The Scholarship, Practitioner, Leadership (SPL) Model focuses on how leaders can incorporate the concepts of scholarship, practice and leadership to make a positive impact in their field. According to the University of Phoenix “the SPL Model incorporates lifelong learning (scholarship), social and workplace contribution (practice), and the ability to exert positive influence (leadership) in your academic, professional, and personal lives” (2010, p. 1). In this essay, one will focus on how information literacy influences scholarship, practice, and leadership in health care administration. Scholarship and Leadership Scholarship allows a leader to acquire new, valuable information which one can put to work in one’s organization. McClintock (2003), states that scholarly practice that includes experimental knowledge is grounded both in theory and research. The knowledge obtained through scholarship enables one to put a strategy in place to move one’s organization forward. Lack of knowledge or lack of reliable information can limit the ability of a leader to examine potential problems closely, and search for productive solutions.
Working in health care, one can say, technology has changed the way health care institutions are currently managed. Scholarly leaders in health care administration will research valuable information regarding the use of information technology, implement technologies that allow organizations to keep up with industry demands to remain competitive. Scholarship provides a platform for leaders to continue using peer review solid academic literature as information to lead organizations effectively. Scholarship provides leaders in health care with the ability to identify good information and abilities to distinguish valuable information from useless data.
Badke (2009) states that not only is production only as useful as the readership is reading, leading one to believe that implementing the knowledge acquired through scholarship is as useful as acquiring the knowledge. A leader with no scholarship will most likely be not proactive about learning and implementing strategies obtained through scholarship, or about recognizing problems. One believes a leader with no scholarly background will lack the ability to plan strategically for the movement of the organization. Leaders with no scholarly background will present as leaders who follow from behind and struggle to meet the new health care regulations. Successful health care leaders inform and are informed by knowledge and experience. (University of Phoenix, 2010).
Practitioner and Leadership Skills All practitioners need to develop their leadership skills. Frankel (n.d) describes leadership as a multifaceted process of identifying a goal or target, motivating other people to act, and providing support and motivation to achieve mutually negotiated goals. The health care industry houses many disciplines. Practitioners in health care are part of a multidisciplinary team. According to Fletcher (2008) “nurturing and developing a successful team is a lengthy process, requiring comprehensive skills from the team leader (p. ).. These disciplines in many cases need a leader who can coordinate services to achieve a goal. Health care teams tend to be unique and dynamic presenting challenges to health care leaders Health care practitioners play this role every day and without leadership skills, patient care goals cannot be achieved. A practitioner with no leadership skills will be a practitioner who is not able to make decisions, delegate appropriately, and resolve conflict and act with integrity. Care will be uncoordinated; resources will be both overused and underused and quality outcomes unmet.
The health care leader’s role will need to continue to change the team develops. Even though “leadership skills can be refined through personal reflection and following the advice of experienced leaders” (Frankel, n.d), scholarship supports role development as it enables practitioners to research on different models to strengthen and support their role. Knowledge obtained through scholarship enables practitioners to use proven leading styles that accommodate change that is based on the multidiscipline team needs. In this context, a practitioner with no leadership skills will be a practitioner who is not able to make decisions, delegate appropriately, and resolve conflict and act with integrity. Information literacy and SPL model In one’s personal view information literacy guides the learning process. The University of Phoenix describes information literacy, in regard to practitioners, as the use of “application-based knowledge” that is geared toward learning in the workplace” (2011). According to Turusheva (2009) Information literacy requires practitioners to perform several features which include determining the different sizes of information, learning how to use the information efficiently, evaluating the information’s sources, developing a knowledge base based on the chosen information, and learning how to use the information ethically for goal achievement ( p.127).
Advancing one’s educational level (scholarship) to a doctorate level is part of information literacy. As an academic one will learn to research, write, and peer review solid academic literature, and incorporate learning ethically into daily activities. Seeking reliable sources of information and using the information appropriately is part of the process. The health care industry is changing and focusing more on quality outcomes while reducing costs. In 2008 the Dialysis regulations changed and included new performance measures. Literacy for the organization included knowing credible sources to obtain the regulations and outcome measures. It was necessary for the organization to be able to evaluate and choose the necessary data from huge data sources. The new guidelines were produced in a large handbook and learning how to use the formation correctly became a focus for the organization. Through the doctorate program one can learn how to use information efficiently and evaluate the information’s sources. The SPL model teaches one not to limit information resources but to broaden information competence to include using the ” library, computer, mass media literacy skills, technology skills, as well as ethics, critical thinking and communicative skills fusion or integration” (Turusheva, 2009, p129).
Badke 2008 supports this statement by stressing that information literacy is foundational and should not be considered as remedial. Information literacy enabled health care organizational leaders to lead this process by identifying credible resources. The SPL model creates a foundation for leaders to develop the “ability to use the new media to gain access to a variety of information sources to explore and then build their own conceptual frameworks” (Russell, P. 2009). Department leaders were enrolled in classes that were taught by credible resources (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) representatives and the National Renal Association (NRA)). Organizational leaders participated in ongoing teleconferences to help them develop a better understanding and assist with the implementation of new guidelines on an on-going basis.
This process helped to develop the knowledge base of many of the organizational leaders, leading to development of organizational objectives that were then implemented ethically. Conclusion Information literacy guides the learning process. In this discussion one has been able to discuss how information literacy relates to each aspect of the scholarship, practice, and leadership model in health care administration. One has been able to show how the SPL model allowed health care leaders to acquire new, valuable information which was put to work in health care organizations. Implementation of new regulations requires the leader to be an active scholar who can incorporate learning into the workplace, Scholarship enable health care leaders to acquire useful knowledge that can be implementing to create positive influence in the lives of everyone around them.
Leadership skills acquired during both scholarship and practice provides more comprehensive leadership skills that enable the practitioner to nurture and develop cross boundary improvement opportunities. The SPL model enables health care leaders to incorporate scholarship, practice and leadership to benefit the health care industry.
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