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Clinical Leadership and Hospital Performance

Topic Summary and Thesis Statement

There are many ways how to improve the quality of health care and promote the effectiveness of management in hospitals. In modern complex working environments, it is not easy to define the approach and be sure of its efficiency. This paper aims at discussing the role of clinicians in the governance of healthcare organizations. Sarto and Veronesi (2016) admit that doctors and other practitioners have all chances to succeed in performing their leadership roles and developing unique skills. The main reasons why clinicians are good at governing hospitals and other healthcare facilities are an understanding of clinical perspectives and a possibility to maintain communication skills. In addition, this group of people is able to demonstrate strong and strategically successful decision-making. Finally, clinicians assure high-quality services due to their practical involvement, an increase in hospital productivity, and patient-centered experiences (Veronesi, Kirkpatrick, & Altanlar, 2015). As opposed to civilians, the involvement of clinicians in leadership has a considerable effect on hospital performance through the prism of effective management of care endeavors, their awareness of hospitals’ and patients’ needs, and readiness to make changes.

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Evidence and Leadership Theory

Regarding present achievements and discoveries, the role of clinicians in leading hospitals has to be discussed from two main perspectives. On the one hand, it is necessary to describe the benefits of such leadership and management changes that can be observed. On the other hand, it is expected to compare the results of the involvement of clinicians and civilians in the performance of healthcare systems.

The improvement of management effectiveness is one of the main outcomes of the governance of clinicians in hospitals. During the last several decades, significant changes in the models of governance have been detected (Sarto & Veronesi, 2016). They have introduced strong alternatives to traditional leadership and the possibility to take a step and deal with professional bureaucracy, as well as medical and management problems (Sarto & Veronesi, 2016). Effective communication is the first quality of clinicians as leaders in the working settings. The peculiar feature of this type of communication is that clinicians already understand the worth of all medical terms and clinical perspectives (Sarto & Veronesi, 2016). They do not need time to learn the problems of a facility and discuss these challenges with other clinicians. Their experiences and care involvement provides them with an opportunity to learn better organizational needs and weaknesses.

The quality of decision-making is another expected improvement of clinicians in the role of hospital leaders. A high level of clinical involvement is a chance to offer flexible decisions (Veronesi et al., 2015). The peculiar feature of these decisions is their formal autonomy and the nature of interpretations. Clinicians also succeed in achieving constructive results in care management, reducing mortality rates, and promoting positive patient experiences (Veronesi et al., 2015). Clinical engagement turns out to be a solid contribution to hospital occupancy and productivity.

An understanding of the nature of hospital-based leadership can be determined through the comparison of the skills gained by clinicians and civilians. Clinical leadership depends on engagement and the context in terms of which the realization of this type of leadership is possible (Daly, Jackson, Mannix, Davidson, & Hutchinson, 2014). Compared to civilians who usually get an idea on how to receive healthcare services and help, clinicians are able to evaluate a situation from the point of view of the established health reforms, organizational goals, and reliability systems (Daly et al., 2014). The establishment of work-related behaviors is a step that cannot be ignored in organizational management. Citizens usually demonstrate altruism and courtesy in their attitudes to healthcare services and workers (Daly et al., 2014). Clinicians, in their turn, base their leadership on a collegiate orientation and service interface (Daly et al., 2014). Both approaches have their merits and demerits, and clinicians demonstrate definite and effective steps.

The relationship between care quality, payment reforms, and human resource management is frequently discussed by many organizations. For example, Tsai et al. (2015) focus on clinical outcomes and prove that enhanced performance is based on monitored quality management. The financial burden of hospitals may be explained by poorly acknowledged civilians and the inability to understand the worth of such programs as Hospital Value-Based Purchasing or Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (Tsai et al., 2015). Not all quality metrics can be understood by civilians. Therefore, it is recommended to focus on the achievements that clinical leaders offer.

In this paper, to understand the effectiveness of clinician leadership, transformational leadership theory is offered. This approach is based on the association between leaders and their subjects to promote inspiration and value system agreement at advanced levels (Xu, 2017). The main strength of transformational leadership is the possibility to define strong visions and unique personal attributes with the help of which leaders can cooperate with their subordinates and motivate different people to achieve the required goals. The chosen theory defines the steps of leaders as well as impacts follower satisfaction and commitment to a leader personally and to an organization as a whole (Xu, 2017). Fischer (2016) and Xu (2017) agree that transformational leadership has to be based on the change to stay effective. Constant movement, development, and progress create enough opportunities to establish clear goals, succeed in decision-making, and be open and honest to their companies and themselves.

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The chosen theory of transformational leadership has many things in common with the qualities of clinicians. For example, using this theory, leaders learn how to develop a connection between people, how to communicate with the staff, and how to demonstrate self-assurance and courage. Healthcare reforms depend on leaders who possess these skills and develop the same attributes (Fischer, 2016). The prominence of the transformational leadership theory lies in its individual-level contributions and common educational, communication, and organizational needs. As soon as leaders learn how to be transformational, they can achieve good results and high-quality care.

Summary of Findings and Conclusion

In general, the discussion of the topic of clinical leadership and its connection to hospital performance opens a variety of perspectives and operational definitions. It is not enough to say that clinicians’ experience and awareness of health care quality make them more effective leaders and policymakers. It is necessary to develop the evaluation of the qualities of clinicians and compare them with the qualities of civilians in order to understand their levels of preparedness, abilities to solve problems, and decision-making traits. Though clinical leadership is a new branch in hospital management, it has already found a number of supporters and contributors. This paper is a chance to learn better the peculiarities of this form of leadership and create a solid background for a larger scholarly discussion in terms of which it can be possible to identify positive and negative aspects and develop specific reforms and policies.


Daly, J., Jackson, D., Mannix, J., Davidson, P. M., & Hutchinson, M. (2014). The importance of clinical leadership in the hospital setting. Journal of Healthcare Leadership, 6, 75-83. Web.

Fischer, S. A. (2016). Transformational leadership in nursing: A concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(11), 2644-2653. Web.

Sarto, F., & Veronesi, G. (2016). Clinical leadership and hospital performance: Assessing the evidence base. BMC Health Services Research, 16(2), 85-109. Web.

Tsai, T. C., Jha, A. K., Gawande, A. A., Huckman, R. S., Bloom, N., & Sadun, R. (2015). Hospital board and management practices are strongly related to hospital performance on clinical quality metrics. Health Affairs, 34(8), 1304-1311. Web.

Veronesi, G., Kirkpatrick, I., & Altanlar, A. (2015). Clinical leadership and the changing governance of public hospitals: Implications for patient experience. Public Administration, 93(4), 1031-1048. Web.

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Xu, J. H. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155-157. Web.

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