Healthcare Ethos: Its Positives and Negatives

The healthcare ethos extends well beyond the front line worker. Front line managers, administrators and support staff also participate in the healthcare ethos although the strength of the values and belief systems decreases with the distance from the patient or client.

Like many things, the healthcare ethos has a positive and negative side. The positive side is a powerful motivator; people have been known to go to heroic extremes for the safety their patients. Managed properly, the ethos can help healthcare organizations to deliver the very best patient focused services. Without proper management, the ethos can lead to stagnation, animosity and anything but organizational harmony. The larger organization goals can be clouded by the immediate priorities of the care giver.

So how do successful healthcare organizations strike a balance between the good and the bad of the ethos, through 4 strategies.

1. Communication, Trust and Respect
2. Managing the Group through the Individual
3. Intangible Asset: Nurture but don’t Exploit
4. Manage change transparently, but practice tough medicine