Leader Launch: A Needs Assessment and Intervention for Effective Leadership Development in Healthcare

Leader Launch: A Needs Assessment and Intervention for Effective Leadership Development in Healthcare

Candice Freeman (Old Dominion University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5092-2.ch012
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This case study examines how a rural healthcare system implemented LeaderLaunch, a leadership development program specifically supporting all front-line to director-level leaders employed within the organization's facilities. John DeJoria, the healthcare system's Director of Organizational Development, is a seasoned instructional designer and Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) who was charged with the opportunity of determining the system's leadership development needs and responding with aligned performance improvement interventions, intended to build competency and capacity in current, new, and emerging leadership. This case explains how John and his team designed, conducted, and utilized a three phase needs assessment to select and design instructional and non-instructional interventions.
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Organization Background

Samuel’s Healthcare System (SHCS) is a 102-bed acute care hospital in Lynchburg, Kentucky, the county seat of Jamesin County. Lynchburg boasts a modest population of 16,000 and is the largest town within the small rural county. SHCS is the only hospital in Jamesin County and focuses on serving the entire community by providing quality valued-based healthcare to its residents. The hospital is affiliated with Horton Health, a larger multi-site healthcare system based in Louisville which also serves as a research and teaching hospital for the University of Kentucky. Through this affiliation and partnership, SHCS can provide patients with extended services such as cancer treatment, robotic surgical procedures, and advanced neonatal care. The hospital was founded in 1946 and is owned by the community and managed by a local Board of Directors in conjunction with support from Horton. Over 800 healthcare professionals are employed by SHCS, and the Medical Staff is made up of 100 licensed clinicians who staff the main hospital, one ancillary urgent care facility, and 15 rural community health centers managed by the hospital. Comprehensively, SHCS has the capability to serve all healthcare needs of the residents of Jamesin County. The hospital is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission (TLC) and holds other specialty accreditations in chest pain, oncology, and cardiac rehabilitation. Most recently, SHCS received 5-star quality recognition by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and is currently striving to be a recipient of a Baldrige Award.

The mission of SHCS is to work with healthcare partners to create and operate a patient centered, integrated system to provide safe, high quality, compassionate, and sustainable healthcare to the people of Jamesin County. Its vision is to be recognized and chosen by patients and their families throughout Bluegrass region for the quality and value of the services provided. And at the heart of the organization are its core values of:

  • Accountability and Transparency: As a community-owned healthcare system, SHCS believes in transparency and accountability to the community for the decisions made by the organization.

  • Respect and Care: SHCS associates, physicians, other providers, and volunteers are its most important assets. Employees, patients and families are always treated with care, compassion, dignity and respect at all times.

  • Value-added and Sustainable Healthcare: SHCS carries out all these principles in a financially prudent and sustainable manner to ensure the healthcare system stays focused on its mission.


Setting The Stage

At the request of numerous department directors and leaders, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SHCS, Mike Biem, hosted a town hall series on various topics of concern expressed by front line managers and supervisory staff throughout all services lines of the organization. These topics included budgeting, performance improvement, human resource situations, payroll, scheduling, customer service, and many other department specific, managerial performance concerns. Mr. Biem hosted a total of 10 town hall meetings over a period of 5 days and across all shifts. These town halls were hosted in the hospital cafeteria, providing accommodation for up to 150 people. Early morning meetings were offered at 6am, and late evening meetings were offered at 8pm. Additionally, there was an early afternoon meeting at 1pm. Each town hall meeting lasted up to 60 minutes and was recorded for later viewing. Information Technology services also provided attendees the ability to join the meeting remotely using the organization’s PolyCom conferencing system. During each meeting, attendees were asked to sign a log sheet showing attendance and were provided a meeting agenda for review and notetaking. All town hall meeting agendas contained the same information, and an administrative assistant was present to document meeting minutes and ensure the agenda focus remained consistent across all meetings. At the completion of the town hall meeting sessions, over 200 employees had documented attendance, spanning all healthcare system departments and service lines.

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