The National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) has continued to advocate for the adoption of evidence-based best practices of healthcare leaders.
Healthcare leaders are cognizant of the challenges they face while implementing best practices in everyday operations. The NCHL is an objective source of evidence-based leadership practices uniting leaders to advance innovation for leadership excellence and advance healthcare industry standards.
The NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model was developed to help support leadership development activities in practice and academic settings.
The NCHL proposed to build a competency model that would address the future of healthcare with the aim of enhancing the health status of the entire nation through effective health leadership.
To develop effective leaders, the competency model was designed to be applicable in the different levels of the career cycle (advanced, mid, and entry), increase the diversity of health leaders, define continuous learning opportunities, and support practicing health academic research.
The model included the behaviors and technical features of nursing, administrative, and medical leaders.
The NCHL health leadership competency model was created through research by the Hay Group and was informed by feedback from practicing health managers and leaders across the medical, nursing, and administrative professions and early, mid, and advanced career stages.
Benchmark data from other health sectors and insurance companies, and composite leadership competencies for a group of global corporations was also incorporated. The benchmarks used in developing the Competency Model gives it validity for use in the healthcare sector.
The aim of the NCHL health leadership competency model was to use effective health leadership to improve the health status of the entire country. The NCHL aimed to:
In alignment with NCHL’s primary goal, leadership competencies are described as the behavioral and technical features that leaders must have to succeed in leadership positions across health professions (nursing, medical, and administrative).
The Competency Model functions as the foundation for focusing training and development programs for health leadership from graduate education to the trajectory of their careers. The Model has a template for selecting and developing leaders well-equipped to meet the 21st century’s health challenges.
It also offers a guide for restructuring human resource development to kindle the most significant performance capabilities. The Model further supports health management initiatives in higher education by sharpening the curriculum in a manner that will churn out future industry leaders.
Some opinion leaders and key stakeholders in the healthcare sector questioned the essence of a health-specific Leadership Model since there are a myriad of other Models that continue to be used throughout the health and non-health sectors.
Some also believed that the healthcare sector could benefit from approaching leadership from a non-health standpoint.
These concerns were valid and by the end of the research process, Hay concluded that having a health leadership model would be of significant value since the health leaders serve in an environment or industry that require pristine competence.
The NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model benchmarks against the superlative leadership models beyond the healthcare sector and are also unique to the health setting.
It encourages leadership excellence and is a prerequisite to attaining organization performance excellence as envisioned by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
The Competency Model has 26 competencies categorized into three domains. The three domains include Transformation, Execution, and People.
These domains encompass the intricacy and dynamic quality of the role of the health leader and mirror the dynamic veracities in the modern-day health leadership.
Transformation: Visioning, invigorating, and inspiring a change process which unites communities, professionals and patients around new models of wellness and health.
The competencies include; strategic orientation, innovative thinking, information seeking, financial skills, community orientation, analytical thinking and achievement orientation.
Execution: Strategy and vision translation into ideal organizational performance.
The competencies include project management, process management/organization design, performance measurements, organization awareness, information technology management, initiative, impact and influence, communication skills, collaboration, and change leadership.
People: Designing an organization climate that values workers from diverse backgrounds and offers an enlightening environment for them. It also includes the responsibility of the leader to know how he or she impacts others and improve his or her competencies as well as others’ proficiencies.
The competencies include team leadership, talent development, self-development, self-confidence, relationship confidence, relationship building, professionalism, interpersonal understanding, and human resources management.
Eight of the 26 competencies are technical (knowledge and skills) competencies. These are identified as those that NCHL interviews demonstrated frequently and those that distinguished outstanding performance.
From the data analysis, three expertise areas were established to predict outstanding performance including: information technology management, strategic orientation, and performance measurement.
The other technical competencies that were demonstrated by most of the interviewees included project management, process management and organizational design, human resource management, financial skills, and communication skills.
The NCHL Health Leadership Competency Model is developed to address the unique needs and realities of the 21st century’s health leader.
The Model was informed by the feedback obtained from industry leaders and a vision for change. The healthcare landscape has experienced significant changes since the NCHL Model was designed more than a decade ago.
The Model has attained wide recognition and has been adopted across different healthcare organizations and educational settings.
Many organizations incorporate all the competencies included in the model for various HR purposes while others use evidence-based research practices to establish the weighting of these competencies.
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