By building clinical leadership for quality and safety we can change and improve service delivery in a more effective and efficient way. This benefits the patient, the New Zealand community and achieves the best value for public health resources.
Leadership skills are crucial for creating a health care system which prioritises quality care and patient safety. Leaders must be able to bring others along with them to successfully introduce necessary changes in such a complex environment.
Everyone working in the health and disability sector comes to work to do their best for patients/consumers and their family/whānau. They want to see a safer system and improve the quality of services. Often we leave ‘quality and safety’ to those in formal clinical and management leadership roles and we wait for their decisions, their permission or their solutions for improvement. What professional and personal responsibility as clinicians do we have?
Safer, better quality care occurs when everyone gives patient safety and experience of care top priority. Quality and safety is everyone’s business: from governing bodies to those on the frontline. Those in governance and formal leadership roles must establish and sustain such a culture, however, this alone is not enough. Clinicians all have a leadership role to play. Every health care worker needs to be actively listening to patients/consumers and their family/whānau, speaking up for safety and leading improvement in their own area. They need the knowledge and skills and a clinical governance infrastructure to support this.