4 fundamental values for healthcare leaders

The modern era of healthcare heavily emphasizes rapid evolution and the need for innovation and reform, but this emphasis has come at the expense of reinforcing several universal values, according to a Forbes column.

Even as healthcare continues to transform, four fundamental "virtues" remain, writes Forbes contributor Sachin H. Jain, M.D.:

  • Quality clinicians: No matter how much care delivery mechanisms change, Jain writes, clinicians with the right combination of attitude, patient-centered care and training are irreplaceable. 
  • Continuity of care: Part of healthcare's transformation, Jain writes, has been the increased splitting of healthcare delivery into specialties and subspecialties as well as different delivery settings, such as outpatient, inpatient and post-acute care. This has had the positive effect of increased knowledge and oversight, but it has robbed healthcare of clinician-patient relationships, he writes. To restore this continuity, he recommends "extensivist physicians" who are in touch with patients during their hospital stays and any post-discharge care as well as any clinic visits after they return home. 
  • Face-to-face visits: The advent of virtual care has the potential to significantly improve care delivery, Jain writes, but in many cases the lack of in-person contact may hurt clinicians' ability to make meaningful observations. While telemedicine can be a great benefit to care delivery, and represents a level of increased convenience that healthcare consumers favor, there is no substitute for in-person engagement when it comes to high-risk and chronically-ill patients.
  • Joy in practice: As healthcare continually pushes to increase productivity, burnout has also increased, Jain writes. This is due in large part to the nature of clinicians' work, but leaders should also work to make sure clinicians feel appreciated and acknowledged. For example, he writes, Stanford's time-banking program for emergency physicians has significantly increased job satisfaction.

To learn more:
- read the commentary