Future healthcare leadership competencies: Views from the AHRQ 2012 conference
Today at the AHRQ annual meeting, CAHME CEO John Lloyd and I presented on “The competency development needs of future healthcare leaders” to a group of about 100 healthcare professionals and policymakers. We devoted the last half of the session to facilitated small-group discussions about the emerging competency needs of leaders in a reformed health system.
It was truly gratifying to hear many of the small groups report out (quite passionately at times I might add) on themes that the revised CAHME criteria speak to directly. These included the critical importance of interdisciplinary education, the need to integrate practical experience into (vs. after) education, and the need to understand the work and experiences of clinicians. A plea was also made for managers to gain a practical understanding of patient experiences, particularly for those patients routinely facing difficulties getting the care they need due to social, cultural, and/or economic barriers.
Audience members also expressed concerns about increasing expectations that clinicians lead the reform effort atop their already substantial patient care responsibilities. The general consensus was that there was a real need for professional managers that would partner with clinicians in pursuing the ideals of a higher value health system.
In side conversation, one audience member told also me that on the frontlines the term ‘value’ was at risk of taking on a very negative connotation, as it always seemed to come up as a precursor to discussions of reducing headcount.
Clearly, communicating the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of health systems change is another competency in need of mastery across our profession.