STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Raffles hospital continues to be the leading healthcare provider in Singapore. The trend it has set as a benchmark hospital can be attributed to the leadership and management of the hospital. Dr. Loo Choon, the CEO and also founder of the hospital has led the hospital in a transformational period. As a transformational leader, he has managed to create a healthy environment for exemplary work by doctors and even the nurse attendants. Working under this revolutionary leader, one comes to the realization that he not only appreciates but indeed expects exemplary services, a system that has continued to render the hospital a leader in patient care.
In his unique transformational leadership style, he has given doctors a leading capability to manage the responsibilities under them with minimal supervision. He has understood that the various sectors of the hospital require unique knowledge and skills which he may not posses. In addition, he realizes that staff are more committed to work under someone they consider to have special skills and understanding, in addition to experience (Walshe and Smith 2011). To increase loyalty in the hospital, he has put specialist doctors in charge of the various wings. They are constantly monitored by their staff, and have the ability to make the majority of decisions within the departments that they head.
The senior management of the hospital enjoys job ownership and satisfaction with regard to the strides made by the various wings. Under this leadership style, the hospital has made strides in producing exemplary, and to form strong networks which have assisted to make even greater strides in patient care. The transformational leadership style has empowered the staff, to make proper decisions and to work harder to influence the systems not just in the hospital but in healthcare as a whole. This has catapulted the hospital to a leader in health care provision.
2. MSQ profile
Interacting with patients
Patients and not clinicians are the current assets in health care. Leadership in health care institutions is directed towards interaction with patients, meeting their needs and anticipating the future with regard to patient care. Without understanding the patient needs, innovation and strides in medicine will be largely to no avail. According Haddock et al (2002), to make a difference with regard to the quality of health care provision, meet the needs of the clientele at hand, it is important to begin interacting with the people who will chart the career path as well as dictate the style of leadership. There exists several ways which can be used to ensure that communication skills and learning is effected well. Internships and volunteer programs provide access to a diverse, wide variety of patients, giving quality experience.
Learning through mentorship
Leadership skills are best acquired through experience. The health care industry has many unique challenges, and although there are some inborn skills in leadership they can only be sharpened by being tested in various circumstances. There are great leaders in the field of healthcare, many of whom are willing to help young individuals develop much needed leadership skills in healthcare.
Stimulation through innovation and creativity
Healthcare leaders, who have left great marks in the industry, began doing creative and innovative things early in their careers. A transformational leader needs to understand and create ways through which the staffs under the leader are stimulated intellectually. This process itself requires that one understand the challenges in healthcare, and also the innovative risks that can be used to resolve some of the problems.
3. STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP VERSUS ETHICAL LEADERSHIP
Strategic leadership is about finding a vision and providing direction to the organization. It involves creating goals and plans which are incorporated into all departments and sectors of the organization, striving towards particular objectives. Ethical leadership contributes towards the success of strategic leadership. Without ethical leadership, strategic planning and leadership even with the best goals is guaranteed to fail.
Ethical leadership is directed towards holding individuals accountable for their actions. In health institutions, resources need to be accounted for, and activities need to be geared towards meeting the company objectives.
Strategic leadership relies heavily on geared performance, directed and excellent performance matrices. Such high standards are only reached, when the hospital upholds morality and ethics. With ethical leadership, the customer becomes the focus of leadership. The provision of excellent services is at the forefront of the goals. This is part, but not the whole objective of strategic leadership. In designing the structure of strategic leadership, planning for ethical leadership is a necessity as well as requirement.
Similar to strategic leadership, ethical leadership involves influencing behavior and actions. It involves effecting change in behavior so that the staff under the leader embody and indeed exhibit behavior directed at ensuring the success of the leaders’ vision. Ethical leadership goes to all departments and sectors of the organization, focusing on ensuring a culture where employees feel directly responsible for the duties they are expected to complete (McLaughlin and Hays 2008).
4. CLINICAL GOVERNANCE
In Raffles hospital clinical governance has gone a long in guaranteeing that the quality of patient services is not only maintained, but continues to grow as the hospital increases and includes newer departments and facilities. The hospital is renowned for its high standard of services provided to the patients, which have catapulted the hospital to the leading private institution in Singapore. Mr. Kee Teck Koon has made many changes directed at perfecting the clinical governance structure of the hospital. He is responsible for not just ensuring proper audit of accounts and strengthening of the hospital services.
