Knowledge and Skills to Lead Effective Patient Organizations

Knowledge and Skills to Lead Effective Patient Organizations

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2653-8.ch004
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The potential role of patients' organizations in healthcare, in order to be effective, needs to be sustained by appropriate knowledge and skills. The chapter has the scope to review the key requirements for the management of such organizations. After a background introduction about added value of patient capacity building, it proposes the ‘antenna skill framework', a visual and practical illustration summarizing the necessary knowledge and skills for patient organizations' management. A generic patient organization is represented as an antenna progressively picking up many kinds of knowledge and skills: about the institutional framework, disease-related, technical, and managerial. Particular attention is devoted to management and administration, proposing a business model canvas tailored to patient organizations. In conclusion, the insightful tools proposed in the chapter can foster policymakers, universities, and other educational operators to conceive suitable training programs to form capable patient managers.
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Proposing A Framework Of Relevant Knowledge And Skills

In this section it is proposed the ‘antenna skill framework’, a representation summarizing the necessary knowledge and skills for the management of patient organizations. The building of this tool has followed two main steps: in a first phase, there were identified four macro-categories of desired skills (or knowledge and skills); in a second moment, each category previously identified was split into more specific areas to be developed by patients’ organizations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Organizations: Organizations where people collectively learn how to learn, continually developing new patterns of thinking and the capacity to achieve desired results. They are characterized by seven interrelated dimensions: continuous learning, dialogue and inquiry, team learning, embedded system, system connections, empowerment and leadership. The ability of such organizations to adapt to environmental changes makes them innovative and performing.

NGOs: Acronym for non-governmental organizations. Entities being part of the third sector, not belonging neither to government constituencies nor to the for-profit sector. Their distinctive features are: organization (institutionalized and retaining a persistent internal organizational structure), private origin (have an institutional identity separate from that of the government’s apparatus), self-governance (equipped to control their own activities through internal governance procedures); non-profit orientation (they do not distribute profits and reinvest them into activities related to the mission of the organization), voluntarism (engage volunteers in management and operations, with non-compulsory memberships).

Fundraising: Activity of requiring financial support to public and private actors. It normally constitutes the principal source of revenues for non-profit organizations, driven by a fundraising plan establishing the desired amount of money to collect, the funding sources, the related fundraising initiatives (and timelines) that the organization will undertake, as well as an estimation of the costs associated to them.

Business Model Canvas: Framework to represent how strategies can be implemented within an organization. The original version was developed for for-profit businesses and it is made of nine building blocks (customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships, cost structure). In a not-for-profit version, the business model canvas contains two more building blocks (social and environmental costs, and social and environmental revenues).

Skill: The ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems.

Planning and Control: Management function consisting on (1) setting in advance organizational objectives (strategic, tactic, operational), (2) planning how to achieve them, and (3) monitoring the level of fulfillment of objectives (both during implementation and afterwards), in order to analyze the causal tissue of gaps and undertake corrective actions. Planning and control activities require synergies between accounting systems and performance measurement systems.

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