Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a model that applies the approach of change management that is aimed at pointing out that is working as expected and evaluating the reason for doing well and advancing its use (Cooperrider, Whitney & Stavros, 2005).AI involves four stages.
- Discovery- it is a stage that answers what led to the establishment of the healthcare and what makes it operational. At this stage, the parties may interview each other through questions. It is expected that there should be a mutual responsibility between the parties.
- Dream- this is the stage where the vision of the organization is developed. The leaders will dig more into their hopes and dreams for the organization and work out as per their possibilities to meet them (MacCoy, 2014).
- Design- the parties involved apply what they have learnt at the discovery and dream stages to develop the organization.
- Deliver- this is a stage where the dreams of the health facilities are upheld or may be adjusted when necessary.
SWOT Analysis of a Care Setting
SWOT analysis is a helpful method in determining the strengths of an organization in terms of its suitability, weaknesses as a result of its flaws. Similarly, the approach also helps evaluate the opportunities and threats the organization faces (John, n.d.). The following is the SWOT analysis of the organization.
Strength- the leaders in a healthcare facility strive to ensure that its structure is designed to tolerate less risk of the patients' safety. This is achieved through, measures like having a sterile condition and a proper communication plan that would minimize errors.
Weakness- an organizational structure that is decentralized can be a hindrance to the sharing of ideas that promote the patients' safety. Extensively, it may be hard for a facility handling more emergency causalities and cases to score higher patient safety scale because of the treating challenges that are posed to it.
Opportunities-there exists opportunities that may increase the patient safety at the health facilities. This may be comprised of techniques such as the surveys on patients being treated whose data may be used evaluate and improve the emphasis on the patient safety as well as giving long-term solutions to where risks may be discovered.
Threat-the man threat to the patient safety flaws that may be found in a weak or disorganized record system of the patient information. In such cases, there would be complications attached to malpractices that may result to the jeopardy of the patient's life.
Comparison of Approaches
There is a difference between the organizations that apply either SWOT analysis or Appreciative Inquiry. This is because whereas Appreciative Inquiry has a high level of engagement, SWOT analysis has a minimal engagement level since it has minimum questioning on the parties in regards to the progress of the organizational issues (MacCoy, 2014). Extensively, AI stimulates more positive outcomes with the high level of communication encouraged especially in the discovery stage.
Leadership Characteristics and Skills
Effective leadership of the physicians is fundamental for boosting the integration and quality of the healthcare provider. Most healthcare institutions are adopting the need for the engagement of the physicians in their leadership teams which is crucial for the emerging challenges in the healthcare environment. Leadership present the physicians like the nurses with an opportunity to foster the speedy growth of the organizations by impacting the many people who may be suffering from different ailments (Deisher, 2013). Leadership as the willingness and ability to manage and run the healthcare presents the physician with a self-drive to undertake the chores and tasks in the organization in a manner that promotes the beliefs, culture, ethics, vision and missions of the organization. The mission statement explains the core reason for the organization's existence. For example, the mission of a healthcare would be to provide quality and economical healthcare. The healthcare's vision gives an approach to the future, guiding the physicians' mode of leadership to ensure that the organization's vision is attained at a certain later period. Extensively, the healthcare's culture plays an important role in laying a foundation for the physician to achieve the desired effectiveness. The good leaders will promote and uphold the ethics, values and beliefs of the organization through their communication, conduct and relationship with the clients and the whole environment as well.
In ensuring that a conducive environment laid on a strong foundation is achieved, effective leaders must present certain skills and traits that reflect ad meets the expectations of the aims of the healthcare. These attributes include skills such as team building, communication, strategic thinking, empathy and intelligence, flexibility and familiarity with the competitive landscape.
Team Building skills-the most effective team of leaders are the ones who work jointly through their individualized talents for the welfare of the organization. An effective leader would motivate the members and challenge them to overcome situations that seem to be challenging. The leaders should be able to consult with the rest of the members when need be in the process of decision making to ensure and facilitate a wide variety of decisions are availed for choosing.
Communication skills- this is the strongest tool that should be possessed by every leader. Communications skills ensure a fluent and convenient means of conveying information from one person to another. Since communication is a two-way means of engagement, every leader should have good abilities in both listening and giving a speech. Rather they should be active speakers and listeners taking notes where necessary.
Strategic thinking- to cultivate the recommendable leadership skills, the physician should be able to offer an immediate solution to the challenge facing theme by applying both strategic and critical thinking (Grossman & Valiga, 2012). They should think way outside the box considering their main aim and that of the organization is to save lives.
Empathy and intelligence-empathy and intelligence are important traits that may be ignored by some physicians. Leaders should act in an intelligent manner in reacting to unpleasant and challenging situations such as the situations of conflicts. They should be able to deal with different kind of people, therefore, handle arising issues in an amicable way by minimizing the underlying issues that may compromise or make the situation worse (American Organization of Nurse Executives, 2015). The leaders should act in a manner that he or she fits in the shoes of the sick patient, therefore, respond with immediate effect. This builds a good patient-physician relationship.
Flexibility- as a leader, different challenges will be present that may necessitate a flexible mindset to handle new challenges. For instance, the nurses should be ready to learn and get updated on the latest and trending technologies such as the electronic medical data recording (American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016).
Familiarity with the competitive landscape- every leader should be aware that there exists competition within the organization. The competitive advantage is evaluated by the level of services rendered by the individual healthcare units. Therefore the performance of the health cares will be determined by the personal attributes of the physicians. If the physician is aware of the underlying level of competition, he or she will provide quality services that create a good rapport for the organization thus more patients would like to go back to the same hospital to be treated.
American College of Healthcare Executives. (2016). ACHE healthcare executive 2016 competencies assessment tool [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.ache.org/pdf/nonsecure/careers/competencies_booklet.pdf
American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2015). Nurse executive competencies [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.aone.org/resources/nec.pdf
Cooperrider, D., L, Whitney D, & Stavros, J., M.( 2005) Appreciative Inquiry Handbook. Brunswick, OH: Crown Custom Publishing Inc;
Deisher, M. (2013). A systems change: Leading the way to meeting health needs. Journal of Hand Therapy, 26(3), 282-285, 286.
Grossman, S. C., & Valiga, T. M. (2012). The new leadership challenge: Creating the future of nursing. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.
John, C. S. (n.d.). SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat) Analysis. Encyclopedia of Health Care Management. doi:10.4135/9781412950602.n791
MacCoy, D. J. (2014). Appreciative inquiry and evaluation - Getting to what works. The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 29(2), 104-127.
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