable.
The implications arising from the findings of this study were summarised into five main points. These include: creating awareness among all participants of what the objectives are; ensuring that all the intended participants are involved as early as possible and at all stages of the process; recognising that the level of commitment of those involved will be a major factor in achieving a successful outcome; ensuring that evaluation can take place on an ongoing basis as to what progress is being made against agreed time frames and objectives and acknowledging and coordinating the different influences that will present so that they complement rather than disrupt the process.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2012