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John Funnell

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A Change of Culture for Healthcare

Culture change can be seen as a lever for performance improvements

Today the management of culture within healthcare is becoming more and more important. It is now viewed as a necessary part of the health system reform. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) reforms are based on the premise that any major cultural transformation of an organization must be secured alongside structural and procedural change, this in turn will deliver improvements in both quality and performance.

Culture change can be seen as a lever for performance improvements. The industry is well aware of the limitations of a mangeralist perspective. A new Committee of healthcare specialists believe that culture change within the industry must be targeted in one of two ways. Their first objective is to ‘do what you do better'. The Next Generation Healthcare Committee will meet at the NGH Summit in Miami.

"Many commercial organizations maintain a competitive edge by pursuing a policy of cultural continuity', they capitalize on the lessons, working practices and traditions that have worked for their company in the past, for this to work they focus on the growth or reproduction and repetition"

The second option is to look towards qualitative growth, this is a more appropriate option in a situation where the existing culture has become stale and a complete overhaul is required. This is also the position that the US healthcare system has found itself in.

"Second order change is often invoked in response to a growing crisis or deficiency in the existing culture, which cannot be addressed adequately by a change in culture but rather demands a fundamental change of culture. If politicians and management gurus are to be believed, health systems in many countries stand perennially on the threshold of such fundamental change."

After seeing high profile reports in the US which have documented gross medical errors, policy thinking is embracing the notion of culture change as a key element of health system redesign. Jeff Rose - VP Clinical Excellence, Informatics, Ascension Health wishes to address the committee on the principles published as A Leadership Framework for Culture Change in Health Care. He believes it is key to outline the core elements, or ‘5 C's' of culture change needed to move the US towards the adoption of new tools and processes in healthcare that enhance care quality and provider adoption in the interest of high reliability environments. It gives a simple and readily recalled set of principles by which the traditions and resistance of many healthcare organizations can be both led and managed by caregivers and executives so that expenditures on technology, information and evidence availability, collaborative processes and principles of high reliability human factors can speed our mutual journey to highest quality lowest cost medical practices in our rapidly changing world of technology, incentives and regulations.

Jeff Rose will be joined by representatives from Cleveland Clinic - Martin Harris, Chairman of IT Division and CIO, Catholic Health East - Mike McCoy, CMIO, MedStar Health - Gerard Burns, CMIO, Sentara Healthcare - David Levin, CMIO and VP Medical Informatics and Ascension Health - Jeffrey Rose, VP Clinical Excellence, Informatics.

Appeals for culture change in health systems have been a long time coming it is now key to draw upon a belief that culture is related to organizational performance. Are organizational cultures capable of being shaped by external manipulation? If so, what strategies are available to managers wishing to encourage an appropriate organizational culture?

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John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.