Sound Leadership: Crucial for Healthcare Quality Outcomes - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1662 Words
Date:  2023-03-17


Sound leadership is a core pillar in most organizations. The role is even more critical in healthcare since the functions of this department greatly influence people's lives. Leaders help companies to achieve their objectives by providing direction on the strategies required to perform effectively. Also, leaders are responsible for steering organizations in a manner consistent with their goals and aspirations (Houston, 2018). Therefore, this attribute is necessary for healthcare since high-quality care of patients is needed to ensure a successful health system. Leadership affects the workforce of organizations hence the need for effective leaders to facilitate improved productivity. Since leaders require the help of others within the organization to serve, the management structure is also a key determiner of enhanced performance in healthcare. Management structure determines how various players in an organization coordinate to achieve the objectives of the organization. Leadership styles and the management structures in healthcare are crucial as they determine employee performance and how they affect patients.

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People in positions of leadership experience different results. Huston (2018), argues that not everyone is a good leader despite intentions to lead. This statement demonstrates that not all leaders are effective in their roles. Great leadership contributes to positive change in the workplace. Abdulaziz (2013) believes that most leadership theories were developed for business settings, thus causing little improvement in the care of patients. Therefore, there is a need to create healthcare based theories of leadership to facilitate growth in organizational outcomes in a healthcare setting.

Sfantuo et al. (2017), acknowledge the importance of effective leadership for healthcare professionals for reinforcing quality and integration of care. Leaders in healthcare should be capable of driving changes in the organizations caused by the constant reforms that characterize the health sector. These arguments put into perspective the implications of leadership on the development of healthcare services. Various competencies are required for leaders to ensure adequate performance in roles.

Effective leadership is crucial to driving changes in the health sector and helps in shaping organizational culture. Such leadership is needed in an environment that undergoes numerous reforms. This need has been demonstrated with the increasing number of studies on leadership and management in health care across various countries. Such countries include; South Africa, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Latin America, New Zealand, and the United States of America (Ayeleke et al., 2018).

The focus has, however, shifted to assessing essential competencies needed by those in management and leadership of health care to ensure they perform their roles effectively. Such competencies are; knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Once these competencies have been identified, they will be used to initiate the appropriate training and professional development to improve individual competence and organizational performance. All these efforts in identifying competencies in health care management and leadership aim to ensure that the quality of patient care and improve employee performance.

Leadership is the act of coordinating and directing activities of a group of people towards a common goal. According to Sfantou et al. (2017), "Management and leadership of healthcare professionals are critical for strengthening quality and integration of care." The term also refers to the relationship between individuals that lead and those that are obliged to follow.

There are six standard styles of leadership: autocratic, laissez-faire, transactional, transformational, task-oriented, and relationship-oriented. In the autocratic leadership style, the leader makes decisions without requiring the input of staff. Further, the approach does not tolerate mistakes, and blame is pinned on individuals. Laissez-faire style acts on the contrary such that leaders do not make decisions, and staff act without supervision or direction, although there is a hands-off approach that causes rare changes. The transactional leadership style has a leader that serves as a manager of change who makes exchanges with staff leading to improved production. A transformational leader creates a relationship and motivation among staff. Task-oriented leadership entails planning activities within a group and continued monitoring of performance (Sfantou et al., 2017). The relationship-oriented style involves support, development, and recognition.

Quality health care is essential in achieving high productivity within a health organization. This form of care refers to the probability of attaining the expected health outcomes is enhanced and in tandem with revised professional knowledge and skills within the health sector. Sfantou et al. (2017) highlight the following six characteristics as being traits of high-quality care: safe, reliable, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient-centered.

A core component of assessing the quality of care is the measurement of health outcomes. Measures used to determine quality are process, structure, patient satisfaction, and outcome. This outcome refers to the health situation of a patient that results from healthcare. Outcome and satisfaction of a patient are indicated by hospital mortality level, shorter patient length of stay, restraint use, failure to rescue ratio, healthcare-associated infections, falls with injury, pressure ulcers rate, inadequate pain management, medication errors, and urinary tract infections (Sfantou et al., 2017).

