The Influence of Leadership on Healthcare Quality Culture

The importance of leaders in the management of scientific and practical healthcare institutions has always and everywhere been and remains exceptionally high. However, it increases even more in the conditions of the Covid-19 period, when certainty is lost, and the system of habitual relations, management, and financing schemes is changing. In these conditions, the survival and development prospects of many healthcare teams completely depend on the leader and their qualities.

The way a leader behaves in healthcare and their way of implementing healthcare quality culture is determined by two major indicators: the degree of directivity in leadership and the support that the leader provides to subordinates. The degree of directive shows how strict measures the manager uses when implementing a healthcare quality culture and monitoring its compliance (Ward et al., 2018). The directive style involves providing subordinates with detailed instructions. Leaders whose behavior is not rigid, do not give their subordinates specific instructions on the methods and means of adhering to healthcare quality culture, and encourage the initiative of employees. The second indicator characterizes the leader’s availability, their willingness to help subordinates.

The degree of interaction between the leader and subordinates in the process of maintaining a healthcare-quality culture depends on the psychological and emotional support from the leader. This support should be targeted, since, for example, employees with a high level of motivation practically do not need psychological support. A good, experienced leader should be able to create a single team from subordinates with the distribution of role functions within it.

The main qualities of a leader in healthcare can be considered a vision of prospects, the ability to rally the team and lead it, and to serve as a reliable protection for the team. Such a leader needs to thoroughly know the structure of a healthcare organization, for which they climb the career ladder gradually, passing all the stages of growth. In the scientific team, this is a journey from a junior and senior researcher to the director of the research institute, in the hospital – from the doctor to the head of the department to the chief physician, in the health management body – from the chief physician or the employee of the management body to its head (Lotfi et al., 2018). Only taking into account these qualities and the accumulation of experience, a professional has every reason to become an effective leader in providing quality healthcare culture.

By focusing on the future, leaders should be able to cope with the inevitable problems that stand in the way of developing the implementation of a healthcare-quality culture. At the same time, the development of a vision for the future of a healthcare organization can upset the existing balance. The manager can and should anticipate the emergence of resistance among employees, and they should have several scientifically based strategies to prevent it at their disposal. It depends on the actions of the leader whether the quality healthcare culture initiative will be accepted by a large number of employees. It can significantly speed up or slow down the process of implementing an idea.

Thus, strategic planning is of particular importance at present. In this regard, a real leader should have the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities, and qualities so that in the current difficult transition period, health care and medical science will not contribute to the disintegration. On the contrary, the leader must find at each level of management options for actions that can prevent and even improve the quality of the health care system, health services, and the work of collectives and institutions.


Lotfi, Z., Atashzadeh-Shoorideh, F., Mohtashami, J., & Nasiri, M. (2018). Relationship between ethical leadership and organisational commitment of nurses with perception of patient safety culture. Journal of Nursing Management, 26(6), 726-734.

Ward, M. E., Brún, A. D., Beirne, D., Conway, C., Cunningham, U., English, A., … McAuliffe, E. (2018). Using co-design to develop a collective leadership intervention for healthcare teams to improve safety culture. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(6), 1174-1182.

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