Champions of Change: Is Your Health System Ready to Transform?

In the journey to transform our healthcare delivery systems, success hinges on physicians acting as champions of change within their own teams.  Whether through formal or informal leadership roles, these clinicians are able to lead change, shift attitudes and perspectives, and create engagement from a foundation grounded in clinical workflows and nurturing the patient-provider relationship.

With the unprecedented speed of change and uncertainty in healthcare, along with tight operating margins, we need skilled leaders to drive a culture of learning and experimentation and create high performing teams across every level of their organization.  The entrepreneurial spirit and change management skills can no longer be limited to those with a formal leadership role.

We need to invest in programs that build leadership skills in every level of decision-making, from the front-lines to the C-Suite.

“When you can marry the leadership skills and the clinical background, you have an opportunity to lead in a very distinct and different way. When you get someone who knows what quality looks like, and pair that with a curiosity about new ways to think about leading, you end up with people who are able to produce dramatic innovations in the field,” said Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in aPhysician Executive Journal article.

Despite studies that show up to 25 percent higher quality scores for healthcare systems that have a formal physician leadership development program, only a small percentage of organizations have a program in place.  This means that for the majority of health systems, physicians are not empowered with the skills they need to operationalize strategic priorities, such as creating a shared vision, communicating across diverse care teams to deliver patient-centered care, and creating a cadence of accountability.

Source: Changing Demographics, Competencies and Physician Leadership. P. Angood, MD presentation, July 27, 2013

Source: Changing Demographics, Competencies and Physician Leadership. P. Angood, MD presentation, July 27, 2013

With physicians increasingly concerned about autonomy, investing in programs that drive engagement is critical to motivating change across front-line caregivers.  Physicians are able to implement change throughout a system by leveraging the respect of their peers to motivate culture change, but today more than ever we need to equip these leaders with the foundations for success.

At Untethered, we are offering a free one-hour consult from Heather Hanson, PhD, to discuss the needs of your organization and physician led teams.  Heather brings over 10 years of experience working with physician leaders in a variety of healthcare organizations along with an incredible passion for supporting individuals and organizations through positive change.

Reach out to to schedule your consult and stay tuned for my next article, where I’ll discuss best practices for physician leadership development programs and how organizations can tap into this pivotal talent pool.