Change Management and Leadership: An Overview of the Healthcare Industry

Change Management and Leadership: An Overview of the Healthcare Industry

Kallol Basu (Kedge Business School, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0948-6.ch003

Abstract

The increasing convergence of technology and health care is ushering in a new era of digital transformation in the way patients interact with healthcare professionals. The surging market is forcing healthcare organizations to continuously leverage technology to modernize medical care, reduce manual handoffs, and reduce costs. However, the success rates have not been very encouraging. This is significantly due to lack of proper attention to organization change management by leadership. By performing an in-depth analysis of affected leading hospital chains in India, this chapter deduces how leadership can help foster better change adoption throughout the lifecycle of technology implementation in healthcare organizations.
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Background

An effective and innovative use of medical technology, supported by ICT, can increase access and decrease the load on healthcare delivery services through “early diagnosis, better clinical outcomes, less invasive procedures and shorter recovery times.” (Laal, 2013). A fundamental aspect of healthcare transformation is the ability to cater to the larger segment of the population. The convergence between technology with healthcare enables the providers to improve the patient experience and in operational efficiently through increasing networking and knowledge sharing among providers. Technology is helping the industry in “modernizing medical care reduce costs, avoid redundant or duplicate tests /procedures and mechanize manual processes.” (Dwivedi, 2015)

Having said that, just a simple automation of flawed processes makes matters worse. In cases where leaders pursue flawed technology strategies without any reengineering and softer aspects, they end up spending precious time and resources without getting any real benefit. Moreover, flawed technology deployment increases resistance by convincing clinicians that adopting change involves pain. IT if applied intelligently, strategically and in a planned manner can become a facilitator to improved quality, patient safety and transparency.

Healthcare and IT are slowly merging beyond islands of excellence. In India, NATHEALTH was formed as a central governing body to deploy nationwide technology affordable healthcare. Reaching rural areas where less than 15% people are covered by insurance is a huge challenge, noted Mr. Anjan Bose, Director NATHEALTH. So technology is unavoidable e.g. with mobile telephony effectively transmitting test signals for patients to specialized doctors in cities. 30-40% of any hospital initial setup costs is for technology with an average of 7 years’ payback. So technology implementation has to be judicious.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lewin’s Change Model: Lewin proposed change as occurring in three stage. The first stage – “unfreezing” - involves overcoming inertia and dismantling the existing beliefs. The second stage is the one where change happens and is a period of confusion. The third and final stage- “freezing”- is the one where people stabilize and change adopted.

Aravind Hospital: India based hospital chain which has treated nearly 32 million patients and performed 4 million surgeries, the majority of them being cheap or free making it the world’s largest and most productive eye-care service group.

NATHEALTH: Indian forum with vision to facilitate the shift in mindset, delivery and decision making in the healthcare sector.

Apollo Hospital: One of the leading super-specialty hospital chains in India, Apollo is present in 120 countries and has a team of 5000 doctors.

Leadership: In this context, leadership implies drivers of transformation programs who manage IT processes in order to deliver results and to meet key expectations. They lead people in order to deliver organizational goals.

Telemedicine: Use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical healthcare at a distance/remotely.

Organizational Change Management: Framework to manage the effect of new business processes, changes in organizational structure or cultural changes within an enterprise focused on people aspect.

Action Research: Self-reflective enquiry made by participants in social sciences to improve the rationality /justify understanding of their own practices.

Technology Transformation: Complete overhaul of an organization's technology systems encompassing network architecture, hardware, software and how data is stored and accessed and affecting all of people, process and technology.

Evidence Based Management: Management technique to improve outcomes by explicitly using evidence, found by doing research and data mining. This is a repeatable model, and provides rapid measurable improvements.

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