A look at why leadership is important in a healthcare environment

A look at why leadership is important in a healthcare environment

Healthcare is one of the most extensive and vital fields of study and industry, frequently providing a lifeline to those in need. Every day, doctors, scientists, nurses, caregivers, paramedics, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and others work on the medical frontlines to save lives, provide mental and physical care, and discover cures for new and old diseases. 

However, the path to a healthier world does not begin or end with these dedicated professionals. Behind the frontline teams are reliable and hardworking healthcare management experts who handle the logistical, financial, and commercial aspects of the field. Leaders in this sector take on significant responsibilities, delegating and overseeing the success of practices, science divisions, and businesses to ensure smooth operation and organization.

The organizational culture in which managers work has a significant impact on their ability to perform effectively. Many of America’s best-performing provider organizations have focused on developing an inclusive and respectful culture and promoting good communication throughout the workforce, in addition to maintaining executive stability in terms of their personnel and strategic approach. 

For example, these organizations’ leaders and managers are frequently skilled at brokering agreements among a diverse range of professionals and ensuring that change is shaped and owned by frontline teams instead of being imposed from on high and driven by a few senior figures.

Current practices

In today’s healthcare settings, effective leadership by healthcare professionals is critical. The primary driver behind this is the desire to improve the quality of healthcare provision. There are numerous reasons that quality improvement programs fail, but one of the most important is clinician disengagement and resistance to change. Clinicians who take on leadership roles must overcome these obstacles and adopt an inclusive leadership style that meets the needs of healthcare professionals. 

Research shows that effective healthcare leaders and managers are skilled in critical areas such as adapting to change, meeting business objectives, and being resourceful. They are often straightforward, easy to get along with, and skilled at dealing with individual differences. On the other hand, healthcare managers and leaders may fall short in several critical areas. According to a study, the ability to lead employees, which was ranked as the most crucial skill for success in the healthcare sector by respondents, ranked lower than other competencies in terms of leader performance. 

Healthcare leaders place a high value on the ability to lead others, but leaders’ performance in this competency could be improved significantly. That’s why programs such as Baylor University’s Online DNP ENL program are vital in providing proper training for our future leaders.

The course aims to accomplish three goals to assist healthcare professionals in developing their leadership skills. First, it will encourage and support reflection and self-awareness, allowing students to better understand the type of leader they are and how to improve their practice. 

Second, it will provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to lead. They will look at leadership theories, change management, healthcare policy, and improving quality and safety approaches. 

Finally, they will provide opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations and identify the links between theory and practice.

Furthering your leadership skills

When you hear the word “leader,” you might think of someone who manages a large team or someone at the top who makes all the decisions. Although the term can mean different things to different people, the Chartered Institute of Professional Development defines it as “the ability to influence people to achieve a common goal through personal attributes and behaviors.” 

Directors, middle managers, first-line supervisors, and frontline employees can all be leaders. For example, you could be a leader by raising concerns about staffing levels, serving as a role model, or proposing an idea to improve patient care.

When a member of a healthcare organization relies on their professional skills and qualities to direct their team to achieve a goal, it is referred to as healthcare leadership. Leadership in healthcare can come from any team member, which means that anyone, regardless of their position, can demonstrate leadership. Leadership is essential in healthcare to ensure that all medical team members understand their roles and collaborate to achieve their objectives. Leaders use their analytical thinking skills to assess complex situations and develop effective strategies for resolving them.

Emotionally intelligent healthcare leaders must be well-versed in hard and soft skills to effectively influence and engage others when it comes to goal implementation. Advanced clinical knowledge and technical skills that a healthcare leader requires to perform their job are examples of hard skills for healthcare leaders. Soft skills are social skills that must be consciously developed over time for a healthcare leader to communicate effectively with peers and subordinates.

A vision for the ideal working environment is an essential aspect of leadership. Followers are more motivated to act when leaders articulate a compelling vision that others agree with and want to be a part of. 

Notably, leaders must paint a picture of what everyone is attempting to achieve. Just as importantly, however, they must communicate how each team member can understand how their work connects to the organization’s mission or vision.


Healthcare providers work in a highly specialized medical, regulatory, and technological environment. As a result, they require leaders who understand the changing models of medical care delivery and have the business management skills to guide organizations through this ever-changing landscape. However, they may be at a disadvantage if they do not understand healthcare’s specific challenges.

Effective leadership is one of the most critical factors in an industry where the focus must always be on providing optimal medical care. Medical teams consistently provide high-quality, compassionate patient and client care when effective leadership is present in a healthcare setting. Furthermore, staff productivity rises, as do team cohesion, overall staff professionalism, and the organization’s and staff’s ability to manage change. Therefore, few things are more critical in healthcare settings than solid leadership.