Leading the way to health organizations that are great for patients, communities, and employees

Keynote presentation to “Leadership 2005: Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness”, Conference sponsored by the Nova Scotia Association of Health Organizations. Halifax, NS.
Human resources are the weakest link in the performance of the health system. Inadequate attention has been given to the people issues that matter most in providing quality health care – issues like morale, trust, respect, communication, learning and engagement. Health human resource planning still narrowly targets labour shortages, leaving aside equally important work environment challenges. But thinking has started to shift. A growing number of health employers across Canada are recognizing the strategic contributions of healthy workplaces to organizational effectiveness. The bar has started to rise on people practices.
In this keynote, Dr. Lowe will make the case that the long-term sustainability of Nova Scotia’s health system depends on senior managers and boards taking leadership action on healthy workplaces. Dr. Lowe will outline ways that Nova Scotia’s health employers can embrace a simple principle: healthy workplaces enable staff to provide quality care to patients, clients and communities. He will challenge conference participants to develop a shared vision of what a high-quality, healthy workplace looks likes. Examples of state-of-the-art healthy workplace practices will be provided from Canada, the US and Europe. Dr. Lowe will engage participants in a discussion of the steps Nova Scotia health employers will need to take in order to compete with Ontario, Alberta and BC for scarce health human resources. The bottom line: you must make healthy, high-quality workplaces an urgent priority.