His experience as a chief investment officer, has gone very far towards ensuring a much more transparent work relationship, focusing on the use of hospital resources in such a manner that they are not only well accounted for but are indeed directed at insuring high profit yields.
It is important to note that health care is a fast growing industry with many changes that have often required the hospital and its management to adapt to ensure stronger and more effective clinical governance. Through the support of the independent directors, Koon has been able to transform the hospital, introducing measures that are flexible and adapt to the various changes in the industry. These measures bring out incidences of poor performance among the staff, and unreliable practices that would have otherwise thrived and infected the entire hospital. The quality of service continues to be high because such factors are identified early, and dealt with before they can fester and spread.
Koon works towards ensuring that his subordinates gain the necessary skills to increase their own competence in the variety of situations that they face within the hospital. This increases their confidence in service delivery ensuring that they strive towards and ensure high quality services to the patients. Wright and Hill (2003) stated that Networking between these competent individuals ensures that the quality of service to the patient is high and easily achieved. This is in addition to providing and securing the high technology machinery and equipment, which makes the delivery of service faster and much more efficient. Raffles hospital continues to be one of the most modernized of the private hospitals, highly rated nationally and internationally.
HEALTH CARE REFORMS
Both nationally and internationally, health care reforms have come in plenty in the past decade. The concern for people’s health and the requirements for governments to ensure access to quality and effective heath care systems for their citizens have brought many changes. Singapore has not been left behind, and these changes have had great impact on the Raffles hospital.
· Introduction of medisave has ensured that an even larger population has access to good insurance and therefore health care. It is easier for patients to pay their bills using medisave, and this has increased the number of patients attended to at the high quality private care institution.
· Medishield, a cover provided by the government has come with many changes making the approach to health care much more flexible. Aging patients, even as old as 90 years can use the medishield to access both outpatient and inpatient care. This has led to the ballooning of aged patients visiting the hospital. This range of patients has increased so much so that the hospital has introduced a department and structured a wing, including specialists in the aging diseases to cater for this population. This has determined the flexibility of medishield, meaning more of the aging population, many of whom are unemployed and retired can now pay for health services.
· A concern for the hospital has always been that outpatient wings are not doing as well and inpatient and long term care wings. However, the government and recent reforms have targeted the access to outpatient, ensuring that patients can get treatment at the nearest and most efficient facility. Today, Raffles hospital is recording a constant increase in the outpatient care and departments (Armstrong et al (2011).
Managers rely on ethical rules of conduct to ensure that the staff remains in high standards. However, as with any other organization, doctors and nurses among other staff in the hospital are human beings. It is therefore important and indeed paramount for the managers to remain flexible. One of the rules of the managers in decision making within the institution is to ensure fairness at all times. Even where rules of conduct may govern, fairness to the patient and the staff member must be part of the process in finding out the blame and consequences of an action. The rules are only applied when true negligence and disregard for the high quality of service expected can be seen and proved.
Furthermore, managers are also expected to ensure that decisions remain efficient and effective. There may be slight revisions to the general rules of conduct, but if such rules are effective then they are upheld within the Raffles hospital environment. It is normally up to the managers, to determine the flexibility of the rules and regulations as they apply to the different situations (Fottler et al 2010). This is why the majority of the directors in the hospital are considered as indirect directors, so that cases can be decided based in their legality and fairness rather than on the benefit that one party will accrue
Armstrong, E. G. (2011). The health care dilemma: A comparison of health care systems in three European countries and the US. Singapore: World Scientific.
Fottler, M. D., Khatri, N., & Savage, G. T. (2010). Strategic human resource management in health care. Bingley, UK: Emerald.
Haddock, C. C., McLean, R. A., & Chapman, R. C. (2002). Careers in healthcare management: How to find your path and follow it. Chicago, Ill: Health Administration Press.
McLaughlin, D. B., & Hays, J. M. (2008). Healthcare operations management. Chicago: Health Administration Press.
Walshe, K., & Smith, J. (2011). Healthcare management. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.
Wright, J., & Hill, P. (2003). Clinical governance. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.