Perspective: Organizational ProfessionalismRelevant Competencies and Behaviors


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Abstract

The professionalism behaviors of physicians have been extensively discussed and defined; however, the professionalism behaviors of health care organizations have not been systemically categorized or described. Defining organizational professionalism is important because the behaviors of a health care organization may substantially impact the behaviors of physicians and others within the organization as well as other institutions and the larger community. In this article, the authors discuss the following competencies of organizational professionalism, derived from ethical values: service, respect, fairness, integrity, accountability, mindfulness, and self-motivation. How nonprofit health care organizations can translate these competencies into behaviors is described. For example, incorporating metrics of population health into assessments of corporate success may increase collaboration among regional health care organizations while also benefiting the community. The unique responsibilities of leadership to model these competencies, promote them in the community, and develop relevant organizational strategies are clarified. These obligations elevate the importance of the executive leadership’s capacity for self-reflection and the governing boards’ responsibility for mapping operational activities to organizational mission. Lastly, the authors consider how medical organizations are currently addressing professionalism challenges. In an environment made turbulent by regulatory change and financial constraints, achieving proficiency in professionalism competencies can assist nonprofit health care organizations to promote population health and the well-being of their workforces.

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