The ability to forge and sustain good working relationships would seem to be a fairly basic requirement for any senior manager, in any walk of life. But it is especially important for those of us who manage our health services. We tend to think of the delivery of healthcare as the end goal. However, it is no harm to remind ourselves, occasionally, that health is the actual end game. Sláintecare, specifically focusses on Population Health and the impending establishment of Regional Health Areas will help to concentrate our minds on this too.
If health is the end game, then it is clear that the delivery of healthcare is only one contributory (albeit an important one!) ingredient in the mix that determines the health of a population. As we focus on the delivery of integrated care we must also remember the very important role played by organisations and individuals outside of the health care arena in contributing to the health of the people we serve together.
Back to my origin point! If the aim is health, then the need to be able to build and sustain productive working relationships with others working across the broad family of health services and beyond is a really important skill for health managers to have in their tool box. A theme we will explore further at our annual conference due to be held in October this year. Keep an eye on www.hmi.ie for further details.