The role of the physician in transforming the culture of healthcare.Leadersh Health Serv (Bradf Engl). 2016 07 04; 29(3):300-12.LH
Purpose The healthcare system in the USA is undergoing unprecedented change and its share of unintended consequences. This paper explores the leadership role of the physician in transforming the present culture of healthcare to restore, refine and preserve its traditional care components. Design/methodology/approach The literature on change, organizational culture and leadership is leveraged to describe the structural interdependencies and dynamic complexity of the present healthcare system and to suggest how physicians can strengthen the care components of the healthcare culture. Findings When an organization's culture does not support internal integration and external adaptation, it is the responsibility of leadership to transform it. Leaders can influence culture to strengthen the care components of the healthcare system. The centrality of professionalism in the delivery of patient services places a moral, societal and ethical responsibility on physicians to lead a revitalization of the care culture. Practical implications This paper focuses on cultural issues in healthcare and provides options and guidance for physicians as they attempt to lead and manage the context in which services are delivered. Originality/value The Competing Values Framework, the major interdependent domains and five principal mechanisms for leaders to embed and fine tune culture serve as the main tenets for describing the ongoing changes in healthcare and defining the role of the physician as leaders and advocates for the Patient Care Culture.