UK Hospitals Have a "Management Problem"

According to McKinsey, whose analysts have determined that all the NHS needs is some outside HR talent. Oh, and stronger leadership by doctors.

Premise of this study:

"For health care, we...decided to test a hypothesis: that the direct involvement of doctors in the management of a hospital helps to improve its performance."

You don't say?

The article did include interesting comments on the efficiency of hospital performance tracking initiatives...

  • "Hospitals that track performance particularly well...continually monitor key performance measures and communicate information about them, both formally and informally; include the whole staff in these communications; and use a range of visual-management tools, such as electronic display boards, progress charts, and performance scorecards."
  • "Hospitals that track their performance poorly might monitor only a limited range of externally imposed performance metrics, measure the results sporadically, and communicate them solely to hospital executives."
And here's a shocker - apparently managers with clinical backgrounds are better at running hospitals...

  • "Hospitals whose general managers have a clinical background had overall management scores higher than other hospitals did (Exhibit 3). Clinical skills apparently help managers to understand hospital operations and to manage clinicians more successfully."

But they still need to adopt management best practices via cross-vertical pollination:

"The NHS...should look to other sectors, including industry and private-sector hospitals, for examples of good practice in talent management... "

If this research is groundbreaking, perhaps it's no surprise staying in an NHS hospital is as dangerous as bungee jumping and rock climbing...

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