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: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3926-1.ch005


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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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.

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