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Delegation PaperBy Donald BowcottDelegation by management within the Healthcare system is one, which allows the staff to develop their skills and knowledge to the full potential without hesitation. This allows each individual the opportunities to communicate with those in management and a dynamic tool for motivating and training the team to realize their full potential and self-accountability. Management in my hospital usually delegates as a primary means of entrusting your authority to others. This means other professions can act and initiate independently within the policies and procedures or orders of a licensed medial physician. You also assume the responsibility for those tasks and that they are performed with in the guidelines of medical competency.
The primary objective of delegation within patient care practices are to get the job done collectively and complete the tasks, but also be part of the decision process and make the appropriate changes which depend on all information gathered. The staff and myself have the authority to react to situation without always referring back to me. Employees adapt effectively and maintain a schedule through delegation, which allows others to perform additional tasks, which in turn allows me to apply my abilities and strengths to other problems. To teach allows for an expanding knowledge base and our philosophy in medicine has been: Watch one, Do one, then teach one. This ability allows someone else to do the job for you, and this philosophy can only operate successfully if the decision makers have experience, skills and the rapid access to the relevant information.
I think it is very important to assist your employees and express these simple principles. Our Medical directors often express these simple statements: You know what we expect. You have the authority to achieve it, and you know how to do it. This is achieved through a regular exchange of information between the staff, surgeons and administrators. Meetings, in-services, and continuous education all reinforce the role of management and delegation. Since this information is necessary for all of us to do our job effectively we must be aware of who is responsible for what and if someone is capable of doing your job for you. One of the fastest growing aspects of our industry is the every increasing access to information and the speed at which we receive that information.
The computer has had an incredible influence on the way we perform our jobs and sometimes think of the impact it has had on delegation. The ability to distribute information within our facility via the computer has an incredible impact on how rapidly we can disseminate that information. Administration has even suggested that these systems have instigated massive changes in managerial power. There has been more of a shirt towards sharing power rather than delegating it. It appears that there well-educated workforce is one that is able to innovate and adapt more spontaneously. The principle of restricting access so that only management or supervisors can obtain information limits the remaining staffs participation. A supervisor who operates in this fashion cannot delegate effectively in healthcare because it is necessary for all employees to be recognized because they may have more experience or additional knowledge to address certain decisions.
Delegation ensures that the staff collectively contributes in the decision-making process and surgeons welcome their input, which reinforces the fact that we all contribute and feel our expertice is utilized. A serious concern about delegation in healthcare is that by giving others authority, it could ultimately jeopardize a patients safety. This is a legitimate concern for patient and their families. But families need not be concerned because if you train your staff to maintain the same level of professionalism as you would yourself they will not attempt something outside their familiarity (criteria) or scope of care. If the loss of control is not expressly forbidden then you have failed to manage effective delegation within your healthcare team.
The maintaining of safety and control on your behalf is truly our primary concern for the patient. Then we must continuously implement mechanisms, which monitor and document the appropriate processes. As each patient individual needs are vastly different it is necessary to have the most knowledgeable individuals active in the decision-making processes. Another key to delegation in healthcare is to do it gradually and not to present anyone with a procedure or task that is too difficult. Instead you should build your team members confidence slowly to establish knowledge and experience. Once that is achieved it helps improve motivation amongst team and staff members. Continuous discussions and conversation with the staff regarding their comfort is essential when moving to the next step.
Considering the high standards to which we are held it is important that not everyone is capable or as comfortable as you, and be conscious as to not to judge the outcome prematurely. Undoubtedly there will be failure and it is very important to catch mistakes before they become catastrophic. Once you have dealt with any inappropriate behavior we must now analyze the cause and take appropriate action. First understand the problem, Discuss ability to perform, and implement procedures to prevent recurrence. (Disciplinary Action, Possible license revocation) Since delegation is about the handing of authority, it is difficult to dictate what is appropriate to delegate. Frequent reports, monitoring and feedback are essential information for our ability to meet or exceed our standard of care (goals).
Some advantages to Delegation: . Higher efficiency . Increased motivation . Develops the skills of your team . Better distribution of work through the group There are obviously some tasks within the medical field should never be delegated and should always be performed by the best or most highly qualified individual (Doctor). This is why managerial function is vital to safe operating procedure and necessary for the continued planning, organizing, performance, promotion, and collecting of the most critical information.'I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.' - Woodrow WilsonReferences: Gerard M Blair is a Senior Lecturer in VLSI Design at the Department of Electrical Engineering, The University of Edinburgh. His book Starting to Manage: the essential skills is published by Chartwell-Bratt (UK) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA).
He welcomes feedback either by email ().
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