What benefits do healthcare organisations receive from leadership and management development programmes? A systematic review of the evidence

What benefits do healthcare organisations receive from leadership and management development programmes? A systematic review of the evidence

Introduction
Leadership and management training/development programmes have gained increasing institutional attention in healthcare organisations, and they have a wide variety of formats and approaches. However, limited evidence exists about effects of these programmes for the organisations that sponsor them. A minority of healthcare systems in the USA measure the impact of these programmes on organisational metrics such as staff turnover or cost savings. This systematic review sought to answer the question, ‘What evidence exists that leadership and/or management development and training programs yield benefits for health care organizations?’ These benefits could include return on investment, improved productivity/cohesion/teaming, or increased use of specific management skills (eg, strategic planning) that would directly benefit the organisation.

Methods
We followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines to conduct a systematic review of the relevant literature. We conducted two searches in PubMed and one in ABI/Inform, a business literature database. All articles included for the study were further categorised according to their relevance for answering the research questions, using predefined criteria based on their methodology and reported findings.

Results
Our search included 2462 studies, of which 55 met criteria for inclusion. We identified four potential organisation-level benefits to leadership and management training programmes: benefits to other staff (besides those who participate in the programmes), improved patient safety and satisfaction, tangible benefits from projects that were part of the programme and improved ability/confidence using leadership-related skills by programme participants. However, the research base on this topic is limited.

Conclusion
Although this research identified potential benefits of leadership and management programmes at the organisation level, additional research is needed to make definitive conclusions about their impact.

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