Posted by: ihfgeneva | December 3, 2013

IHF’s Initiative for an International Competency Framework for Healthcare Managers : 24th EAHM Congress

EAHM congress competency framework presentationThe International Hospital Federation participated in the 24th European Association of Hospital Managers (EAHM) Congress in Luxembourg from November 28th-29th.  The congress, themed “Hospital Management in Times of Crisis: Constraints, Challenges and Opportunities,” focused on identifying practical means to preserve or enhance care quality in times of economic weakness. EAHM, member of the IHF Healthcare Executives Special Interest Group, brought together over 600 CEOs and Hospital Mangers to exchange information, experiences and ideas. The Congress aimed to address the question, “When the economy is weakened and the hospital budget reduced, what can a hospital manager undertake to continue to deliver better care?” The program of the conference was split into three blocks: Strategic Guidelines, Business Process Reengineering, and New Buildings, New Technologies.

Presentations at the congress addressed issues with regards to improving quality care and maximizing value under constrained budgets. For example, Northern Ireland has adopted a managed program of the transformation of care in order to address the growing and aging population under a specified budget by maximizing efficiency and quality through integrated health and social care. In addition, the university hospital strategy of Germany was presented, outlining the benefits of cooperation among hospitals to lower structure costs and expand undertaking activities.  A panel discussion also addressed the major role that GPOs can play in innovation, as the professionalization of purchasing allows for the follow up on innovation to inform hospitals and also helps small and medium sized companies find markets.

IHF CEO, Eric de Roodenbeke, presented a lecture, “Towards an International Competency Framework for Healthcare Managers,” in which he outlined IHF’s initiative to adopt an international framework based on universal competencies for managing and leading healthcare organizations. The initiative plans to promote the use of the framework in order to strengthen training and career development of healthcare executives. The IHF acknowledges that there is a need for a global competency framework because of the challenges of healthcare management, such as an international labor market due to globalization, and diverse training, which makes it difficult to assess competencies.  Because healthcare improvement relies on increased professional management in healthcare organizations, this is an important initiative. A review of current existing national frameworks across countries including the United States, Australia, France, and the UK shows major commonalities, only varying according to national contexts. Due to this, IHF’s initiative is timely and supported by major healthcare manager associations.

With strong support from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), the competency framework is based on the Healthcare Leadership Alliance directory, including leadership, professional and social responsibility, knowledge of the healthcare environment, communication and relationship management, and business skills and knowledge. Moving forward, the IHF will continue to gather expert input until the adoption of the framework in January of 2014, following a call for action through the International Charter for Competencies in March of 2014. This framework will ultimately strengthen the recognition of healthcare management as a profession through better acknowledged, specific competencies. Follow the initiative’s progress at: http://www.ihf-fih.org/Spec.-Interest-Groups/Health-Care-Executives

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