A new type of leadership to address shortage of healthcare professionals

Corona as an impulse for the leap into digital transformation and modern leadership culture?

Leadership culture has long been a topic in the global economy. With the digital transformation, it is also gaining ground in public institutions and offices.

But in healthcare – and especially in hospitals – culture and administrative technology are often still the same as decades ago!

Archaic management is one reason for the shortage of skilled workers

In healthcare, an extremely hierarchical leadership style that does not allow any contradictions still prevails. This is coupled with antiquated technology and processes like fax or handwritten lists. The disdain of staff, poor working conditions and low salaries have led to an increased outflow of healthcare professionals in recent years – while with an aging population in the next decade we will need even more of them!

The Corona crisis now dramatically highlights the effects of a lack of digitalization and outdated personnel policies in the health care system. In the podcast Handelsblatt Disrupt of 03.04.2020 the director of the University Hospital Essen, Prof. Dr. Werner, talks about their negative consequences, especially during the pandemic. At the same time, he says, the crisis must trigger digitalization and changes in leadership: In the event of a second wave or a new pandemic, no one would be able to understand if the health system were not prepared.

Digitalization and new leadership culture go hand in hand

With the digitalization, work processes, transparency of decision-making processes and responsibilities change. This in turn changes expectations: of patients, employees and managers alike!

Chief, senior and specialist doctors must now create a new leadership culture based on respect, interaction at eye level and real teamwork. The Corona crisis could be the missing – albeit drastic – impulse for this cultural change.

More than nightly clapping outside our windows, we need real and lasting improvements for nurses and doctors – and thus for the care of patients!