What It Takes to Lead Health System Change

eAlert c8a02474-0170-41f2-a54f-c134140e8727

<p>“What are the critical skills for leading major change in our health system?” asks Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D., in an essay published today in <em>Harvard Business Review.</em></p><p>To answer this question<em>,</em> Blumenthal draws from two earlier phases of his career: his tenure as national coordinator of health information technology at the start of the Obama administration, when he was charged with creating a nationwide, interoperable electronic health information system, and his work to replace the electronic health record system at Partners HealthCare, New England’s largest health system.</p>
<p>Blumenthal discusses what he views as the keys to leading fundamental change, among them: a commitment to transparency; ensuring that stakeholders have a voice in the process; making listening and communicating a personal priority; and developing a motivating narrative.</p>
<p>“The effectiveness of leaders in both the public and private sectors in managing ambitious change efforts will determine their ultimate success,” he writes. “And my experience suggests that the skills required in these two sectors are remarkably similar — because change management, regardless of setting, involves convincing human beings to give up something they know for something new and uncertain.”</p>

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