Jaipur, June 2nd 2020: In an interactive webinar hosted by IIHMR University, Jaipur, academics, researchers and industry experts from across the globe discussed the need to adopt a humanistic approach in healthcare practice and leadership. The webinar was attended by 1001 participants.
“Our focus area has been healthcare management and research and we have engaged in active collaboration with Johns Hopkins University to study the subject in detail. The pandemic has helped spread awareness on the importance of bringing about behavioral changes for a healthier life, and as such, it presents a great opportunity for us to extend this to other areas of management and leadership. We need an attitude shift and working models that takes everyone into consideration, and the healthcare sector presents us with a peculiar example at this point in time” said Dr. Pankaj Gupta, President, IIHMR University.
Elaborating on the subject, Dr. Ernst von Kimakowitz, Founder, Humanistic Management Network, Switzerland said “The conversation surrounding humanism has not extended to management practices and leadership. Enhancing the value for owners has been the main aim of business operations. The problem with this approach is that corrective measures are taken only when things go wrong. Instead, we need to integrate ethical considerations into the management decisions as it will not only encourage a more humane approach; it will also help us build more resilient systems. If we want to mitigate honest mistakes, we need to talk to stakeholders who are affected the most. In healthcare, this translates to a greater focus on preventive and promotive care instead of curative and palliative care.”
Stressing on the need to simplify the discourse surrounding leadership, Dr. Wolfgang C. Amann, Academic Program Director of HEC Paris, Qatar, said “Humanistic management is very different in approach to sustainable leadership. The current crisis has brought its importance to the forefront again. The pandemic has cost countless people their jobs, and the global economy can end up losing up to 9 trillion dollars. At a time when everyone is being affected equally, the humanistic approach needs to be foregrounded and integrated into the value chain instead of an approach that focuses only on short term goals”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has given industries opportunities to reflect on their practices. The success of market economies has produced certain impact that we can no longer choose to ignore. The predominant trend is to consider employees as a resource. Even the term is slightly dehumanizing. The reverse pyramid approach needs to be brought back to the center stage. Leadership is all about serving the employees. Unless they are happy and content, you cannot make your customers happy. There has been a paradigm shift in some sectors over the last few years where the conversation has moved away from business goals to employee engagement and employee experience” said Mr. D.P. Singh, Chief Advisor, HR Policy in India.
With the current crisis bringing the healthcare sector in countries around the world to the spotlight, the speakers also talked about the need to adopt humanistic management in healthcare. In a country like India, where over 60 percent of the healthcare expenditure is out-of-pocket, patients feel they have the right to be rude and demanding with physicians. This, coupled with the low doctor patient ratio, adds an undue amount of stress on doctors. This is the reason there is a high degree of burnout in the profession.
“A survey of the most successful business leaders from our country revealed that they want to be known as transformational leaders who enriched the life of their employees by helping them reflect and work on their strengths. Instead of focusing on compliance based measures, the happiness of the employee must be made an organizational goal. That is the only way to focus on the bigger picture. Healthcare providers need to stick to a value-based approach instead of focusing on just rules and processes. It brings in transparency and rehumanizes time, leaving the medical professional to focus on the patient experience. We also need to focus on improving the doctor experience so that they are able to deliver the right standard of care to their patients. Lastly, we need to reward outcomes based on the means that were used to achieve them instead of focusing only on the results” added Mr. Singh. Dr. Shiv K. Tripathi, Dean, IIHMR University moderated the session.
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