Medical Engagement and Organisational Performance

Literature Review

A research study to assess the links between medical engagement and organisational and service performance has been completed. The study included a literature review of medical engagement and leadership, undertaken by Professor Chris Ham at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham.

Engaging Doctors in Leadership: Review of the literature Engaging Doctors in Leadership: Review of the literature

A report reviewing the potential learning from international experience and research evidence on engaging doctors in leadership is also available, Engaging Doctors in Leadership: What we can learn from international experience and research evidence Engaging Doctors in Leadership: What we can learn from international experience and research evidence. Hardcopies are also available from New Audience, email institute@newaudience.co.uk or phone 01922 742 555 and quote NHSIengagingdocs.

Semi Structured Interviews

A series of semi structured interviews with senior leaders from several of the high and low performing trusts across the country (as defined by the Health Care Commission, 2006).

Medical Engagement Scale 

Emerging from the interviews is a set of behaviours and approaches that should lead to a more positive and effective way of engaging doctors in leadership. These behaviours have been collated and informed the development of a medical engagement scale which has been tested in a number of trusts.

The Medical Engagement Scale (MES) is designed to assess medical engagement in management and leadership in NHS organisations. The tool assesses an organisation’s overall level of medical engagement as well as levels of specific subscales that make up the resulting score. This enables feedback on overall levels and areas where development or improvement is required.

The Medical Engagement Scale is given to all medical staff and a sub-sample of senior managers (this allows for an assessment of the alignment between the views of doctors and the executive of the organisation). The scale has been designed to differentiate between the individual’s personal desire to be engaged and the organisation’s encouragement of involvement.

How does the Medical Engagement Scale fit within broader objectives in enhancing engagement in medical leadership?
Enhancing clinical engagement is seen as crucial in ensuring that service changes are properly planned and effectively implemented. This has been highlighted in the recent High Quality Care For All: NHS Next Stage Review Final Report (Darzi).

Hospitals where clinicians are engaged in strategic planning and decision making are better performers than those where clinicians are alienated from the strategic processes of the hospital (Goldstein and Ward 2004).

The NHS Institute proposed to develop a reliable and valid measure of medical engagement that would be quick and relatively unobtrusive to complete but which will be capable of providing useful information about both the cultural milieu of the organisation (which may either foster or constrain professional engagement) and the personal feelings of medical staff (which may either empower or inhibit the motivation to fully perform). Applied Research Ltd were commissioned to develop a Medical Engagement Scale (MES) specifically designed for NHS organisations.

If you are interested in having your trust undertake the Medical Engagement Scale, download a flyer here here (175.11 KB). There is more information on the process of the scale, and commitment to undertake the MES here here (155.00 KB).

You can access the report MES Phase Two Pilot and Development of Medical Norms MES Phase Two Pilot and Development of Medical Norms.pdf here (148.76 KB).

Engaging Doctors: Can doctors influence organisational performance?

Summary publication of activities undertaken to investigate the link between medical engagement and organisational performance including

  • The literature review
  • Semi structured interviews with NHS Chief Executives and Medical Directors
  • Development of a Medical Engagement Scale designed to help organisations evaluate levels of medical engagement and develop strategies to improve it.

The publication also describes the Medical Leadership Competency Framework and provides real examples of good practice in medical engagement. The findings demonstrate that engaging doctors at all levels is an important factor in improving organisational performance and patient services.

This publication is available, Engaging Doctors: Can doctors influence organisational performance? Engaging Doctors: Can doctors influence organisational performance?

 

Some further examples of good practice in medical engagement are available  here (here 55.41 KB).