The Future of Hospitals will be Shaped by this Pandemic


Mostafa Sayyadi

More about Author

Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior leaders to effectively develop innovation in organisations, and helps organisations—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a coauthor of the recently published book, Postpandemic Recovery.

This article helps you as a healthcare executive develop your ability to engage in healthcare leadership.  As you identify what you need to lead hospitals in the post-pandemic; consider the possible obstacles that you may face. This article helps you determine the most important things on your To-Do-List to help you reach your objectives, and most importantly, you can develop your action plans to accompany your goals.

I ask myself what the post-pandemic world will look like. As a senior consultant, this is what I predict: Better-managed desk space, right-sizing, a talent age gap as many seasoned healthcare executives retire, and restructured workweeks. Healthcare leaders need to exert change at the organisational level in order to better coordinate intellectual capital in hospitals. This new normal, which is coined today, places healthcare leaders in a position to reshape culture and technological initiatives, and one way to do this is by aiming at managing knowledge within hospitals. How do we manage knowledge when everyone is remotely engaged? This question resides in not only the C-Suite but through America and the world in which global healthcare endures. I attempt to answer this question.

Finding the right formula for the post-pandemic is on the minds of the C-Suite, middle management, down to the front line workers. I see the pillars of success that is undeniably important to consider. These pillars cannot make or break a hospital but I have found that incorporating each of them together can begin to move a hospital to post-pandemic recovery.  

1. Emerging technologies that will lead the way

In the post-pandemic environment, innovative approaches will help a hospital survive. Only knowledge-based hospitals will survive. The post-pandemic formula for survival is human knowledge management. A hospital’s technological capabilities allow it to leverage knowledge in a more efficient manner using technological platforms as a necessary medium for success. The new and modern technology has to be embraced for seasoned healthcare executives for survival to be imminent. I have found that technology is not easily adaptable for some but with the chance for survival in a concurrent pandemic world, I found that only the people that became familiar with technology survive.

In a post-pandemic world, knowledge is shared via Zoom, WebEx, and internal communication systems. The limitations are security and hackers coupled with individually sponsored internet connections. Those hospitals that managed to capitalise on technology survived and continue to thrive today. This competitive advantage has prospered for some and has eliminated some of the players from the marketplace.

2. Don't let the pandemic sink your culture

In a post-pandemic world, culture has shifted from face-time to real-time. Culture has to adapt accordingly. There is a considerable alignment between knowledge management and culture and this will improve communication among remote workers if used adequately. More specifically, remote worker knowledge acquired through learning from others, subsequently posits that culture is equal to tacit knowledge and the strategic factor of competitive advantage. Thus, giving people platform space and presentation time is an effective use of time and resources because culture when used as an internal resource can positively influence competitive advantage through developing shared assumptions and values, which manifest as tacit knowledge embedded in remote workers.

Further, sharing best practices and experiences could also play a crucial role in embedding knowledge in members and supporting this strategic asset of a hospital for the post-COVID-19 recovery. One kernel that can come out of this discussion is the new concept of learning culture. This culture is added to the discipline of operational knowledge management. During the post-pandemic era, learning culture has been also highlighted as a precursor for knowledge creation.

Moreover, time is of the essence. Meetings have to be quick, exact, and important, or they are unnecessary. Here, collaborative culture could positively contribute to knowledge management in hospitals.

In conclusion

Healthcare executives need to improve technological infrastructures and stimulate a culture of learning and collaboration within hospitals. Cultivating effective cultures and technological infrastructures requires the development of change leadership within hospitals not only during the pandemic but also as they prepare for the post-pandemic.