Clinical leadership is very important for the success of a hospital or any care unit. Although we have specific job designed for the different worker at all levels including a hospital and roles of doctor, nurse, physician, receptionist, and others are defined, it is proven beyond doubt that with a sense of leadership amongst the staff, the hospital, care unit will succeed and earn a good reputation. Talking of clinical leadership specifically, we would understand that there are two major roles prevalent of sponsors and clinical champions.
Thus a clinical leadership involves clinical healthcare staff assuming the role of a leader and setting, inspiring, and promoting values and vision. Also with the skill set and clinical experience they ensure that the patients need and better health remains a topmost priority at all times. Such staff enhances the reputation of the hospital and helps the patients in healing up faster by providing strong emotional support as well. For ensuring effective clinical leadership, proper planning, and execution are required at every stage and cannot be entrusted to few. Normally, various roles are screened for roles in interdepartmental teams, and generally speaking, primary care nurses are considered to be at the front of policy implementation and giving feedback since they interact with the patients more often. Senior management is defined as "sponsors" and the primary care team is known as "clinical champions" in the clinical leadership terminology. For a hospital or clinic to be successful, both sponsors and clinical champions must work in sync and ensure the project gets driven form multiple parts of the hospital.
Generally, a senior leader like practice owner or business partner is considered to be as sponsors as they have the authority and decision-making powers for operations and any changes required. Below are a few critical roles that a sponsor is expected to fulfill:
Clinical champions are employees from the primary care team who are entrusted with the job of carrying out and executing the change as decided and desired by senior management. They are enthusiastic to carry on the activities and lead change management at ground level. The main task for a clinical champion is to look after the execution aspect and also carry vital information and feedback for the patients. Generally, a clinical champion is amongst the nursing staff or a general practitioner due to their proximity to the patients and ground staff. An effective clinical champion ensures the correct execution and integration of the project to every routine work.
The most important aspect herein is to determine the common goals and its measurement with success. Once such goals are set, it is required that sponsors and clinical champions do work in harmony to make the mission and vision successful.
While observing one clinical champion and her success story, I came across one name of a nurse named Georgia – Clinical Manager at the hospital.
Georgia seemed to be very is passionate about driving any changes as desired and a jovial personality who would also look after and support the people around. She thought that nurses are best placed to execute such roles as they spend most of their time with patients and get first-hand feedback. Such a thought process is praiseworthy as it develops good relations with patients and also understands their pain point. A nurse could be a great source of feedback provider when it comes to their participation in the meetings and the vision could be enriched with their feedback and views.
Georgia has always been responsible to take full responsibility for driving and coordinating changes and has set examples by her efforts so that everyone else is inspired. Recently, while the hospital management wanted to increase awareness about cancer, she was the first one to start calling the enrolled patients with and without cancer history and explaining to them the initiatives and elite panel of doctors the hospital would arrange for a consultation. Also, Georgia is always keen to help fellow nurses and make them understand the importance of change management and help other nurses to drive value-adding work while being at top of their professional scope of duty. During an interaction, she mentioned that her understanding of the hospital management has improved with her studies and the way she gets involved with the administration part wherein she also gets exposure to the management side and believes all other nurses should also do the same.
Also, all these activities have earned a big name and she gets acknowledged by fellow nurses and clinical champions and she is being seen as an able team leader since she is caring in nature and takes effort to manage the workload of all her team effectively and encourages nurses to undertake various performance enhancement related training and courses so that they too can grow in professional course faster and thus is being looked as a source of inspiration from all.
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