Term Paper: Medical Management the Primary Goal

Pages: 20 (5029 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This paper examines the opinions of all three of these authors on the issue of leadership and its relationship to management.

One of the most important thing that managers must consider as we proceed into our still-new century is the importance of recognizing and nurturing change: One of the most important characteristics that sets leaders apart from managers is the ability to welcome change. One of the most difficult aspects of management is the fact that even when people want to make and succeed in making changes, they have difficulties in making those changes last. Even most desired significant changes fail to be last even when people want them to because there is an ingrained bias against change in the very ways that people think. A good leader - and all managers should aspire to be good leaders - must be able to overcome such biases against change (when change is appropriate) even as she or he works to prevent change when it is not appropriate or needed.

As will be discussed further below, humans are genetically programmed to accept and even encourage some change while at the same time we are also genetically programmed to reject rapid, radical change. Evolution has conditioned us, as it has conditioned other biological entities, to change gradually (actually, biologists disagree over the extent that this is true). Anyone who wishes to make lasting changes must address both the mechanics and dynamics of change as well as the dynamics of stasis. That ability to balance change and continuity lies at the heart of good management, as shall be discussed below as each of the six areas for management strategy is considered. These strategies apply to a range of organisations, not simply health-care ones. However, they are in many ways most sorely needed in health-care organisations (especially those that are allied with the NHS) because of the rigidly bureaucratic nature of these organisations, because of the poor communication in these organisations (both between staff and clientele as well as between and among different divisions of the staff), and because of the tendency of NHS hospitals (as well as privately administered ones) to be dismissive of the contributions of "lower-level" workers, especially nurses.

Shared Competitive Agenda

Far too often the vision that the executives are managers of an organization have is not shared by those who are below them in the hierarchy. This is in many ways understandable: A secretary is less likely to value the competitive agenda of the company equally with a CEO because he is far less likely to share in the benefits of that agenda in terms of either monetary rewards such as raises or stock sharing or in terms of prestige. He is also less likely to share in the competitive agenda than is the CEO because the secretary - or the assembly line worker or even the design engineer - is less likely to have been included in any way in the planning of that agenda.

While to some extent this differential is inevitable, this does not mean that organisations should not work to minimize it. For example, a company can also ensure that the opinions of employees at all levels are solicited and considered - and rewarded when they prove to be useful. It is, after all, often employees in what may seem insignificant positions who come up with the best ideas because it is they who are most familiar with the daily operations of the company in each department, and it is often precisely at this level that substantial improvements can be made in terms of efficiency and productivity. Lab technicians and nurses often have a great deal to say that can be highly useful to the managers of a health-care organization (especially nurses, given the percentage of patient care for which they are responsible) but too often their opinions are dismissed, if they are even considered at all.

Clear Charter of Values

One of the most important things that any manager can do is to ensure that the standards that apply to one person apply equally to all. There is probably no better way to ensure poor morale in an organization than to ensure that there is one standard of behavior for those at the top of the hierarchy and those at the bottom. For example, if executives are known to sexually harass their staffs but lower-level workers are instantly dismissed over even the rumor of such a charge, then workers will become dispirited and leave on their own as soon as they can.

If executives boast about their clever tax dodges and the ways in which their off-shore banks help them shelter their bonuses from stockholders, they can hardly be surprised if their employees filch sugar packets from the company lunchroom or fiddle their timecards. A loose ethical standard quickly permeates a company, and the only thing worse than this is for executives to get away with unethical behavior while their employees are punished for what are in all likelihood (given their relative power and authority) far less serious ethical lapses.

Competing for Talent

One of the most important challenges for organizational leaders in the 21st century is their ability to compete for the relatively limited supply of workers that may be available for the work that the company does. This is most likely to be true for high-tech jobs in which a large number of firms are competing for the same group of individuals who have a range of computer skills. However, it is also true for other professions as well, such as those that need a workforce that speaks a wide range of languages.

One of the lessons that high-level managers should have learned from the rise and near fall of the dotcom industry is that it is not enough simply to recruit bright young professionals with the latest skills (thus securing their talents for one's own company even as one prevents other organisations from benefiting from their skills). It is also important to have people with a range of talents. At least some of the dotcoms that went under with the same dazzling rapidity that they rose would have been able to save themselves had they not relied so heavily on tech-savvy younger workers with little experience with or appreciation for basic business skills such as balancing long-term goal-setting with short-term goal-setting and understanding how much debt a company can wisely take on during its set-up phase. All organisations need different skills from their workers, and creating the proper balance is at least as important as the depth of skill of any one worker or any one department in the company.

This problem is easy to understand within the high-tech world, but it has clear implications for the world of medicine as well and health-care organisations must be more attentive to the needs of their workers if they wish to avoid the high cost of constant recruitment and retraining.

Speed of Reaction

It is certainly imperative that the manager of the 21st century be able to help design a workplace that allows a company to react to political, economic and other changes in the marketplace with sufficient speed (and flexibility). Again, this model may seem appropriate for the business workplace but not for the health-care organization but this is only because we have become so accustomed to thinking of the health-care organization as fundamentally different (and perhaps fundamentally better) than a widget-making factory because in the case of the former there are lives on the line.

However, while of course human lives and human health are far more valuable than are widgets, this does not in and of itself mean that the same principles that a manager applies in making more and better widgets faster and more efficiently and for a lower cost cannot be applied in creating healthcare that is more efficient, more effective, more humane and cheaper.

One of the most important changes that has occurred in many companies during the last few decades of the 20th century was a shift toward a less hierarchical organisational structure in many firms. More firms now allow employees at all levels a greater degree of autonomy, encouraging them to help design or redesign the work that their own department is responsible for (on the grounds that these employees are of course the ones that know the most about those work processes).

While it is probably impossible to run a company without any sort of traditional hierarchy at all (and this is more and more true the larger the company is), it is imperative that companies are not wedded to a rigid top-down structure in which a single person or a small handful of people make all of the decisions from long-range planning to day-to-day scheduling. Those companies that are the most efficient are those in which the appropriate level of authority exists… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Medical Management the Primary Goal.  (2003, August 30).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/medical-management-primary-goal/5562963

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"Medical Management the Primary Goal."  Essaytown.com.  August 30, 2003.  Accessed June 16, 2019.