We must professionalise healthcare management

Healthcare professionals need professionalisation and the International Hospital Federation is creating a web based platform which will allow healthcare professionals to assess themselves, Eric de Roodenbeke, Director General of the IHF told the Conference.

Eric de Roodenbeke
Eric de Roodenbeke

He said healthcare management was not recognised as a profession inmany parts of the world and the profession of healthcare management needed a greater voice in decision making.

Mr. de Roodenbeke said the IHF was created by national organisations representing healthcare providers from around the world.

The profession of healthcare management needed a greater voice in decision making.

“Our vision is a world of well managed organisations delivering high quality services, efficiently, safely and with good access for all people,” he said.

“Management is a critical pillar of our goal as an organisation. Management is not bureaucracy. It is a fundamental task of management to ensure people are capable of performance. Leadership is a component of management.”

Mr. de Roodenbeke said healthcare service delivery organisations were very complex organisations and leadership and management were critical.

There was some evidence on the relationship between management performance and organisational performance.

The IHF had established a consortium from all over the world to lead the development of global competencies for managers.

The key principles were the need for a contemporary model that connected with the health needs of society that would help focus on the developmental needs of individuals.

“In this regard, I want to pay tribute to the contribution of HMI President, Lucy Nugent who has been on the journey with us since the early beginning, in 2011,” he said. He also paid tribute to the work of Gerry O’Dwyer HMI Director of Education and President of the European Association of Hospital Managers.

Mr. de Roodenbeke said there was international agreement on the fundamental competencies (knowledge, skill and attitudes) for healthcare managers. It was also necessary to define healthcare management as a profession in countries where it had not been recognised, and to promote the formation and acceptance of Health Management Associations within countries & regions.

A Competency Directory was needed because there were various leadership/management frameworks with a lot of ownership behind them which no one wanted to give up. However, the good news was that they had the same core content. The difference was in frameworks articulating competencies under different categories and outcomes.

The Global Healthcare Management Competency Directory was a crosswalk and consolidation of content from existing competency frameworks throughout the world. It had been validated through field review and two rounds of expert feedback. There is a total of 81 competencies.

There was agreement on five key domains:

  • Leadership
  • Communication and Relationship Management
  • Professional and Social Responsibility
  • Health and Healthcare Environment
  • Business

Within each there are Domains and Subdomains, examples of which are for the first two domains are:

  • Leadership
    1. Leadership Skills and Behaviours
    2. Engaging Culture and Environment
    3. Leading Change
    4. Driving Innovation
  • Communications and Relationship Management
    1. Relationship Management
    2. Communication Skills and Engagement
    3. Facilitation and Negotiation

There was an international body of reference, which made a major difference for professionalism and credibility at national level and in the international arena.

Turning to the possible use of the Directory for Associations, Mr. de Roodenbeke said it was an instrument for assessment of leadership and management functions and capabilities and a template for credentialing healthcare managers. It demonstrated competencies verified by independent evaluation, translated Continuous Professional Development into a plan and supported professional achievements by evidence and Testimonies. It was a tool for enhancing continuing professional education programmes and was a roadmap to the profession. It also supported research on management performance and arguments for advocacy with governments.

The Global Healthcare Management Competency Directory is now available on the HMI website, President, Lucy Nugent announced at the close of the conference.