Governance in health care occurs at many levels with numerous professional organizations monitoring and changing practice and behaviors for health care professionals. Hospitals and health care delivery organizations are subject to inspections, government regulatory oversight and outcome analysis. There is, however, one area where governance is seriously lacking.
In this commentary, Governance in Health Care, Dr. Michael Gross examines impediments to innovation in the Canadian health care system. He says the issue is the relationship between the provincial governments, and the organizational structure that is in place to deliver that health care.
Gross explains a more appropriate governance model that would allow for the government of the day to set the standards and expected outcomes of health care, while at an arm’s length from the management of health care. He points out that if we want sustainable health care, we cannot set goals, assign responsibility, and then constrain authority. Innovators require the freedom to try different delivery methods and to choose the method that is more successful from the users’ point of view, and more efficient in the use of funds.
There is a huge opportunity to save money and change the way that health care is delivered on the front lines by changing job descriptions. Better governance is the first step to better health care.