Globally, the healthcare industry is navigating a complex operating environment in which the only certainty is change. Not only are new healthcare developments, patient expectations of healthcare delivery, and technological advancements setting up the next ten years for profound changes, the rapidly shifting environment is equally placing a new set of demands on the capabilities of healthcare workers beyond the traditional roles of treating patients and saving lives.
Increasingly, healthcare professionals are expected to improve the quality of care they provide, be more patient-centred, enhance staff wellness and productivity, minimise costs, plan, direct, and coordinate diverse health services – all in an efficient and effective way. While the growing complexities within the environment may seem intimidating without an adaptation plan, the following are important competencies that can position you as a healthcare professional to better meet the challenges and needs of the new decade:
A good knowledge of the healthcare environment: How well do you know the environment you work in? A good understanding of who the actors within your healthcare space are – patients, staff, healthcare providers, healthcare organisations, regulators, and the general public – how they think about and respond to health is important because these perspectives ultimately influence healthcare delivery. To improve on this competency, start by assessing what you do know about your operating environment and identify areas you would like to be better informed in. Next, educate yourself – be deliberate in your interactions with your patients and colleagues, join and participate in professional groups, read relevant professional publications, build your network of change agents and influencers, attend seminars and workshops, engage policy makers – the activities suggested here are by no means exhaustive; however, getting involved in some of them could help you identify patterns and prepare for emerging trends in the industry long before they become obvious.
This tip is adapted from ‘Common Competencies for All Healthcare Managers: TheHealthcare Leadership Alliance Model’ by Mary. E. Stefl, PhD