Ten imperatives to guide leaders through recovery from the emergency stages of the pandemic


In a consensus statement, 32 co-authors from 17 countries with expertise in various aspects of health leadership, health care, public health, and related fields have outlined ten imperatives to guide leaders through recovery from the emergency stages of the pandemic.

Jason Geerts

The leaders include, Jaason Geerts, PhD, Leadership for Professionals, University of Cambridge and Honorary Visiting Fellow,The Business School, City University of London ,who was a speaker at this year’s HMI Annual Conference.

The question they wantedto answer was what leadership imperatives were most essential for health leaders following the emergency stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest global test of health leadership of our generation. There is an urgent need to provide guidance for leaders at all levels during the unprecedented pre-resolution recovery stage,” They said their objective was to create an evidence-and expertise-informed framework of leadership imperatives to serve as a resource to guide health and public health leaders during the post-emergency stage of the pandemic.

“Guidance for Health Care Leaders During the Recovery Stage of the COVID-19 PandemicA Consensus Statement,”was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA).

Their study found that the ten imperatives in the framework were:

  1. Acknowledge staff and celebrate successes.
  2. Provide support for staff well-being.
  3. Develop a clear understanding of the current local and global context, along with informed projections.
  4. Prepare for future emergencies (personnel, resources, protocols, contingency plans, coalitions, and training).
  5. Reassess priorities explicitly and regularly and provide purpose, meaning, and direction.
  6. Maximize team, organizational, and system performance and discuss enhancements.
  7. Manage the backlog of paused services and consider improvements while avoiding burnout and moral distress.
  8. Sustain learning, innovations, and collaborations, and imagine future possibilities.
  9. Provide regular communication and engender trust.
  10. In consultation with public health and fellow leaders, provide safety information and recommendations to government, other organisations, staff, and the community to improve equitable and integrated care and emergency preparedness systemwide.

They concluded that leaders who most effectively implemented these imperatives were ideally positioned to address urgent needs and inequalities in health systems and to co-create with their organisations a future that best serves stakeholders and communities.

JAMA Netw Open.2021;4(7):e2120295. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.20295.