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Humanizing Healthcare Reforms

by Gerald A Arbuckle Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 272 pages
AU$44.99 NZ$46.08
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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Looking at the current turmoil facing contemporary healthcare systems worldwide, resulting from relentless imposition of financially-based performance indicators, the author argues that a return to a values-based approach to healthcare will create positive transformation. Writing from the fresh perspective of social anthropology, the author takes a highly pragmatic approach to practice, emphasizing the importance of values such as compassion, solidarity and social justice. He suggests that without being able clearly to identify the values and goals that unite their members, healthcare organizations are unlikely to be able to meet the demands of the constant and varied pressures they face, and explains how individuals at every level in healthcare can contribute in practical ways to positive change within their organizations.

This much-needed and very accessible book will be essential reading for anyone interested in a better approach to healthcare reform, from clinicians and nurses, to managers and policy makers, as well as the interested reader.

Foreword by Dr Maria Theresa Ho.
1. Power and Complexity of Culture: Healthcare Insights.
2. Healthcare Models in Conflict: What about the Patient?.
3. Tribalism Between Clinicians and Managers: Risks to Patients.
4. Bullying in Healthcare Institutions: An Anthropological Perspective.
5. Leading Cultural Change in Healthcare.
6. Leading Mergers in Healthcare: Cultural Processes.
7. Faith-Based Healthcare: Case Study.
Further Reading.

Reforms in health care continue across a range of jurisdictions. They consume our attention in a variety of ways: changes to public policy or clinical education initiatives or health management training, or the everyday task of healthcare leadership. Dr. Gerry Arbuckle’s latest book Humanizing Healthcare Reforms provides an analysis of scope and scale hitherto absent. Arbuckle approaches his work as an anthropologist with years of experience in healthcare in different countries, and he brings this over-arching professional insight to this thought-provoking book.

Arbuckle diagnoses the dissonance arising from business-based and value-based approaches in healthcare. He argues the dichotomy is itself a lie, and that values, and the mission perspective motivates people in the profession, and this provides the basis for a truly effective and humane business model for healthcare. Arbuckle outlines the dysfunctionality of the competing models, which lead to the common experiences of failure in reform and problems of siloed tribalism and destructive workplace cultures.

Every healthcare system needs effective leadership. Arbuckle provides a challenging view of effective healthcare leadership, and the principles needed to shape sustainable reforms going forward. Arbuckle introduces the ‘paramodern’ dimension to understanding reform and leadership skills in 21st century healthcare management. He provides the concept of refounding as the key to building a link between present competing frames of managing healthcare and the skills needed to drive effective and humane long standing reform.''
Professor Peter Steane PhD, Australian Catholic University

'This book is a useful mirror for managers and clinicians to reflect on and mitigate their own responses to structural change.'
- Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Queen Mary, University of London

'In Humanizing Healthcare Reforms, Arbuckle excises the dialogue out of the conventional logic that has been so unsatisfying in solving the challenge of healthcare, drawing us into a credibly optimistic conversation in which cultural understandings make transformative change imaginable. His deeply provocative, delightfully articulated, and thoroughly constructive text fills an important gap in the debates about healthcare system reform, reviving the essence of the moral and spiritual ideals that led to the development of healthcare systems in the first place and offering a practical guide to enacting them through visionary and strategic leadership.
Arbuckle speaks the language of the idealist and committed people who struggle to solve the problems of healthcare in our modern age, and offers them a new way forward.'
-Professor Sally Thorne, University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada
Gerald A. Arbuckle, PhD, is a Cambridge University trained anthropologist and a cultural and organisational consultant to public and private healthcare systems in the United States, Canada, and Australia. A former director of the national board of St Vincent's Health, Australia, he was appointed in 2008 by the Government of New South Wales to the Independent Panel to oversee the reform of the state's public hospital system. During 2010 he worked at Campion Hall, Oxford University, researching issues confronting the National Health Service in England. In 2011 he gave the Martin D'Arcy Memorial Lectures at Oxford University upon which this book is based. Gerald lives in Sydney, Australia.