The ability of a healthcare organization to implement innovative practices depends greatly on its staff, especially the managerial part. Engle et al. (2017) attach great importance to middle managers since they serve as intermediaries between senior managers and nursing personnel. Researchers have analyzed the behavior of a number of hospital managers and suggested patterns of conduct, which are likely to help healthcare organizations to implement new practices more efficiently (Engle et al., 2017). In this paper, I will provide a short review of the findings by the researchers mentioned above and analyze one of their suggested strategies, which is used in my workplace.
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The most significant part of modernizing working processes in a healthcare organization is training staff to handle new machinery and techniques and helping them to cope with emerging difficulties. According to Engle et al., the role of middle managers in this process has been underestimated and ignored by researchers, which is why they decided to explore this issue. After analyzing qualitative data of healthcare organizations and interviewing the personnel, they have come up with a classification of managers’ contribution to the implementation of innovations (Engle et al., 2017). In the conclusion of the article, the authors provide a list of useful practices for managers, which includes informal communication, motivating staff to accept innovations, and linking training to practical projects (Engle et al., 2017). Thus, the value of the article is that it explains the importance of managers for improving organizational processes and provides solutions to the efficient implementation of new practices.
In my healthcare organization, managers utilize a strategy suggesting that they should “support staff members by ensuring they have the knowledge and resources needed to implement improvement implementation and address any barriers staff encounter” (Engle et al., 2017, p. 26). Since I am a radiologic technologist in a large hospital, this practice has a great significance in my workplace. At the department, employees operate various radiography equipment that may harm patients or medical personnel in case of malpractice or equipment breakdown. For this reason, workers need to make sure they have the competence to work with mechanisms, such as an MRI scanner or an X-ray machine, and are able to recognize their malfunction. This practice implies that managers should ensure not only the availability of the necessary equipment but also training staff and handling emerging problems.
Implementing Innovative Practices
There are many ways in which my manager implements this practice. First of all, he monitors the work of radiologic technologists daily and makes sure they are provided with the machinery required to perform their duties. Next, he ensures that the staff receives enough help in learning to handle the equipment and dealing with arising difficulties. The manager in my workplace also takes care of personnel’s safety, making sure that they are exposed to the minimal amount of radiation while operating the equipment. He carefully listens to employees’ concerns and helps them to address issues relating to professional activity. These actions establish a favorable organizational climate, in which staff is encouraged to adhere to corporate values and engage in the implementation of innovations.
Furthermore, my manager is concerned about employees’ ability to undergo training and raise their qualification. Acquiring, maintaining, and improving competence is crucial in the work of healthcare professionals because it allows them to operate the equipment, define the sources of possible errors, and recognize inaccuracies in the results. For this reason, my manager is interested in the professional success of his employees. He encourages them to proceed with studying and get as many diplomas as possible. For this purpose, workers receive up to $5000 per year to cover their tuition fees. Moreover, the manager talks to doctors when employees are busy and fail to pass their examinations on the board in a timely manner. Thus, he ensures that workers have sufficient qualification for performing their job.
Finally, my manager addresses problems emerging during personnel’s working hours and concerning the interaction with patients. When employees fall behind with their work making inpatients or outpatients wait for a long time and get upset or nervous, he tries to defuse the situation. For example, he may offer them a free lunch in the cafeteria or provide them with free parking. In addition to reducing tension between staff and patients, my manager tries to give workers a maximum pay raise.
Since one of the strategies listed in the mentioned article has been applied in practice by my manager, it is possible to evaluate its effectiveness as to implementing innovations. According to Liebler and McConnell, the role of a manager is to enhance employees’ efficiency and direct their efforts toward fulfilling the goals of an organization. In this sense, the application of the specified practice aligns with managerial purposes. Providing staff with the necessary equipment, encouraging them to receive as much training as possible, and teaching them to deal with problems in the workplace not only increases employees’ productivity but also makes them loyal to the organization. These activities create the environment favorable for workers to accept organizational changes and contribute to implementing innovations.
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In conclusion, middle managers indeed play a considerable role when it comes to introducing new practices in healthcare organizations. Since managers represent a connecting link between the administration and personnel, they have the potential to facilitate staff’s acceptance of innovative technologies and speed up the process of modernization. The described strategy of managers’ behavior has proved to be efficient since it ensures that employees are provided with everything necessary and qualified to perform their work.
Engle, R. L., Lopez, E. R., Gormley, K. E., Chan, J. A., Charns, M. P., & Lukas, C. V. (2017). What roles do middle managers play in implementation of innovative practices? Health Care Management Review, 42(1), 14-27.
Liebler, G., & McConnell, C. R. (2017). Management principles for health professionals. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.