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How to improve healthcare? Identify, nurture and embed individuals and teams with “deep smarts”

Kathy Eljiz (Australian Institute of Health Service Management, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia)
David Greenfield (Australian Institute of Health Service Management, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia)
John Molineux (Deakin Business School, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
Terry Sloan (School of Business, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, Australia)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 1 February 2018

Issue publication date: 6 March 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Unlocking and transferring skills and capabilities in individuals to the teams they work within, and across, is the key to positive organisational development and improved patient care. Using the “deep smarts” model, the purpose of this paper is to examine these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The “deep smarts” model is described, reviewed and proposed as a way of transferring knowledge and capabilities within healthcare organisations.

Findings

Effective healthcare delivery is achieved through, and continues to require, integrative care involving numerous, dispersed service providers. In the space of overlapping organisational boundaries, there is a need for “deep smarts” people who act as “boundary spanners”. These are critical integrative, networking roles employing clinical, organisational and people skills across multiple settings.

Research limitations/implications

Studies evaluating the barriers and enablers to the application of the deep smarts model and 13 knowledge development strategies proposed are required. Such future research will empirically and contemporary ground our understanding of organisational development in modern complex healthcare settings.

Practical implications

An organisation with “deep smarts” people – in managerial, auxiliary and clinical positions – has a greater capacity for integration and achieving improved patient-centred care.

Originality/value

In total, 13 developmental strategies, to transfer individual capabilities into organisational capability, are proposed. These strategies are applicable to different contexts and challenges faced by individuals and teams in complex healthcare organisations.

Keywords

Citation

Eljiz, K., Greenfield, D., Molineux, J. and Sloan, T. (2018), "How to improve healthcare? Identify, nurture and embed individuals and teams with “deep smarts”", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 135-143. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-09-2017-0244

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited