What is the largest barrier for sustainability in health care?
The most important barrier to the implementation of major changes that would enhance sustainability in the health care industry is the resistance of the public to change (Griggs et al., 2017). Members of the public are the key consumers of healthcare products. Their opinions of the various practices in the industry, especially with regards to change largely determine the willingness of service providers to stick to these changes. The high dynamism of customers, thus, interfere with the ability of institutions to sanction change and to focus on sustainable strategies.

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How can the federal government support healthcare sustainability?
The federal government has a big role in promoting the health of its citizens. Ensuring sustainability of the healthcare industry is, therefore, a primary duty of the federal government. The most important duty of the federal government with regards to ensuring sustainability is ensuring equitable allocation of adequate resources. Availing useful resources where they are needed will greatly enhance the performance of the industry. Additionally, the federal government can enhance sustainability by leading the development of policies that promote sustainability. Policies emphasizing various aspects of sustainability will ensure that all players in the industry move at the same pace in a similar direction.

Does a hospital have a clear sustainability plan or it operates vaguely?
Sustainability is a relatively new subject with regards to healthcare. Most pieces of literature on sustainability focus on environmental sustainability. As such, many hospitals do not have any valid sustainability plans. Rather, they operate vaguely and have no clear direction or statement of their sustainability targets. In fact, for most hospitals, the subject of sustainability is not one that affects them directly. They simply look to fulfill their basic responsibility with regards to ensuring environmental sustainability.

What are the requirements of having organizational leadership and why is it important?
Considering the age of sustainability in healthcare, it takes a lot of boldness and creativity to pursue wholesome changes in the system that will enhance sustainability. For utmost boldness and creativity, an organization needs bold and creative leaders. Healthcare organizations with apt leaders who are confident in their deeds and have a high level of creativity are more likely to achieve sustainability. It is also important for leaders to have an inherent ability to mentor; it is only by keeping the willingness and the skills of managing sustainability that the goal of seeing sustainable health organizations will be achievable.

Does each department in a hospital have a great leadership team?
A hospital has various departments. The departments have different targets and functions hence calling for a differential leadership styles for every department. Additionally, the personality of the leaders of various departments differ. These differences directly mean that the leadership teams in the various departments of a hospital are not standard despite having similarities. As such, the effectiveness of a department’s leadership differs from the next. Thus, it is not true that each department in a hospital has a great leadership team.

How do you leverage teams, leaders, and other diverse collaboratives to promote sustainability in an organization?
The ability of a leader to initiate change and to convince their subjects to move in one direction is key to achieving sustainability in healthcare. A leader who has the ability to lead all their collaboratives in one direction and with vision is necessary for organizational sustainability in healthcare. An important tool for the leader is their leadership style. Using a transformational or democratic leadership style could help a leader to convince the entire organization to buy into their sustainability vision.

What research and literature would you recommend to stay current with best practices in sustainability?
It is important to appreciate the fact that there is not much literature regarding sustainability in healthcare. Additionally, sustainability in healthcare is a wide subject that relates to many other areas of nursing and medical practice. As such, a lot of literature on various areas of nursing and medical practice would give some information on the best practices in sustainability. However, the literature on current management practices in healthcare would be the most recommendable for remaining abreast with the latest practices in healthcare sustainability. I would strongly recommend the British journal of nursing and the BMC health service resource.

What strategies do you use to communicate the importance of sustainability to your stakeholders?
In ensuring healthcare sustainability, communication is key. It is only by perfect communication that a leader can initiate a wholesome change in the entire organization and get everyone behind their vision. For clarity, it is important for one to understand their audience and use language to specifically target their audience. More specifically, leaders should use language that is concrete, look to spell out their logic every time, avoid controversies in their words, and include all necessary details. Such communication would be sufficient for changing behavior, garnering a buy-in of the organization, and providing key status updates.

How would you promote sustainability in an organization that is resistant to it?
Resistance to change is the most important challenge for achieving sustainability in healthcare. While the public is the most important players, organizational players also exist (Griggs et al., 2017). To promote sustainability in such organizational requires a leader to initiate wholesome organizational cultural changes and behavior changes. While initiating these changes is not easy, utilizing a transformational style of leadership can be effective in causing a significant change in both culture and behavior.

Aspects of the Interview
In general, the interview proceeded well. While the questions sounded technical, the interviewee handled them really well. The interviewee surprisingly had a deep understanding of the subject of healthcare sustainability and understood the core of all the questions first-time. Partly because of the clarity of the questions, the interviewer did not have to clarify any of the questions. The interviewee’s answers were relevant to the core of the questions. The responses of the interviewee also align with various latest research findings in the subject and are, therefore, credible.

  • Griggs, C., Fernandez, A., & Callanan, M. (2017). Nursing and the barriers to sustainable health care: a literature review. British Journal of Nursing, 26(22), 1230-1237. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2017.26.22.1230.