Leadership theory undergoes constant changes over time due to the evolution of management approaches. Abdulaziz (2013) gives an example of the early Great Man theory, which argued that certain people have traits that make them better leaders. There were several leadership styles developed in the mid-twentieth century, which included democratic and authoritarian (Abdulaziz, 2013). The situation and contingency theories of the 1950s highlighted the importance of considering workers' needs, roles, and the environment. The other theories developed from 1970 to present are interactional leadership theories that focus on influence in the organization and the interaction between the leader and the follower (Abdulaziz, 2013).

There is an emerging theory that encourages supportive leadership, whereby leaders are urged to support and build relationships with employees. As a result, the relationship positively influences the workforce, thus motivating employees to work towards organizational goals. This theory builds from organizational behavior studies that state people that have supportive leaders that empathize at a personal level tend to be happier and more satisfied in their job.

Healthcare systems have a unique environment characterized by the presence of numerous departments, professional groups, and specialties. These sections then have complex nonlinear interactions and have constraints related to different disease areas, multidisciplinary staff, and multidirectional goals. Typical of large organizations, the several groups could be in support or conflict with one another. Therefore, leaders should capitalize on the diversity in the organization and utilize resources in the design of management processes while urging employees to pursue common goals. Abdulaziz (2013), therefore, argues that leaders should make use of the different leadership approaches that can be employed in the healthcare setting to optimize management in this highly complex environment. Despite the numerous groups and cultures in the organization, the leadership style used in such a setting should ensure that it consolidates efforts to help realize the overall objectives of the organization. The health of patients and the services of employees should be managed in a way that ensures positive outcomes have been achieved.

Leadership in Health Care

Leadership and management play a crucial role in determining the success of an organization. Research by Stanfou et al. (2017) established that leadership styles influenced patient outcomes. For instance, the consensus leadership style led to improved quality of healthcare services. This improvement entailed: physical restraint use, moderate-severe pain, catheter in the bladder, and high-risk residents having pressure ulcers. The study also established that resonant leadership impacted medication errors by influencing safety climate. This style also had a lower mortality rate over 30 days and a lower probability of the 30-day mortality rate (Stanfou et al., 2017). According to assessments made by relatives and staff, the task-oriented leadership style was related to higher levels of quality care. Additionally, the study established that formal leadership styles contributed to learning minor and moderate safety events. This finding was in contrast to that of informal leadership that exhibited no effect. The research also established that patient satisfaction was higher where managers followed the transactional leadership model. This observation was that although there lacked an association between patient satisfaction and leadership style.

Management also influences the performance of employees, depending on the impact it has on worker motivation. A study by Stanfou et al. (2017) also sought to establish the impact of leadership style on employee performance. The researchers put these findings under the section head "Organizational Culture and Quality of Care." For instance, the transformational leadership style was found to have a positive relationship with a useful organization culture of the nursing unit. However, transactional leadership presented a weak relationship on the same. The laissez-faire, on the other end, showed a negative relation with the nursing unit's organizational culture. Other findings in the research were that structural empowerment led to a higher safety level. Also, empowering workplaces helped to improve nursing quality of care. Also, the safety climate for patients was enhanced in a highly entrepreneurial culture. Patient safety was also boosted by organization learning, communication, continuous improvement, teamwork, and feedback about errors. Group culture in an organization helped to improve the safety climate, although, in a hierarchical structure, the safety was lower, thus indicating that organizational structure is essential in determining the safety (Sfantou et al., 2017).

Effective leadership is crucial in an organization since it facilitates the optimization of cost, access, and quality in healthcare. Additionally, effective healthcare leadership by physicians helps to influence the care of individual patients, the performance of various clinical teams, and the direction of the healthcare organization. Hargett et al. (2017), claims that effective leadership in healthcare has several benefits; thus, its importance is difficult to overestimate. Some of these benefits include improving clinical outcomes for children and provider well-being by reducing burnout and promoting workplace engagement. Considering these outcomes, effective leadership becomes the ability to influence others effectively and ethically for the benefit of patients and populations.

Further, good leadership facilitates the provision of services to the community in an appropriate, equitable, effective, and sustainable manner. Such performance is achieved once vital resources have been consolidated to the point of service delivery and synchronized carefully. Together, these aspects form the basis of proper management that is required for adequate healthcare.

Although leadership has been in existence in healthcare, there is a need to dev...

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